THE 1/3 RULE
The most diplomatic way to divide a guest list is in thirds. Bride’s parents get a third, groom’s parents a third, and the couple a third. If parents are divorced, they split their third. Telling parents what the limit is for each person to add to the guest list BEFORE they create their list is important. This avoids the bride and groom having to cut their parents’ list. If parents know their limit ahead of time, they will cut their list to avoid any disagreements. Also, an important factor is keeping equal thirds. No side wants to feel like a guest at their child’s wedding. This will keep relations between both families generous and positive.
FIVE MINUTES, PLEASE
If you’re having trouble deciding whether to invite a particular guest, ask yourself if you’d like to spend five to ten minutes of your reception chatting with them. The guests you feel obligated to invite could keep your attention all night instead of your closest friends.
GUEST PRICE TAG
Put a dollar amount on the cost of having each guest attend the wedding. Include the following items: Food, Alcohol, Cake, Place Setting Rentals, Chairs, 1/8 of a centerpiece (since 8 people typically sit at a table), Invitations, Programs, Favors, Bus Rentals. If it costs $120+ for one couple to attend, chances are, the utmost discretion will be used when deciding on guests.
Every “single” guest does not have a +1. Although Emily Post says only guest with a significant other or fiance get a +1, it is also polite to allow a guest who will not know anyone at the wedding to bring a date as well. If a group of friends or sorority sisters are invited, +1 is not necessary. Also, some guests subconsciously find it as an obligation to invite someone if they have a +1, even though they normally wouldn’t want one.