Deciding who makes the guest list is no easy thing (seriously, we don't envy you). But making an already tough task even more difficult, says Sarah Glick, wedding planner at Brilliant Event Planning in New York City, "is the unspoken social expectation that anyone and everyone you interact with on a daily basis needs to be invited — read: your boss, your coworkers, the dog walker." She's here to tell you that's not the case, and give you five guests you can strike from your list, stat.
1. Your boss.
Glick admits that everyone feels like they have to invite their bosses in order to avoid awkward in-office situations. "Plus, there's the whole they control your job dynamic and, let's face it, we want our bosses to like us," she says. "But if you are only inviting your boss because you feel morally obligated, I would be willing to bet that your boss is only attending because they feel that it would be rude if they didn't. Do yourselves both a favor and skip the invite; your boss will (silently) thank you."
2. The friend that's not actually your friend.
Says Glick, "We all have that friend whom we rarely speak to, but that we feel obligated to invite on the basis that we have been friends for so long." But let's be real: A friend not in-the-know may not even be aware you're getting married. "If you haven't talked to someone in over a year, think about whether or not you truly want to share one of your biggest life moments with this person," Glick says. "If the answer is no, then he or she doesn't need to be invited."
3. Your parents' friends.
This is an especially tough line to draw in the sand if your parents are footing the bill for your big day. But Glick says that, "while your parents understandably want to have their closest friends present to help celebrate your big day, it's fair for you to draw the line at friends that you have met before. Begin the discussion with your parents by saying you appreciate all they are doing for you and truly want them to have their closest friends there to celebrate the day, but would like to keep the overall feel for the day as intimate as possible, and suggest that you look at the list together."
4. The Facebook friend.
Glick asks, "When you got engaged, did you have a Facebook friend or two pop out of the woodwork to congratulate you? This friend was probably not even someone you've spoken to since high school, but they sent such a nice note your way that now you feel obligated to invite them." Don't. Seriously, don't. "While it was sweet of this person to reach out, the Facebook friend — or any other person that sends you well wishes, but whom you don't really know — does not need to be invited," Glick says.
5. Distant relatives.
Your Great Aunt Sally, sweet as she may be, doesn't have to make your guest list. "Everyone has distant family that they see only when there is a wedding or a funeral, if you even see them then," says Glick, "and there seems to be an unspoken rule that all family gets invited, regardless of how close you are to them. But while this might have worked well a century ago when people lived closer to their extended families, it doesn't make sense now. People often live far away from cousins and other extended family and have little interaction, if any at all. If you only see them for a reunion-style event, you don't need to invite them."