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How to Downsize Your Wedding Guest List for Covid

2020 has been a real rollercoaster of a year for engaged couples. With so many challenges to overcome, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is cutting your guest list. Government guidelines are in place to protect us, so if you are in a position where you need to downsize your wedding guest list, we’ve got some helpful tips on what to do.


Start with your A list and your B list

When you begin to downsize your wedding guest list, the first place to start is to ask the question “Who do we need to have at our wedding?”. This is your A list, or your VIP list, the people who you simply cannot get married without. This list is different for everybody, but it is likely to include your parents, siblings and bridal party. You know, the ones you just couldn’t wait to celebrate your engagement with. Usually, it’s the ones you are in regular (text) conversations with.

Next, work on your B list. These are other close family members and friends who you love dearly. If somebody from your A list isn’t able to be at your wedding, or if government restrictions ease up and you can invite more people, start with your B list.


Who should you cut?

If you still need to further downsize your wedding guest list, there are a few groups you can politely cut.

Begin with any vulnerable guests. Your elderly grandparents or anybody you love dearly who has a chronic illness which suppresses their immune system. As difficult as it will be not to have them at your wedding, they will understand that for their own safety, it may be best for them to join in virtually instead. In fact, these guests may feel relieved that you don’t expect them to attend.

Next, consider anybody who lives abroad. Of course, any friends and family who are willing to travel far to celebrate with you would probably be on your A list, but you need to be realistic and practical. Depending on where these guests are traveling to and from, they may be required to self isolate for up to two weeks before and/or after your wedding day. For this reason, tell them you don’t expect them to travel for the wedding.

And finally, there are a few groups of people you can eliminate when you downsize your wedding guest list. This list will look different for everybody, but here are some places to start:

  • Extended family
  • Friends of your parents
  • Work colleagues (especially now that you aren’t seeing them every day in the office)
  • Those uni buddies you haven’t spoken with in a decade
  • Children of friends (an adults-only wedding is one quick way to downsize your wedding guest list)
  • All plus ones
  • Anybody you haven’t had recent contact with


How do you uninvite somebody?

The above information is really helpful if you haven’t yet invited anybody to your wedding. But what do you do if you have invited people and you now need to uninvite them?

First, be clear and upfront. There’s no use beating around the bush, so communicate very clearly.

Next, find a way to touch base with your guests individually. You may want to do this over the phone, but it is only necessary for guests you have already invited, or guests who expect to be invited.

Soften the blow by inviting them to attend your wedding virtually. There are lots of creative ways you can include your virtual guests in a wedding over Zoom!

And lastly, remember that most guests will not be offended. This is a really strange time for engaged couples, so nobody will take it personally if you have to cut your guest list down from 150 to 25 overnight. It’s no easy task.

Related: Email Templates to Use if You’ve Changed Wedding Plans Because of Covid

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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