How One Bride Managed to Cut 100 People from Her Wedding Guest List

Etiquette, Planning Tips
Sarah Knight Bel Air Bay Club Wedding Venue

Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Knight

Meet our latest real wedding blogger Sarah Knight, personal assistant to Giuliana Rancic at E! Entertainment. Sarah is in the midst of planning her Los Angeles wedding and she's going to share each step of the process. From guest list tips to cake tasting with G while her fiancé is away playing baseball, follow Sarah's journey as she navigates the dos and dont's of wedding planning!

For me, one of the hardest parts of the wedding planning process wasn't color schemes or floral arrangements, but rather the dreaded guest list. After Bryce and I got engaged in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico we had a two hour layover between flights back home. We took that opportunity to start throwing out names for our dream guest list. 45 minutes and two Cinnabons later, we had a list of 310 people. Yes, you read that right. Three. Hundred. And. Ten. People.

"How is that possible?!" you might ask? Well, when your fiancé has played baseball for 20 years and refuses to lose touch with anyone he has played with or been friends with, you find yourself here. It's wrong of me to place all the blame on him. I admit, I was responsible for quite a bit on that list, but certainly didn't feel like I was overdoing it. We knew we would have to make cuts, but didn't know where or how to start. We decided to keep that handwritten list in a drawer and revisit it a little later. A little later finally rolled around — as it always does — and we figured out a way to make our list a little more manageable and realistic. Here's how:

See More: How to Figure Out Your Guest List, Invitations and Plus-Ones!

Decide on the venue — sometimes it will make the decision for you: We got engaged at the end of October and Bryce was due to leave for spring training the following February, so we didn't waste much time when it came to finding the perfect venue. After countless hours of scouring the Internet and asking family and friends for recommendations, my aunt called me to tell me to check out Bel-Air Bay Club. I immediately went to the Club's website and fell in love. I called and booked a tour the following day! The minute we parked our car, it was love at first sight. I got teary eyed (no surprise to those who know me!) and knew it was the place for us. While going through the details with our fabulous guide Carrie, we learned that the maximum number of guests for the club is about 200 people tops. We knew our venue search was over which meant it was time to cut our list down. Way down.

Have a sit-down with your parents: It was very important for Bryce and I to include all of our closest friends on our wedding day and in order to do that, we had to ask our parents to keep their own guest lists on the shorter side. Luckily, our parents understood.

See More: 5 People You Shouldn't Invite to Your Wedding

If you haven't spoken to someone in over two years, cut them: Sad, but true. Weddings are special, intimate and meant to be shared with your nearest and dearest. People grow apart and that is totally natural. Plus, people who have lost touch with you won't expect to be invited anyway ... Or at least they shouldn't!

No Ring, No Bring: This is the most common tip for reducing guest lists. While it would be wonderful to extend a plus one to all guests, that could send your total through the roof! Unless the person is married or engaged, they're flying solo. Besides, maybe the wedding will start a new love connection!

Hopefully some of these tips will help my fellow brides who are going through the same guest list woes that I did! Take a deep breath! It will all work out, trust me!

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