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  • Tracy Fink

Navigating the Guest List: How to Keep It Intimate and Exclusive



Ah, the guest list – that tricky puzzle every couple faces when planning their wedding. It's like trying to fit your entire life into a tiny home: you want it to be intimate, yet not leave out anyone important. So, how do you curate a guest list that feels like a cozy gathering rather than a concert or festival cramming people in?


Cutting down a guest list often means making hard decisions. It's not about being ruthless; it's about creating the atmosphere you want. A smaller list means more quality time with each guest or being able to host your event in the setting you’ve dreamed or have the vision you’ve thought about, and honestly, isn't that what we all want?


First things first, jot down your non-negotiables. These are your VIPs – the people you can't imagine saying “I do” without. This list usually includes immediate family and your ride-or-die friends.

Be open and honest with your guests about your desire for an intimate wedding. Most people will understand and respect your decision. However, be prepared for some pushback, especially from family. It’s okay to explain your vision for an intimate wedding and gently stand your ground. Once you’ve set your rules (no kids, no distant relatives, etc.), stick to them. Consistency prevents hurt feelings and makes your decisions easier to explain.


If needed, create a B-list, so if you get declines from your A-list, you can invite others without feeling like you’re overstuffing your venue. Just be mindful of sending these invites out with enough notice!


Where we’ve noticed most couples tend to get in trouble when creating their guest list is with plus ones. At Weddings by Tracy we tell our couples to use this simple rule when considering inviting plus ones: if you haven’t met them, or if they haven’t been dating your guest for a significant amount of time, it’s okay to skip the invite. This isn’t a networking event; it’s your wedding! Check out more of our thoughts on how to handle plus ones here.


Navigating the guest list can be a bit of a tightrope walk, but remember, it's your day, your rules. Still not sure how to handle your guest list - or have an overbearing family member that just doesn’t understand? We get it - we see this happen during almost every planning process and would love to guide you through. Connect with us and see how we can relive your guest list headache.


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