Take These Steps if You're Struggling to Downsize Your Wedding Guest List
September 08, 2020
You've probably had your fair share of drama if you're trying to throw a wedding during COVID-19, and if we had to guess, cutting your guest list down is probably a main source. This process can especially get messy if you had already planned for a large-scale traditional ceremony where you've invited everyone from your second cousin twice removed to that close friend you had in college who you haven't seen in over two years. A down-size like this is much, much easier said than done.
Below - different strategies you can use to make trimming your guest list a little less stressful.
Prepare to deal with hurt feelings.
This pointer is kind of like ripping off a band-aid, so we're just going to say it: you will probably hurt peoples feelings when you uninvite them from your wedding. And you'll probably hear about it. But take a deep breath because we're here to let you know that this is all a part of the process. The key to avoid bruised feelings is to communicate clearly every step of the way. Make sure that the people you're uninviting know why you're doing so, like telling them about COVID-19 restrictions placed by your venue or older family members that might be at risk if a large amount of people attend. As long as you're honest and upfront about what's going on, most of your guests will understand the situation and would be happy to tune in virtually.
Create a list of people who you couldn't imagine uninviting.
Once you've prepared yourself for hurt feelings, you can take a breather - the rest of the steps will have you sailing towards that perfect small guest list you've been trying to chip away at. First, make a list of all the people you and your partner couldn't imagine not having at your wedding day. This will give you a clear idea of where both of your heads are at. Once you have this completed, reach out to them over text or email to confirm that they'd be able to attend. If some of them answer no because they're worried about COVID-19, this frees up more space for you and yours to invite other close friends or family members.
If you haven't talked to them in over a year, cut them out.
This goes back to what we said about the second cousin twice removed - we recommend that it's time to cut them out. After all, these people that you haven't talked to in a while will probably be relieved to not have to attend an event for someone they're barely in contact with during a pandemic.
No more plus ones or children.
This is a quick and easy way to ensure that you don't have too many guests at your intimate wedding. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this rule, but this is a smart base guideline for down-sizing your invite list. If there are some guests who don't want to attend without their significant other, then that just clears up more space to invite other people! A win-win overall.
Finalize your guest list and offer up the option to attend virtually.
By now you should have a pretty clear idea on who you're inviting to your wedding. The final step would be to create clear guidelines on safety precautions that you'll be taking at your ceremony as well as how you expect your guests to act at your wedding (i.e., should they wear masks? Should they social distance?). From there, offer up the option to attend virtually - there will more than likely be a few people who opt into this because they're worried about COVID-19. Once you know who will be attending in-person and opting in virtually, the arduous task of down-sizing your guest list will be complete!