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13 People to leave off your wedding guest list

As you plan your dream wedding, crafting the guest list is no doubt one of the most significant tasks you'll face. While it can be tempting to invite everyone you know, reality often calls for some tough decisions. Striking the right balance between inclusivity and intimacy is essential to create a memorable and meaningful celebration. That's why we've compiled a list of 13 people you may want to consider leaving off your wedding guest list.
13 People to leave off your wedding guest list

So, you’re planning the big day, huh? Congrats on taking this exciting step towards forever together! But, let’s face it – crafting the guest list can be a bit of a head-scratcher. You’ve got all these amazing people in your life, and you want to share your joy with each one of them. But hang on a sec! We’re here to give you the lowdown on those guests who might not be the best fit for your dream wedding.

In this blog post, we’ve got 13 folks you might want to think twice about inviting. We’re not saying you should turn into wedding Grinches, but sometimes, a more intimate celebration can be oh-so-perfect.

You know those distant relatives you see at family reunions once every decade? Yeah, they might not be the first on your list. And what about ex-partners? Trust us, keeping things drama-free is the name of the game.

We totally get it, though – making these decisions can be tough. But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you and help you prioritize those who’ve truly made a mark on your hearts.

Your wedding day is all about the love between you and your partner, surrounded by the people who have been your ride-or-dies. By fine-tuning your guest list, you’ll create a vibe that’s cozy, heartfelt, and all about celebrating your unique love story.

So, let’s grab a slice of cake and a cup of coffee, and dive into this guide on who to invite and who might be better off cheering from afar. Get ready to create a wedding day that’s truly, authentically, and wonderfully “you.” Let’s do this!

13 People to leave off your wedding guest list

At the end of the day, your guest list is like a snapshot of your love story. It’s all about the people who’ve been there through thick and thin, celebrating with you every step of the way. So, take a breath, trust your gut, and make that list with your heart.

Whether you’re throwing a bash for the whole neighborhood or keeping it cozy with your nearest and dearest, your wedding day will be nothing short of magic.

Let’s get to the list!

1. Work friends, colleagues and your boss

Work friends, colleagues, and your boss – they’re like the work squad that keeps you going, right? Spending hours together, tackling deadlines, and sharing office banter can create some tight bonds.

So, naturally, you might think, “Hey, let’s invite the whole gang to our wedding!” But hold up, before you bust out those invites, let’s talk about why having everyone from the office might not be the best move.

Alright, let’s be real about work friendships. Sure, you get along like a house on fire during office hours, but that doesn’t mean you’ll all be besties outside of work. Inviting those co-workers you’re not super tight with might add a bit of a formal vibe to your big day.

You want your wedding to be all about genuine connections and real joy, surrounded by your ride-or-dies who know you inside out.

But hey, there’s always an exception to the rule! If you’ve got those work friends who’ve become more like family, the ones you hang out with outside the office, then go ahead and invite them!

The key is to focus on the people who’ve really made an impact on your life and who will make your special day even more magical.

Wedding Guest List Tip: Your wedding should be that one event in your life that you only want to share with close family and friends.

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2. Unnecessary plus ones, or plus ones you’ve never met

Ah, the infamous plus ones! Let’s talk about why you might want to think twice about giving out those golden tickets to guests you’ve never met or barely know.

Picture this: you’re creating your wedding guest list, and suddenly you come across some names that you don’t recognize. These could be plus ones of your friends or family members, people you’ve never laid eyes on before!

Now, before you go all-inclusive and invite everyone plus their plus ones, consider this: your wedding is all about creating a personal and intimate experience for you and your partner.

Inviting people you’ve never met or hardly know might result in a bunch of strangers at your big day. And let’s face it, you want your wedding to be a place filled with love and genuine connections. Having strangers around might dilute the magic and create an awkward vibe.

But hold on, there’s a silver lining here! Instead of giving out plus ones like candy, focus on inviting those who have been a meaningful part of your life, whether you’ve met their plus ones or not. This way, your wedding becomes an opportunity for new friendships to blossom rather than just being a room full of unfamiliar faces.

Wedding Guest List Tip: Cut your wedding budget even further by limiting the amount of people who may bring a plus one.

Also Read:

3. Plus ones who have been dating for less than 3 months

We’ve all been there – you have that friend or family member who’s in a new, whirlwind romance. They’ve only been dating for a few weeks or a couple of months, and suddenly they’re head over heels for each other. While it’s sweet and exciting, inviting their new flame to your wedding might not be the best idea.

Here’s the deal: a wedding is a deeply intimate and special occasion. You want your day to be filled with people who know and cherish you, who’ve been there through thick and thin. Having someone you’ve just met tag along might not create that warm and cozy atmosphere you’re aiming for.

By applying the three-month rule, you ensure that your wedding remains a beautiful, intimate gathering of close friends and family who share in your joy and love. It’s about creating unforgettable memories with those who’ve been there for you, supporting you, and being a part of your journey.

Wedding Guest List Tip: If the guest who is adamant to bring a plus one is very close to you, you can either tell them that you’re on a tight wedding budget, or ask them to pay for their plus one.

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Still deciding on your wedding details and planning everything from scratch, including the wedding guest list? Have a look at the most detailed wedding planner out there…

4. Neighbors

Ah, the neighbors – the friendly faces you see every day as you step out your front door. While they may be part of your daily life, inviting them to your wedding can be a tricky decision. Let’s dive into why neighbors might not always be the best addition to your guest list.

While you may exchange pleasantries with your neighbors, your connection with them might not run as deep as with your closest friends and family.

Wedding Guest List Tip: If you still need to create your initial wedding guest list, then head over to this post.

5. Friends of friends

Let’s talk about friends of friends – those folks who are one step removed from your inner circle. While they may seem like a natural addition to your wedding guest list, inviting friends of friends can present some challenges that you might not anticipate.

First off, you want your wedding to be an intimate and personal celebration. Including friends of friends who you haven’t had the chance to get to know well might lead to a more impersonal atmosphere.

Inviting friends of friends can also open the door to potential complications. You may not be aware of their social dynamics or personalities, and having unfamiliar faces at your wedding might add an element of unpredictability. Remember, you want your special day to be stress-free and filled with joy, not unexpected surprises.

While your friends might think it’s a great idea to invite their friends along, it’s okay to focus on creating a guest list that truly reflects your love story and the people who have been a part of it.


6. Children, or children under a certain age

While little ones can add an adorable touch to your special day, inviting children, especially those under a certain age, might not always align with your wedding vision.

Let’s face it, weddings can be long, formal events with adult conversations, late nights, and potential moments of restlessness. While some children are absolute stars at weddings, others might not have the attention span or patience for such an occasion. Having kids running around might distract from the intimate and romantic atmosphere you’re aiming for.

Moreover, young children, particularly infants and toddlers, can be unpredictable. Crying spells, tantrums, or the need for frequent attention could potentially disrupt the flow of your wedding day.

Your priority should be to have a smooth and enjoyable celebration, not worrying about managing child-related incidents.

It’s essential to consider the preferences and comfort of your guests as well. Some parents might appreciate a kid-free evening to let loose and enjoy the festivities without childcare responsibilities.

On the other hand, some parents might not be able to attend if children are not invited. Striking the right balance between accommodating your guests and setting the tone for your ideal wedding is crucial.

Now, while it might be tempting to implement a strict “no kids” policy, there are ways to handle this gracefully. You could consider offering childcare services at or near the venue, allowing parents to have a night off while knowing their children are well taken care of.

Alternatively, you can opt to invite children of close family members or those who play a significant role in your life.

Remember, your wedding day is all about creating the atmosphere and experience you desire. If having a kid-free celebration aligns with your vision, communicate it tactfully and respectfully to your guests.

Ultimately, it’s about striking a balance that works for you and your partner while keeping the comfort and enjoyment of your guests in mind.

Whether you decide to have an adults-only celebration or include children in a special way, let your wedding day be a reflection of your love, joy, and what makes your hearts sing.

Wedding Guest List Tip: If you really want guests who have young children to attend your wedding, you’ll need to invite their kids, too. Make things easy on yourself and hire a wedding sitter to entertain them. Also, you can have a dedicated kiddies table if your budget allows for it.

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7. Distant family, or family you haven’t seen in years

Your wedding shouldn’t be a family reunion. You’d want to spend it with close loved ones and immediate family and friends. It’s a very special day for you and your partner…

While family ties are undoubtedly significant, inviting distant relatives you haven’t seen in years might not align with the intimate and heartfelt celebration you envision.

As much as we cherish the idea of having all our family present, it’s essential to prioritize those who have remained an active part of your life.

Inviting distant family members whom you haven’t had contact with in years can create a sense of detachment. These guests might not be familiar with your current life, your partner, or the memories you’ve created together. Keeping your guest list filled with people who know and love you will ensure a warmer, more personal atmosphere at your wedding.

Also, extending invitations to distant family members can add to the logistical challenges and budget considerations.

Accommodating large numbers of guests you haven’t been in touch with can impact your overall wedding experience. You want your wedding to be an occasion where you can genuinely connect with each guest and create lasting memories together.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If you have distant family members with whom you’ve recently reconnected or with whom you share a special bond, then, by all means, extend that invite!

Wedding Guest List Tip: Remember, if the bride’s parents are paying for the entire wedding, they get first pick on who gets to be invited.

8. Family you’ve never met

Family connections can be far-reaching, and there may be relatives you’ve never had the chance to meet due to geographical distance or family circumstances. While the idea of having a big family reunion at your wedding can be appealing, it’s essential to consider the depth of your relationship with these distant family members.

Your wedding day is about celebrating your love story with those who’ve been a significant part of your life. It’s an opportunity to share this special moment with your closest family and friends, creating lasting memories together. 

Your guest list should be a reflection of the connections that have shaped your journey and the people who continue to be a source of love and support.

Are you still in the process of making those big wedding decisions and crafting your guest list from the ground up? Look no further – we’ve got the most comprehensive wedding planner around!

9. Friends you haven’t heard from in the last year or two

When it comes to planning your wedding day, it can be overwhelming to think of all the people you want to include in your celebration. 

One helpful tip is to surround yourself with a solid support system consisting of family and friends. By doing so, you’ll have people who can guide you through the process and keep you grounded.

Throughout this process, you may find yourself reconnecting with people that you haven’t spoken to in years. While it can be tempting to invite every person you’ve known since childhood, it’s important to focus on the special people in your life who have been there for you through thick and thin. These are the ones who have shown you love, support, and have helped shape you into the person you are today.

Remember that your wedding day is all about celebrating the people who are close and dear to your heart. By narrowing down your guest list, you increase intimacy on your big day and also save money.

Wedding Guest List Tip: If you haven’t spoken for a while, chances are, the friendship has died out. Maybe you can meet up with that person at another occasion (or a coffee date) in the future, but your wedding isn’t that occasion.

Also Read:

10. People who invited you to their wedding

It might seem like you should invite everyone who has ever invited you to a wedding, but that’s not necessarily the case.

It’s important to take some time to think about who you want to share this incredible day with. Keep in mind that you’re not obligated to invite anyone just because they invited you to their wedding. 

Again, this day is about celebrating your love and commitment to your partner, so it’s crucial that you invite the people you really want to be there.

It’s understandable to want to reciprocate invitations but don’t let that be the driving force behind your guest list.

11. Rude, obnoxious, unpleasant people

While it’s tempting to include everyone to avoid conflict, inviting individuals with negative attitudes can dampen the joy and harmony of your special day.

Surrounding yourself with the people who genuinely care about you, support you, and uplift your spirits is essential to creating a positive and memorable experience.

Inviting rude or obnoxious individuals might lead to unnecessary tension and drama during your celebration.

These guests can take attention away from the love and happiness you should be basking in. You want to create an atmosphere where laughter, joy, and heartfelt connections thrive, not one overshadowed by negative vibes.

Additionally, unpleasant people can disrupt the harmonious flow of your wedding day. You and your partner should be able to relax and enjoy every moment without worrying about dealing with difficult guests.

It’s essential to prioritize your own happiness and well-being when creating your guest list. If someone consistently brings negativity into your life, they may not be the best fit for your wedding day. Remember that you have the right to curate an experience that reflects your values and the love you share with your partner.

Wedding Guest List Tip: Limit your time spent as a bride-to-be with people who are emotionally draining – this goes for before the wedding and on your big day. Planning a wedding is stressful enough as it is…

12. Friends with a bad reputation

Friends with a bad reputation – it’s a delicate situation that can make wedding guest list planning a bit challenging.

While you might have shared good times in the past, inviting friends with a questionable reputation might not align with the positive and joyful celebration you envision for your special day.

Inviting friends with a bad reputation could potentially lead to uncomfortable situations and unnecessary drama. Your priority should be to have a smooth and enjoyable celebration, free from any negative vibes.

Having guests with a bad reputation might not align with the vision you have for your wedding day. You want to create an environment where laughter, joy, and heartfelt connections thrive, and everyone feels welcome and respected.

It’s essential to prioritize your own well-being and happiness when crafting your guest list.

If someone’s reputation raises concerns, it’s okay to take a step back and consider whether they are the best fit for your wedding day.

13. People whom you have invited simply to “fill up the list”

You might feel the pressure to have a large gathering or worry about offending someone if they don’t receive an invitation. However, inviting guests simply to meet a number can have unintended consequences and might not align with the genuine and meaningful celebration you desire.

Instead of inviting people out of obligation, focus on those who’ve been there for you, celebrating your highs and supporting you through the lows.

By curating a guest list filled with meaningful connections, your wedding day will be a beautiful reflection of your love story, surrounded by the people who matter most.

Trust your gut and let your wedding be a laid-back celebration of love, laughter, and unforgettable friendships. Cheers to a day that’s all about you and the ones who hold a special place in your heart!


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13 People to leave off your wedding guest list - The Wedding Club
13 People to leave off your wedding guest list - The Wedding Club
13 People to leave off your wedding guest list - The Wedding Club

by Tanya Guilfoyle

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Tanya has been an active contributor and planner in the wedding industry since 2016. When not writing useful content for brides and wedding professionals, she can be found designing templates for her Etsy shop, TWCprintables