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Plus Ones & Distant Cousins: 5 considerations when creating your wedding guest list

Your wedding day is arguably one of the most important days of your life, and deciding who to invite can be a challenging task.

From close family members to old friends and acquaintances, there are numerous people who may be important to you and your partner, but you may not be able to invite everyone. With so many factors to consider, such as budget, venue size, and personal relationships, it can be overwhelming to determine who should make the cut.

Let’s explore the main factors to consider when deciding who to invite to your wedding, so that you can make the most of your special day and celebrate with those who matter most to you.

1. Budget

First things first, budget. Budget is likely to have a hefty impact when it comes to your wedding guest list.

How many people are included in the cost of your venue hire? If this number is 80 people, but you have 100 on your guest list, you should consider the (additional) cost per person – is this cost workable and affordable for you?

Although you might have some wiggle room in your budget, you’re likely to stretch the budget in areas other than headcount like flowers, photography or videography, so make sure to build this into your guest list process too.

2. Venue Capacity

This might seem a like a bit of a no-brainer, but you have to consider the capacity of your venue, or venues. It’s particularly important to bear in mind guest numbers if you have chosen two different locations for your ceremony and reception, as the capacity of each venue may differ.

Click here to discover some of Ireland’s best country house wedding locations, including available capacities.

3. Must Have Guests

Your wedding guest list should be a group of people who you want like to celebrate your Wedding Day with, but inevitably, with most families, there are a number of people who can’t be bumped from the list without causing familial issues – parents, siblings, grandparents, aunties and uncles. *

Close friends should also be considered within this ‘must have guests’ category; the friends that you wouldn’t want to be without on your Big Day. And of course, it goes without saying that the bridal party and groomsmen, also fall into the ‘must have’ category.

(*Depending on the number of cousins on each side… cousins may fall into the ‘maybe’ category, particularly when it comes to Irish families with a large number of cousins on both sides of the family.)

4. Other Halves

Ah, other halves and plus ones. A touchy topic. And a pretty divisive one too, particularly when it comes to friends. Keep in mind that this one also usually works both ways, ie. if you give your friend a plus one to your wedding, they are likely to give you a plus one for theirs.

When it comes to plus ones and other halves, there are a number of ways couples go about this topic, some more cut-throat than others…

  • Plus One For All, things to do consider –
    • Budget and venue capacity will impact this choice
    • This +1 invite may be shared with a date-for-the-day or someone who is a relatively new other half, and you might not know this person at all
  • No Ring, No Bring, things to consider –
    • Now this one could cause some issues with friends who have long-term other halves
    • Does an engagement ring really validate the significance or strength of someones relationship…?
  • Other Halves You Know, things to consider –
    • Extending the invite to other-halves you know well, or at least have met, might make you feel more comfortable on the day

Whichever you choose, draw a line and stick to your guns.

5. Invite Type

What do we mean by Invite Type? Invitations can be split into All Day Invites, After Invites and Day Two Invites. Depending on the location of your wedding, it might be more manageable (and affordable) to divvy up All Day and Afters invitations, as opposed to a whole host of All Day Invites.

Afters Invitations could be a good option for plus ones and other halves that you’re not all too familiar with, as well as all those cousins and any additional extended family members that might pop up, neighbours or friends of your parents.

If you have any ‘maybes’ on your guest list, Day Two or Afters Invites are also an option. This extends to old friends from school or college, friends you love but aren’t in regular contact with and even work colleagues.

Check out a list of talented Irish creators specialising in wedding invitations, right here.

5. Children

If have your own children or nieces and nephews in your life, this point might be further up your list of priorities.

Because, let’s be real – kids at a wedding is not a choice for everyone.

However if you are a parent getting married, or would like the children in your family to be present at your wedding and throughout the day – it’s important to take them into account when creating your wedding guest list. After all, they will need to be fed, and they will take up a seat even though they’re small!

Looking for wedding childcare? Check out the Wedding Nanny right here.

Lead Image via Pinterest

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