Start with your closest families and then add those who are not. Before involving your families, sit down with your partner to start the guest list. Start with your immediate families and then add the closest family members you really want to be present. Next, move on to your closest friends, the ones you can't imagine getting married without.
In the case of a single guest, put only their name on the envelope. When talking to your friends about the wedding, be honest. Let them know that you can't afford to host a larger group or that you simply don't have space at the venue, and make it clear that there is no negotiating. There is no problem inviting a few people just to the party.
As for the wedding invitations, everything, including save-the-dates and reply cards, should focus on the reception. The ceremony should not be mentioned, so avoid ambiguous expressions such as "celebrate our wedding". To invite a select few to your vow exchange, include an extra sheet in your invitations requesting their presence. It is important to tell these guests that the ceremony will be very small so that they do not talk about it in front of non-guests.
If anyone attending the reception asks why they have not been invited, explain that it is for immediate family only and that you expect them to attend the party. 10 ways to shut out your wedding guests5 simple ways to make guests comfortable on your big dayHow to make your destination wedding easy for your guests. Address your invitations correctly to each guest by name, no and guests should understand that the invitation is only for those mentioned. If you see that some people respond by adding their children's names, call them and explain that you are having an adults-only wedding and that you expect them to be able to attend.
If there are a lot of children in your family, you may want to consider hiring or arranging for a babysitter. It's not mandatory, but it's a nice gesture. Be sure to include this information on the wedding website. Of course, we are all in this together and no matter where someone is on your wedding guest list, they will be happy to celebrate and support your wedding day, whether in person or remotely.
Your wedding invitations are one of the most important elements of your day because they provide guests with crucial information (as does your wedding website, which can house all the essential details such as venue information, registration and guest list). Guests spend the money to come to your wedding and give you a gift, so make sure they have a good time. To help you decide who to invite to your wedding, we share wedding guest list etiquette, plus the questions you should ask yourself to decide who to invite to your wedding straight from the experts. However, if you've attended a wedding in the last 18 months (and especially if you or your partner was part of the wedding party), that couple should also be on your guest list.
Standard etiquette dictates that everyone attending the ceremony (or bridal shower, engagement party or wedding reception) should be invited to the wedding, i.e. the ceremony and reception. Drawing up the wedding guest list is probably one of the first things you will do when you start planning the wedding.