Yours, Mine & Ours: How Do We Handle the Guest List?

M and I have had a guest list since before we got engaged. We knew we wanted to start saving for our big day, so we made a rough draft of the list ahead of time to give us guestimates of how many people we’d be hosting with a rough idea of cost/head. Since then, the guest numbers have gone up and down but we are trying hard to stay firm at a specific number so that we can reserve an area of our uniquely-shaped reception space for dancing, something I see as an essential piece of our wedding.

Given that we have financial and physical space constraints there will have to be some sacrifices, but where do we make the cut? Family is generally a no-no, but we’ve been trying to stick to the “Have I seen them in the past year?” rule. Same thing with friends. We’ve decided to just say no to co-workers because that’s a whole other can of worms and politics that neither of us has the patience for right now.

After working with the list I can say that concessions have been by both of us, but there’s still one potential guest who is like a thorn in my side. This person is a friend of M’s who has not always been nice to me, or him for that matter, but is friends with others who are must-have invites. M says it will be okay to cut this person from the list but I feel that if they are not there it will be the final nail in the coffin for their friendship, something M has not yet been ready to let go of. Recently things sort of came to a head with M and this person and it is still in an unfortunate and ambiguous grey area. I feel as though I’m between a rock and a hard place with whatever I say in regard to the situation, and especially in regard to the invitation. If I have this person at my wedding just the sight of them will remind me of how they have acted toward us and the difficulty it caused in our relationship. But if we don’t invite them it will surely be the end of a friendship and I will feel to blame for not insisting that we have them, something I think part of him will always want. I’ve never been the type of woman to want a man to stop seeing any of his friends, and this is no exception, though I wish this person would step up and truly make amends for how they’ve acted – and I almost feel like we’ll always be in this grey area until that happens.

So instead of giving advice, I am asking for it: What should I do? What have you done in a similar situation? Did not inviting someone to your wedding permanently affect a friendship?

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your comments. – A


January 7, 2011. Tags: , , . 2011.


  1. joyce replied:

    I would drop the so-called friend (scf) from your invite list. You want your wedding day to be happy and joyous. You shouldn’t have to feel like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop if the scf is invited. And, if it is the final nail in the coffin for M’s friendship, then so be it, since M has already given the go ahead to cut the scf.

  2. HarmonySweetpea replied:

    I think you should tell M that its okay to have this person here and let him make the decision if you are doubtful of making it yourself. Its his friend afterall, so let him make the call. If he isn’t too fussed then hopefully he will be ready to make that decision to not invite him anyway.

    We had one tricky one too. My husband had the singer from his band as one of his groomsmen. This person’s partner and I used to be good friends but for reasons I have no idea about, we don’t talk anymore. After much indecision, i was the bigger person and sent her a wedding invite. We heard nothing from her so that was that. But in our case, this person wasn’t likely to come. Yours is different because if you invite him, he probably will.

    You want guests at your wedding who you want in your life in the future though so maybe make that point to M before giving him the decision. You want it to be a positive occassion.

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