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Charity
Curious July 2023 Ontario

Narrowing down the guest list

Charity, on February 28, 2022 at 13:55 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 43
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Hi everyone! I am fairly new to this community and I only found out about this discussion section today! I Love how supportive everyone is!! It is so great to see Smiley smile.


Hoping to get your opinions on my situation below.


My partner and I have been trying to create our guestlist. We are stuck on whether we should be inviting distant family relatives. I come from a Filipino background and family parties are always a big thing for us where everyone is invited no matter how "close" you are to the them. I have a whole side of a family where my partner and I are not close to them but when we are together we all have a blast. We see these families (group of about 30 people) maybe once or twice a year. Sometimes my family is not even invited to their parties as well.


I would not mind it if these people are not at my wedding, but for the sake of future interactions, I just want to avoid all awkwardness and having any of them feel left out. I also feel pressured to invite them, not sure why. I go back and forth a lot about this. There are some days where I'm like "yea it would be so great to have them all there" and some days where I feel like I just don't give a damn if feelings are hurt.

Just wanted to pick your brains to ask if any of you have or are experiencing something like this and how did you make up your mind?




43 Comments

Latest activity by Charity, on March 15, 2022 at 11:10
  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    Thank you so much Smiley smile
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  • Shelly
    Curious July 2022 Ontario
    Shelly ·
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    When we started our planning we had Covid restrictions to deal with, so going small was the only choice. Since we postponed and now getting to go forward this year with less restriction we have decided to keep the number we started with (60 guests) for we felt that was a good number where we can socialise with everyone there. Do hope this helps, for it's your day, go with what will make you feel the happiest.

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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    Thank you! Very helpful tip Smiley smile
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  • Megan
    Newbie October 2024 British Columbia
    Megan ·
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    The guest list has been the hardest part of planning. We knew before we started planning we wanted to keep it small. Early on we fell in love with a venue which has a smaller capacity which helped us make the decision to invite less than 40 people. When we thought it out we asked ourselves If the venue was something we felt comfortable compromising on. In the end the venue was perfect for what we envisioned our big day to be. Plus I think this way of people question why they didn’t get invited you have a valid reason for making that choice. Hope this helps!
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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    Indeed, it is unconventional but I actually love that idea a lot! Thank you for sharing ! Smiley smile
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  • Erinn
    Curious October 2022 Saskatchewan
    Erinn ·
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    Correct! We are having our wedding in my home town so there’s a lot of local friends that we don’t necessarily talk to on a monthly basis but we would love for them to enjoy the dance with us!
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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    Oh wow! That’s a really great idea to consider! So for your third invite, those individuals wouldn’t be counted as part of a head count for dinner?
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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    Thanks! That is definitely something to consider.
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  • Erinn
    Curious October 2022 Saskatchewan
    Erinn ·
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    I definitely understand the trouble you’re having with figuring out the final guest list. We have decided to send out 3 separate types of invitations. The venue for our ceremony has limited seating, so only about 80 of our closest family and friends are invited. For the reception we have a larger venue and that’s where we will include my cousins and their children. That way they still get included in the supper and speeches. We will also be sending out invites to friends that we aren’t as close with that will just be to the speeches and dance, so they are still included in our celebration. This might be a little unconventional but this is how we are making it work with limited seating and my big family!
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  • Vinod
    Featured August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    Family friends and co workers that you are close to should be invited as you are seeing or talking to them frequently. The group your questioning should be left out since you only see them twice a year and you can celebrate with them after the wedding itself and make it a party. I did read online about who to invite and not invite: Those you keep close contact on regular basis as often should be on the guest list. Those you don't see or speak to as often don't need to be invited.

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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    I am glad that it worked itself out for the most part.
    I think the venue and budget is what will truly help me decide. Thanks for sharing! Smiley smile
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  • Derek
    Frequent user September 2022 Alberta
    Derek ·
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    When we started ours, it was based on the size of both families and some friends (mostly from my work). My fiancee is the youngest of 5, and has numerous nieces, nephews and even grandchildren who are being invited. On my side most of my family are older and live out of province, and I have been told that many probably will not make it. This allows a bit more flexibility because we wanted a bigger wedding than my first (which was only 40 guests) but smaller than her first (which was around 200). Our guest list came to around 100 once we had everyone chosen but we expect the actual number will be around 80. A lot depends on your budget and venue size when deciding which guests to invite. It also boils down to how often you see some of these distant relatives (I remember having to exclude some cousins from my first wedding, as I hadn't seen them in decades and there was a capacity limit on the venue).
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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    You’re welcome Charity! 🙏🏾🙂
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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    Hi! That is a great idea, and that way no one has to feel left out Smiley smile

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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    The budget will definitely play a big role in the decision! Thank you for sharing Smiley smile

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  • Yami
    Frequent user October 2022 Ontario
    Yami ·
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    Hey Charity!
    I understand how you feel! i’m Filipino too and sometimes our close friends can seem like cousins you see over the holidays and have so much fun! But! You can opt for a smaller get together with them in someone’s house instead! That’s what we’re doing! ☺️
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  • Tunisha
    Featured October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    Hello Charity,
    Welcome to WeddingWire!
    Hubby and I always wanted a small wedding and we had other expenses to look forward too in our future. We locked into a venue that holds 70 people total, we notified some people that they can’t make it due to the venue capacity. Also, it was during Covid as well, so I guess it worked out better. Think about the budget, if it’s really important for those guests to attend. We invited close family and friends. It was a struggle for our guests list because everyone had their opinions on who we should add (including our parents). Just think of if it’s really important to have them or not.
    Wishing you all the best in this tasking if your planning. And wishing you a Happy planning! 🎉🥂
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  • Hailey
    Featured June 2022 British Columbia
    Hailey ·
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    Yeah it definitely is. Also for us we just didn't want a big wedding so we had to cut people out.. it was easier when covid has some restrictions to say "we can't have Over this amount" but it's all good.
    Im glad it was easier for you! Definitely tougher on my end haha 😄
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  • Allison
    Frequent user October 2022 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    For sure! It's definitely a good thing to think about when compiling the list. Oddly enough the guest list has been the easiest part of wedding planning for me - now I'm just hoping for no more restrictions so my guest list can stay as-is! 🙏
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  • Hailey
    Featured June 2022 British Columbia
    Hailey ·
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    Well with COVID in the picture I would say it's a different situation for people. I had to keep my distance from my MOH as I work in a school so its a higher transmission along with a lot of my immediate family and friends. Those friends are invited as I would make plans with them before covid.

    Im more meaning this as For my situation a lot of my extended family I haven't seen them for over a year of even 2 years Before COVID even became a thing.

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  • Allison
    Frequent user October 2022 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    Good luck! ❤
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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    Thank you for sharing! I think I have such a similar situation to what you had discussed. You also brought up a really great question at the beginning to consider for when I’m making this decision.
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  • Allison
    Frequent user October 2022 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    I find covid makes it harder to use the 'if I haven't seen them in a year' guideline though - I hadn't seen my best friend and MOH in over a year when I got engaged because she lives 2 hrs away so we couldn't easily do outdoor visits because 100% we would need to use a washroom (and therefore have to go inside each other's home as NOTHING was open during the first few lockdowns). We have both strictly followed the covid protocols because of at-risk family members and then she got pregnant in Fall 2020 so even when things had started loosening up (before going into lockdown again) - she stayed in isolation because of the pregnancy. I would have no bridal party or wedding guests if we only invited people we've seen in the last year LOL

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  • Allison
    Frequent user October 2022 Ontario
    Allison ·
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    Hi Charity - you mentioned that everyone is always invited to family parties - but does the same go for weddings? (i.e. when these distant relatives have had their weddings, do they typically invite the whole group of extended family?)

    I have a large extended family (65+ people) on my dad's side and pre-covid we would all get together at least 2-3 times per year (more if there were funerals or baby showers). This family consists of what I consider my 'immediate' family which is my parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, and first cousins, and also my dad's cousins and their children and grandchildren (my second cousins, second cousins once removed, and second cousins twice removed). Since there are a lot of us - we get together for a summer picnic and a holiday celebration every year - but we only invite 'immediate' family to weddings. Most of my second cousins, etc. have invited me to their bridal showers, but not the wedding. I know that's typically not done - but it's a chance for us to all get together (or at least the women) without overwhelming anyone's wedding budget. I enjoy spending time with my extended family (in fact, there are definitely some of the extended family that I prefer over my immediate family lol), but I will not be inviting them to my wedding. Luckily, I'm the second-youngest of my generation so I know there won't be hard feelings as each of us has stuck with 'immediate' family only. I would say you know them best and know if people will feel hurt or will be happy for you but understand that not everyone can be accommodated. I hope that helps!

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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    Thanks so much! Smiley smile
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  • KELLY
    Featured October 2023 Ontario
    KELLY ·
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    I agree with several posts- if your budget can accommodate them then invite them. Create your guest list by priority- immediate family, close friends and so on. Once you have your venue picked take a look and see if you need to cut if so, you already have your list of who will be cut..

    Best of luck!

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  • Lindsay
    Frequent user June 2023 British Columbia
    Lindsay ·
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    We have already started our guest list (a rough draft) as I have still yet to send out our Save The Dates. My dad though still wants to invite a few of his friends (even though we have 145 guests and our max is 150 because of the venue max is) it gets pretty stressful with family adding to the stress (having their opinions about stuff) that’s for sure though!
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  • Hailey
    Featured June 2022 British Columbia
    Hailey ·
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    No problem, again I know it's a bit of a different situation but hopefully I helped a bit! Most people should be understanding though.


    I know right!!! I didn't realize how much until we started planning haha 😅 thank you! Hope all planning goes well for you too 🙂
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  • Lissa
    Devoted October 2022 Ontario
    Lissa ·
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    The cost was a big shock to me as well when we started looking at venues earlier this month 😭
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  • Charity
    Curious July 2023 Ontario
    Charity ·
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    Thank you so much for sharing your experience Hailey. Reading your comment has helped me picture the realities I may face should I not end up inviting them.

    Side comment: I knew weddings were expensive but I never really took it in until I started looking into venues and vendors! Glad to hear you are staying on track! Smiley smile

    Thanks again!

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  • Hailey
    Featured June 2022 British Columbia
    Hailey ·
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    I go back and forth too on inviting people or not... it would be easier when you know the venue size, I also thought about if I have seen them in the past year kind of thing or spoken even through text
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  • Hailey
    Featured June 2022 British Columbia
    Hailey ·
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    My mom spoke to a few, others I just haven't yet but I will soon as I sent the invites out a couple weeks ago.

    My mom pretty much told them that with our house payment and all that we wanted to put the money towards the house or other payments we have...at the time covid was a bigger thing so she mentuoned the numbers for that/ also that we just have a budget. The ones she talked to understood I'm sure they were sad but get it. I also think some may understand as weddings are so expensive. Were on track for just under 5k.

    My fiance and I do have a friend couple who are mad we didn't invite them but unfortunately it was them or 2 of my family members and I already have cut a good chunk of my family out. There's also a suggestion of having it filmed for others to see or even a event for family after..
    My situation may be a little different as the few family that is invited I am the closest with... and see all the time.. the ones who didn't get invited I don't see/haven't seen in 2 years or more. And I also don't want my wedding to be a reason we get together. I don't think that's fair (just my opinion)and there's a lot of them that have siblings so it would be unfair to invite 1 and not the other. Then I'd have to allow a plus 1/SO... and the number gets bigger.
    I hope this helps a bit?
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