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Keep the Peace

Keep the Peace

By Sarah Carlos

No one likes to admit it, but compiling a guest list can get awfully sticky. Here’s how to coast through the process so that you have the company you want without all the fuss.

Even out guests on both sides

If your parents are adamant about inviting 30 of their oldest friends, then your hubby-to-be’s family should be entitled to do the same.

A no “and guest” policy

This is completely up to you, but friends who aren’t in a serious relationship don’t necessarily need to bring a date; tell them that space is tight. Those extra numbers can certainly add up. Besides, do you really want friends bringing their latest crush to your wedding? Axe the “plus one” policy and you’ll be sure to recognize everyone there. Well, almost everyone.

Be hush hush at work

If you don’t have a close relationship with your coworkers, then there is no reason to invite them to the wedding. If you can get away with it, though, it would be a nice gesture to invite your boss or supervisor; just make sure to keep it quiet.

Avoid tight groups

If putting one person on your guest list makes you feel obligated to invite the seven others in his or her close group, then drop that person. Trust me: There is no nice way to get out of inviting everyone in their posse.


Decide what your policy is and stick to it. Either limit the children rule to nieces and nephews, or invite couples and their little ones. You will eliminate any confusion if you address the invitation to the mom and dad only; add family and you’re adding the ankle biters.

A-list, B-list

If neither set of parents can agree on who should come and who should stay at home, then this may be the best option; however, keep in mind that there is always the chance that B-List guests will realize they were not originally chosen – especially if they receive your invitation less than a month before the wedding. A-listers are definite must-be-invited peeps, and B-listers are it would-be-nice-to-have peeps. Send A-list invitations out about 10 weeks before the wedding. For every A-lister who can’t make it, there’s a B-lister who will be receiving an invitation in the mail.

Time to get on the horn

There is nothing more annoying than getting on the phone 2 weeks before your wedding, but sometimes it is your only option. When calling, explain that your caterer needs the final headcount and ask if it is safe to assume that they will be added in to that final count. If you can’t reach some of the people on the list, left a message and several days have gone by, it is safe to assume they are a no-show.

Photographs by David Wright Photography