Q: How can I divvy up the guest list?

A: Here are some of her guidelines for dealing with the guest list: If parents are paying for the wedding, they traditionally have dibs on a little more that half the invite-slots. It's also common for the guest list to be divided in thirds—one for the bride's parents, one for the groom's, and one for you and your guy. All relatives—even your favorite aunt—go on your parents' list. If you and your fiancÚ are paying for the wedding, the two of you get most of the invites. The groom's family sometimes chips in so that they can invite people who might not otherwise fit on the list. You and your groom are the ones to decide whether or not to invite children or Sally Smith and "Guest," meaning Sally and her date. When in doubt, don't leave anybody out. If you are asking yourself whether to include someone, send the invitation. A common regret later on is that someone was excluded. As for stepparents, ex's and any other guest who might feel uncomfortable in another's presence, arrange seating so that they can keep their distance, and, if asked, say you are doing so. It is up to your invitees to decide whether or not they will attend.

See all questions about family, friends, and guests etiquette

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