It’s an age-old question that has been the cause of many sleepless nights. Knowing who you should invite and who you can leave out is a hotly debated topic all over the UK. A recent survey has revealed that the average guest list consists of 79 day guests and 104 evening guests, and many couples end up having to make some tough calls to keep the numbers manageable. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the people it’s acceptable not to invite.
There are many plus points to inviting every Tom, Dick and Harry to your wedding day – the abundance of wedding gifts being one of them. However, it’s probably best to avoid inviting exes, regardless of potential gifts. You’re embarking on a new phase of life with your partner; your exes shouldn’t be there, even if everyone has stayed friends.
Long lost friends
Returning the favour to old friends who have invited you or your partner to their own nuptials is great in theory, but don’t feel obliged to extend the invitation if you’ve lost touch since. The same goes for old school, college and university friends, who may be active parts of your social media life – liking and commenting on your statuses from time to time – but don’t play a role in your real life.
People have their own rules regarding the handing out of plus-ones for weddings, but as a rule of thumb most don’t offer invites for new girlfriends or boyfriends. By new, we mean a relationship that has been official for less than 6 months. If you’ve never met your family member or friend’s new partner that’s also enough to warrant not extending the invite to them.
Bosses or colleagues
Most of the people you work with will understand that your wedding is a personal celebration of your love with family, friends and those closest to you. That doesn’t stop some bosses and work colleagues expecting an invite though, especially to your evening reception. If you don’t see or socialise with your boss or colleagues outside of work, don’t be afraid to say “no”.
Neighbours, distant relatives and others
Remember you don’t have to invite anyone you’re not comfortable sharing your special day with. You’re certain to get requests from family members and friends for wedding invites for others, but you don’t have to take them up on their suggestions. Invite only the individuals who have played a role in your journey so far and that you want to be there. No one wants to look back on their wedding photographs and wonder who the person in the second row from the back is!
Breaking the bad news
Once you’ve decided who’s made the cut (and who hasn’t) it’s time to break the news. In most circumstances not receiving an invitation is enough of an indicator, but if the person in question asks “why” then honesty is always the best policy. You won’t be painted as the ‘bad guy’ for not inviting that long lost family member or out-of-touch school friend. Offbeat Bride offers their words of wisdom for bluntly but lovingly telling people they’re not invited:
“Ultimately, remember that no matter how loving or articulate you are, people are entitled to their feelings of disappointment. Try to remember that their disappointment comes from a place of LOVE: they want to be with you on your wedding day! You’re not responsible for their disappointment, nor can you control it — all you can do is try your best to be respectful and kind, and make sure they know that you understand how much they care. But then you’ve got to release it, and get on with your planning.”
For more advice during this vital stage of wedding planning, please read our invite etiquette dos and don’ts.