How To Downsize Wedding Guest List: 3 Best Ways

Those who want to know how to downsize wedding guest list can consider three polite ways. Your budget, closeness with the guests, and the priority guest list can help you easily slim down and limit your guest list for the wedding. 

We will also talk about who is included in the guest list and if the bride, groom, and wedding party are also included in the headcount. And for more tips, you can also read how to have a small wedding with a big family

how to downsize wedding guest list


3 Stress-Free Ways On How To Downsize Wedding Guest List


Planning the wedding guest list according to your budget

The easiest way to downsize your wedding guest list is to set your budget. You can provide your budget to the wedding vendors, such as the venue and catering, and they can mention the number of people it can accommodate. 

Downsizing your guest list is sometimes necessary because you might go over your spending capacity. Furthermore, the venue can only accommodate a specific size, and the catering can only provide the number of meals according to your selected package. 

For example, your initial guest list might be 150 people, and your budget, according to the vendors, is only applicable to 100 guests. Therefore, you can quickly identify that you must cut off 50 wedding guests.


Downsize guests by only having close friends and family

The next way to downsize the list of wedding guests is only to invite your closest relatives and friends. For example, you don’t need to ask distant relatives and work acquaintances, especially if you want the ceremony to be intimate. 

Alternatively, you can have your parents, siblings, and closest friends to have a really small wedding ceremony. And to avoid hurt feelings, simply invite the other people to your reception or a separate celebration down the line. 


Invite no plus-ones and kids

The third way to downsize the wedding guest list is to cut out plus-ones and kids. Plus-ones usually increase the headcount, especially if all your guests will bring one. 

It’s no longer taboo nowadays to request no plus-ones as long as you know how to say no plus-ones on the wedding invitation politely. Then, you can just seat all the single guests at one table so they won’t feel left out with the other people who brought their partners. 

Another easy way to downsize the wedding guest list is to have an adult-only wedding. Most parents even consider the wedding, especially the reception, as a night out with each other anyway. 


How Do You Cut A Guest List Without Hurting Feelings?

  • Consider how you imagine the wedding will be and how intimate and inclusive you want it to feel
  • With each guest, look back on your closeness, the last time you talked, and if you really want them to witness your union and celebrate with you
  • You don’t need to use your wedding as a way to reunite with all your relatives, schoolmates, or workmates
  • You don’t need to have a big wedding if it means compromising your dream event to accommodate many guests
  • Talk with your partner so you’ll have an equal amount of guests
  • Be prepared to stand your ground with plus-ones but speak with respect
  • Remember that this is your wedding and only you and your partner get to decide who should be there


How Do You Limit Guests On A Wedding Invitation?

  • Address who is invited in the wedding invitation and avoid confusing wording
  • Fill the wedding response card with the maximum number allowed per household
  • Mention that there are no plus-ones or children
  • Write on your social media account that you intend to have a limited wedding guest list
  • Write on your wedding website that you want a small wedding
  • Have your close friends and family spread the word

Here is a sample wording for the wedding invitation to have a limited guest list:

  • Regrettably, our chosen venue can only accommodate a certain number of people, and [x] seats are reserved in your honor. Please let us know if you will be joining our celebration. 

Here is a sample wording for downsizing the guest list:

  • With regrets, we have decided to marry in an intimate wedding ceremony. [X] and I sincerely appreciate your love and support, but for now, we ask that you celebrate with us in your heart from afar. We look forward to celebrating with you in person soon. We love you. 

You can also read how to plan a micro wedding for more tips on having a ceremony with a short guest list. 


What Is The Average Wedding Guest List Size?

The average number of guests at weddings is between 50 to 100. That being said, remember to include the bride, groom, and wedding party to the count.

And as for the vendors, please provide a separate list to the venue and catering to count for the photographer, DJ, MC, makeup artists, and other staff that you’ll also have in the ceremony and reception. 



And that’s it! We just learned how to downsize wedding guest list by considering the budget according to the venue and vendors, limiting the invites to close friends and family, and requesting an adult-only wedding with no plus-ones. 

You should also maintain boundaries and be prepared to explain why you’ll have limited seating. However, do not feel bad as weddings are no longer supposed to be reunions for relatives and acquaintances.

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