Wedding planning tips – How to downsize your wedding guest list

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Photography: Ellie Gillard Photography

Are you feeling uneasy about crossing off names on your wedding guest list? 

Honestly? Downsizing a wedding guest list is never an easy task – unless you’re planning a massive wedding where you want to and can financially afford to invite everyone you’ve ever known, it’s likely that you’ll need to cap your numbers and the feeling of guilt is real! 

To take some of that pressure off, here are some people to consider when deciding who makes the final cut!  

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Photography: Ellie Gillard Photography


Crossing family members off your list may sound harsh, but don’t feel you have to invite someone just because you’re related – you may not see or speak to extended family from one year to the next or there may be a family member who you know is going to cause you more distress than joy.


If you decide not to invite children to your wedding, it’s important to make yourselves a rule with this one and stick to it to avoid any conflicts at a later date! Do you want a grown-up celebration where there will be no children or just immediate family/those involved in your wedding party? You may get a disgruntled parent, but on the whole, you’ll probably find that they’ll love the opportunity to let their hair down without having to keep one eye on what their little ones are up to!

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Photography: Ellie Gillard Photography

Plus One’s

If your guests are married, engaged or living together, invite their partner but please don’t feel obligated to add plus ones to guest invites who aren’t in a relationship or have a new love that you’ve not met!


Making a decision about inviting old friends is a little like the question about extended family – do you regularly chat or meet up with them and are you likely to stay in touch after your wedding? 

It’s also worth considering if there’s anyone whose behaviour is going to cause you stress? Your guest numbers are precious and you want to be surrounded by your favourite people! 

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Photography: Ellie Gillard Photography

Work colleagues

Are they just friends at work or do you have a friendship outside of the office? If they’re part of your life for more than 9-5, bump them to your friend’s list – if not, and you’re not likely to see them again if you leave that job, you know what to do! 

Finalising your list will be a challenge, but stay strong, – it’s your wedding and you want to feel excited about everyone you’ve chosen to celebrate with you!  

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Hi, I'm Clara

London wedding designer, planner & stylist

I create bespoke weddings for modern city-loving couples who want to step away from the norm and have a celebration that feels personal to them.

By working in collaboration with my couples and encouraging their individual style, I can interpret what’s important to them and curate an experience that reflects their story. 

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