Wedding Wednesdays: What To Do About ‘Extra Guests’ At Your Wedding [Episode 40]


Your guest list size can greatly influence your wedding budget! So if you’re in a pickle, you will want to limit your guest list. But what do you do about plus ones, guests your parents want to invite and children of your guests? Today we’re covering all three scenarios! 



Episode breakdown

Plus ones

“So my partner and I are having a bit of a disagreement about plus ones. Our numbers are quite high already and I think we shouldn’t give some people plus ones, he disagrees. We have a big circle of friends (they all know each other well) that are coming and a lot of them don’t have partners. We were going to give friends with partners plus ones, but not to guests who are single or know loads at the wedding. Is this cheeky or what are peoples thoughts on this? It could potentially add an extra 40/50 to our already 220.”

The answer:

People who should get a plus one:

  • Guests who are married, engaged or living together.
  • Or a guest who doesn’t know many people. 
  • Your wedding party and close family members (siblings, single parents etc)

Who doesn’t need a plus one:

  • Your coworkers.
  • Guests who are casually dating. 

Here’s what to do with single guests who won’t get a plus one:

  • Seat them with friends they know! 
  • DON’T have a singles table – nobody wants this. 


Your parents’ friends

What do you do when your parents start providing lists of names of their friends they want to invite to your wedding?

Here’s how to navigate this:

  • Agree on specific numbers – for example, each set of parents can invite 20 guests. It doesn’t matter what the relationship is with those guests, if they fit into the number. 
  • Have a frank conversation before you send out save the dates!
  • Trade friends for friends – let your parents know that if any guests RSVP no, that slot will be available for them to invite a guest. 
  • See if they are open to paying for any guests they’d like to invite. 

No matter what: remember that this is your day, but it’s equally special for your parents too! They want to celebrate this milestone with people who are close to the family. 



Should you invite children to your wedding? Here’s what you should consider:

  • Can you afford to have these little guests at your Big Day?
  • Will the relationships with the parents be negatively impacted if you don’t invite the children?
  • Will you need to arrange special meals, childcare or any other extras for the children?

If you end up deciding NOT to invite children to your wedding, these are your options:

  • Be discreet: address the invitation to only those who are invited (the parents). 
  • A bit more explicit: add “adult reception followed” on the invitation. 
  • Be direct: Add a line like this “in order to give all guests, including parents, a night of relaxation, we have chosen for our wedding to be an ‘adults only’ occasion. We can’t wait to celebrate with you”. 
  • Just don’t broadcast “no children” everywhere. 



Whatever you choose to do, have a solid rule to follow. 

For example: 

  • Only children under 2 are invited. 
  • Only plus ones for the wedding party.
  • Parents can invite X amount of friends. 

A hard and fast rule will mean it’s trickier for people to be hurt or offended!