Wedding

Wedding Guest List Etiquette + FAQs

Let’s face it. Creating your wedding guest list will likely be fraught with stress.

It would be best if you thought about the venue and budget restrictions. But what about awkward questions such as: Should you invite coworkers? Are parents allowed to have a say in the matter? Can an adult-only reception be planned?

We’re here to help you with your most frequently asked questions about guest list politics. For our answer to the tricky guest list FAQs, keep reading!

Common Wedding Guest List Etiquette FAQs

If I’m invited to someone’s wedding, does this mean that I must invite them to my own?

This one can be awkward. If you aren’t close to the couple and the wedding took place a long time ago, it is unnecessary to return the favor out of obligation.

If the wedding took place within the past 12-18 months, or even more difficult… still to come, you can send a return invitation. A return invitation is a polite thing to do.

Do I need to invite my coworkers to my wedding?

Invite your coworkers (from both your side and your partner’s) to the party. It can make the guest list explode. If you have close friends who are also coworkers, they should be invited!

It would be best if you treated the invitations with care. Do not hand them out at work or discuss wedding plans with the whole team. Keep it professional and casual. You could also send an invitation to your coworkers for the ceremony and explain that your reception will be limited to close friends and family due to the venue or budget restrictions.

What if I don’t want to invite children?

You can have kids or no children, even making it family-only. However, nursing mothers should be considered. Adult-only receptions are becoming more popular over the years. Most parents will appreciate a night off.

To avoid awkwardness on the big day, communicate clearly with your parents from the beginning. Preparing parents is often as easy as a polite note on the wedding website.

Do single guests need a plus one?

We don’t all have the means to give a plus-one to everyone. Sometimes resources are not available. Before you implement a blanket ban, there are some things that you might want to think about.

A plus one is not required if the invitee is single but is close to many of your guests. A plus one is a nice gesture that can help guests alone and who don’t have any connection to their friends or family.

We also recommend that guests in serious relationships receive a plus one, even if they haven’t met their partner.

Are our parents allowed to have a say on our guest list?

This is the most important consideration. Are they contributing financially to the wedding? It’s fair to give them input if they are contributing financially. Ask your parents what they expect and whether they have any other guests they would like to invite. Tip: Make sure to have this conversation before you book anything.

Is it acceptable to send out a second round of invitations and create a backup list?

Although it might seem awkward, creating separate A and B lists is very common. Your A-list (non-negotiable guests) receives the first round of invitations. If space permits, your B-list (guests that you would love to include) gets the second round, pending RSVPs.

Send your A- and B-list invites early to avoid any hurt feelings. It will be quite obvious to send a last-minute message a week before the wedding.