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Weddings & Guest-lists? Who To Invite When Money's Tight?

Updated on December 11, 2015
Does your wedding guest list look more like Santa's gift list?
Does your wedding guest list look more like Santa's gift list?

Weddings and Guest Lists In a Tough Economy!

Weddings over the past couple of years have downsized, or gotten smaller. But the average cost is inching up again to about $30,000. So if you're on a tight budget, how do you invite just the right people to your wedding?

You do it by formulating three lists:

List one includes the immediate families and bridal-party members, including the clergy and/or officiant and spouse (if applicable and the officiant is NOT a paid vendor). Parents of the ring-bearer and flower girl(s) are also included. Aunts and uncles are also added and normally first cousins. (If, however, your cousins are not close to your family, they may be excluded.)

List two includes close family friends of the bride and groom, close friends of the bride and groom, the immediate supervisors of the bride and groom, and close business associates of the bride's and groom's families (depending on who's hosting the wedding and the budget).

List three includes those who did not make List two, distant relatives and friends, and casual acquaintances in the workplace and/or community.

The bridal party are shoo-ins! They will attend the wedding.
The bridal party are shoo-ins! They will attend the wedding.

Working the Wedding's Guest Lists...

List one contains shoo-ins! Everyone on List one will come to the wedding! Let's say that adds up to 40 people (or 20 invitations since most people come in couples).

Your total budget is 100 guests, so you've got 30 invitations left. Prioritize, by importance, the people on List two. Let's say that totals 80 people, or 40 invitations. You are 10 invitations over budget.

You will now send out 30 invitations ONLY from List two. When you receive a "Regret" (or a reply from someone who cannot attend), you will send out another invitation from List two until your quota of invitations is full. (In other words, 30 couples or 60 people have accepted your invitation.)

All those remaining on List two and List three, who did not get a wedding invitation, will receive announcements, after the fact.

Wedding announcements are sent the day after the wedding.
Wedding announcements are sent the day after the wedding.

Wedding Announcements: Put Them to Good Use!

Once your quota is full, you will send no more wedding invitations. All those on List two and List three who did not receive invitations, as I said, will be sent announcements.

Announcements inform those who did not receive invitations that the wedding took place. However, unlike wedding invitations, announcements do not require the recipient to send a gift, although they may if they choose.

Announcements are printed and addressed before the wedding and are mailed the day after.

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