Are you needing to plan a smaller wedding due to the pandemic? This crazy season we’re in is affecting everyone, especially those getting married. Many wedding venues are working hard to abide by social distancing and health protocols to keep their guests safe. That means that planners are having to limit their guest lists to meet maximum capacity restrictions. If you were planning on having 300 people at your wedding, that number might be cut in half or even more.
This means you’re going to have to make some tough decisions about who to keep on the invite list and who to cut. Luckily, we’re here to help you out. Here is what you need to do if you need to shrink your wedding guest list.
Talk with your wedding venue and find out what their maximum capacity is. If you have not yet chosen a wedding venue, the first thing you should find out how many guests will be allowed. If possible, you may be able to find a larger capacity venue. However, if you have a budget (who doesn’t?) then you need to work with the venue you have chosen to determine guest numbers.
Once you know your guest limit, you can take the next step to plan a smaller wedding and move on to creating the guest list.
The first thing you need to do when creating your new guest list is to determine who is a VIP guest. Who is a non-negotiable must-invite? Start with the wedding party and close family members who aren’t in the wedding party, like brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. Then choose close friends and family members next, like grandparents and lifelong friends. Basically, you want to invite the people you can’t imagine getting married without them being there.
Once the non-negotiable list is made, determine how many spots are still available. Now, you can begin to pull people from your original wedding guest list. Widen your circle out from your closest friends and family and segment people into groups like “extended family”, “college friends”, “coworkers”, “family friends”, and more. It might help to do this and determine if you can cut an entire group. It’s easiest to first cut friends you haven’t seen or spoken to in years, plus ones you don’t know, or people who are just acquaintances.
This won’t necessarily be easy, but it will make planning a smaller wedding due to the pandemic smoother.
Once you know exactly who you can invite, confirm everyone on your new guest list. You can send out new invitations, or if it’s easier, just use online messaging methods to reach out. Ask them if they are still planning on attending and who will be able to come. Some people may not want to travel or be around groups. This may be true for older guests. If someone cannot attend, then you’ll free up space to extend more invitations.
After you have decided and confirmed your new guest list, you will need to reach out to previously invited guests and let them know your decision. The best way to do this is with a personal phone call. Explain your situation honestly. Let them know you’ll be disappointed they can’t attend. If you plan on live streaming or recording the wedding, let them know they can participate that way. You may deal with some people who are upset, but remember that these are unusual circumstances. People will likely be more understanding than you might think.
If you need to plan a smaller wedding due to the pandemic and are looking for a wedding venue that can accommodate you, come check out Jennings Trace. It’s a gorgeous setting with breathtaking features that will make your wedding truly unforgettable.