Guest List Drama: Which Family Members Get a Say on Who Scores an Invite?

Everyone WILL have an opinion..

Updated 05/29/17

Photo by Vienna Glenn Photography

When it comes to a wedding, everyone (and we mean everyone) has an (often unsolicited) opinion, and nothing brings them out more than the guest list. You and your partner should have the final say, but who else does (and doesn’t!) get to give their input about who makes it onto the guest list? Here’s what our experts have to say.

The most important people to include in any guest list conversations are your parents, particularly if one or both sets are contributing financially to your celebration. Their opinions shouldn’t be the be-all end-all when it comes to who you’re inviting, but if they’re writing a check, they should get to have a say. Yes, that might mean you’ve got to up the guest list by two or three couples so your dad’s business partner can attend, but it’s all about compromise.

For those parents not contributing any funds to the wedding budget, you should still make sure they feel as though their families have been fairly represented, and that they are able to invite a few close friends, as well. As you’re drafting your initial guest list, be sure to include a few extra spots that the parents can fill as they wish. You’ll know that they fit in to the total you’re aiming for, and no one will have to worry about pushing you over what your venue and budget can allow. Getting married in a small venue? You might need to be more specific and let your parents know exactly how many extra people they can invite (just to make sure everyone fits comfortably).

Beyond your parents, asking for input from anyone else is up to you. There’s no rule stating that your grandparents, siblings, or any other relatives should have a say when it comes to your guest list—unless you really want their input! So, if you’re getting unsolicited advice from all directions, all you have to say is “We’ll keep that in mind!” and move on.

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