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The Wedding Guest List Situation

Updated: Apr 6, 2023

Let's work on the guest list today. Not again some couples may be saying. At first inviting all the people you love was exciting and for most it is! Sometimes the process gets muddy as family may suggest a few more or worse someone wants to invite themselves! Creating the guest list takes time and it's not a walk in the park.

Here is simple guide to help you navigate the wedding guest list. Each couple and situation is unique so this won't be a one size fits all.


We put this first because kids are the pride and joy of the parents! If the parent is in the A list and the kids are too young for a babysitter or no sitter available they may wish you had invited their kids. Older kids can sure stay home and then it turns into a date night. Outdoor weddings are a blast for young families not a burden. They have been stuck at home and coming to see you is something the whole family will look forward to. If you end up inviting the kids the parents will be really impressed you went over and beyond for them. Keep in mind the parents will most head out a little after dinner to get the young kids home to bed.

The A list:

These guests are very important to both of you. They're mostly family and dear friends. You defiantly want these people to attend and they have been a big part of one or both of your lives. They know you the best and you have spent a great deal of time with them currently and in the past. You would be most disappointed if people in this list say they can't come.

The B list:

These people are important contributors to maybe both of you or just one. For example a dear co-worker you have worked with for years but your finance has never met them. They're important but maybe only to you. You will need to explain why this person is important to you. Hopefully most of these people can come but you may not have room for them all.

The C list:

The people in this list come from mom and dad. You may know them a bit but they're not on your radar. Honestly you both wouldn't care if they didn't come because you have little relationship. This is hard because you don't want to disappoint mom and dad. We would suggest giving both sides of the family the opportunity to invite a set amount of people. Maybe that's 2 couples each or more depending on the amount of space you have. Keep it fair and it's fine to limit the number or say none. You want the most dear people at your wedding and saying NO is how it goes.

The D list:

There may be members of the family you have no relationship with and seeing them wouldn't rekindle anything. They can go on this list and others who may be disruptive or cause drama. You don't want these people possibly making your other guests uncomfortable so don't invite them. Other members of this list could be someone who invites themself, other random people, neighbors you feel guilty about not inviting. Long story short don't invite the people on this list.

Outdoor space:

There may be a limit to your guest count. Sure cutting the list may save some $$ but if the property only allows a 40'x60' tent then we would say 150 guests is the comfortable number. If your A, B, C list is 200 guests then you need a larger outdoor space for the level 3 package which has the 40'x80' tent.

Ty's Wedding Rental and Services:

We visit properties before our couples book to ensure they have enough space. We consider what's under the tent like a dance floor, food line, cake table, bar, DJ/band, and finally the guest count to determine the best fit. If the property is tight we may suggest bringing down the guest count.


Have a rsvp for the ceremony and reception. Some may only be able to come for the ceremony so why have a plate of food for them as well.

Final thoughts:

It's good practice dealing with a little stress when it comes to the guest list. Your parents raised you from birth and they're used to being in charge. Times are changing and you're getting married and that means you make decisions with another person besides them. It's a learning curve for everyone. If your fiance is creating a crazy big list, take time to listen and have them explain why each one is important. Then talk about it and make a great decision.

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