Couples who planned to get married in 2020 or early 2021 have had to drastically alter their plans for the big day. So, whether you’ve had to postpone, cancel altogether or are now planning a completely different wedding – you’re not alone.

There are many restrictions currently placed on weddings and general gatherings, but possibly the most difficult to navigate is the guest list. Especially if you come from a big family, or had already invited 300 people, you may be wondering ‘who do we invite?’

Let us start by saying that no matter whatever steps you need to take to make your wedding COVID-friendly – your guests will understand. We’ve all had to become adaptable and understanding this year, so don’t worry about hurt feelings as you navigate your next steps.

Paring your guest list down will make your guests who are attending feel more comfortable given the current state of the world. That being said, reducing your guest list is much easier said than done. So, if you’re looking to turn your big wedding day into an intimate affair, here are some pointers:

Start With The People You Cannot Imagine Your Wedding Day Without

Who did you text first to share the news of your engagement? These are likely the people that you absolutely want to have at your wedding, no matter how small of a guest list you’re working with. Since you likely have regular conversations with these people, it’s a good idea to reach out and confirm their availability on the date you intend to get married. Doing so will help you determine how many additional guests you can still invite. Consider these your VIPs- parents, close family, bridal party and friends you can’t live without.

Adjust Your Guest List

Photo Courtesy of Luminous Weddings, more from this wedding here

Make Deep Cuts

While it may not be easy, cut anyone you don’t have regular contact with – cousins you really only talk to at holidays, college friends or people you only really know because of someone else. Given the current circumstances, none of these people are going to be upset about being left off your list.

Eliminate (Unnecessary) Plus Ones

Unless they are in a long term committed relationship and you are friends with both parts of a couple, it makes sense to eliminate plus ones. Most guests will completely understand your need to cut down on your guest list and, if you’re someone they truly care about deeply, will still be in attendance without their current paramour.

Give Guests The Option To Attend Virtually

There are many ways to incorporate virtual attendees that go above and beyond a typical Zoom meeting. From virtual photo booths, to the ability to make toasts and participate in the big day – giving your guests the option to attend virtually will not only cut down your guest list, but it gives people the option of staying home if they feel uncomfortable attending in person.

So, whether you’re planning an intimate ceremony now and a big celebration later, or you simply want to keep your original wedding date – sizing down your guest list may be a necessary evil. But don’t worry, those who matter won’t mind, and if they do, maybe you don’t want them on your guest list to begin with!