Come Away with Me: Making the Guest List

One of the reasons Mr. Sea Monkey and I chose to do a beach wedding is the intimacy surrounding it. One of the things we both agreed on was the fact that we both envisioned a small guest list. Neither one of us likes to be the center of attention, and we aren’t into the big party scene (ironic that we met at a party). We both agreed that a smaller guest list would allow us to focus on celebrating love. Not only the love we share for one another, but also the love we have for those we invited. We will actually have time to spend with every guest who took their time out to be with us.


Image via someecards

Most brides will agree that the guest list is one of the toughest aspects of planning a wedding. No matter who you are, or how big your wedding is, you will have to cut people somewhere and someone will get their feelings hurt. Not to mention, there will always be people that you “have” to invite. I definitely forewarn anyone to be prepared to have some wiggle room for a few changes. I also will suggest you practice putting your foot down when others try to dictate who you should invite. If not, you can lose control fairly quickly. While I agree that your guests are a very important part of your day, it is still YOUR day.

We wrote several guest lists before we got to the final one. What initially started as a nine person list quickly grew into a whopping 24 person list. As much as I hate breaking our loved ones down into lists, I just couldn’t see any other way to pick who we would be inviting to share in one of the most important days in our lives. This was one of the only ways to make the list “fair.” We didn’t have to spend hours deciding who would make the final cut, because we decided only the A and B list would make it. The rest will be invited to a dinner once we get back. It was still a very tough decision, but one we had to make to keep our small ceremony from getting out of hand.

Breaking it down also gave us a way to kind of soften the blow when we had to inform people that they weren’t invited. For example, if great Aunt Bertha (who I “met” as a newborn baby) asks why she wasn’t invited, I could simply say, “Sorry, Aunt Bertha. While we love the fact that you want to share this special time with us, our guest list was very small and we only invited immediate family.”

We ended up breaking the list down into three sections:

A) Immediate family we refused to have a wedding without
B) Other family
C) Friends and their spouses

Now, there are always exceptions to every rule. After a long conversation, we decided we would be expanding the guest list. Originally, we just were going to invite the A list, but there were people on the B list that I absolutely wanted there. On the other hand, there are family members I just am not close to. I wasn’t going to invite family members that I didn’t know, just because they were family. This would lead us away from the small beach ceremony we were going for and have us heading toward a giant party full of people we don’t know very well. Some I hadn’t talked to in years. I also have a friend that lived in Florida that I talk to every single day. We got engaged around the same time and have been good friends since elementary school, and I could never fathom getting married without her there.

Although 24 doesn’t seem like a lot at all, it was definitely a big step up from the initial guest list. We are both still very happy with the decision to expand the list to just beyond immediate family. We are expecting a few declines, so it will more than likely be even smaller anyway.

Are you planning a small wedding? What challenges did you face when making the guest list?


Mrs. Sea Monkey

Sunny Isles Beach
Wedding Date:
June 2015
Gallery of the Day: June 1, 2015
Classifieds: June 1, 2015
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  1. puffer Bee
    Mrs. Puffer 144 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:30 am

    You’re a stronger person than me! I tried resisting the growing guest list, but after a while, I just threw up my hands and let them do whatever. 🙂 Now that the guest list is so large, I’m fighting back a lot harder.

    Your guest list sounds perfect to me!

  2. msnarwhalbee Bee
    Mrs. Narwhal 87 posts, Worker bee @ 6:40 am

    For us, it was basically 10 (5 of which would be children) or ~160. The “problem” is that we have a lot of people in our lives that we are incredibly close with. While yes, I’m exaggerating a little by saying 160… but legitimately 100-120 of those on our guest list are people that we couldn’t imagine not sharing our special day with. We’re both very extroverted party people though 🙂 I mean, our wedding party is almost as big as your entire guest list!

    I think the most important thing is sticking to your guns about what is most important to you as a couple, and I think it’s so wonderful that you have kept your wedding small and appropriate for you both. It’s going to be so intimate! Part of me would love that, but then again, I feel like it will still feel intimate to us, because so many people on our guest list we’re really close with.

  3. msseamonkey Bee
    Mrs. Sea Monkey 12 posts, Newbee @ 8:04 am

    Fighting back was hard at first, because I’m bad at putting me first and not letting people walk all over me, but then I decided this is the ONE time it’s acceptable. Haha.
    And I think intimacy is definitely dependent on the situation. I definitely am not a “crowd” person, but some people are. Our days will all be perfect for us. I like seeing the variations when it comes to guest lists. 🙂

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