It’s My Party


Dear Dharma, 

I am in the process of planning a wedding and I’m having troubles with the guest list. My fiancé and I want to stick to a certain budget and have a small wedding. Our problem is, our families are huge and we are way closer to some of them than others.

I know that most of the extended family probably won’t come as the wedding will be held far away. I know there are a FEW select extended family members that we are close to that WILL come. 

I know it would be rude to invite one cousin and not the other. I speak to one cousin weekly and the other one I haven’t seen or spoken to in years. I don’t really need them to come, which sounds awful. I mean… great to see them but I would rather save the space for people we are super close to.

What is the guest list etiquette here? Do I have to send an invite to ALL the cousins, etc. or can I send the invites to the family I am closer to only? I’m worried if I send it to everyone, they will all surprise us and come and our budget will be blown.

Can we send out our invites to select people, get their responses and our numbers then if we have more room can we send out the next wave? I just don’t know what’s a total no-no and what we can get away with without hurting feelings.


Confused Bride


Dear Confused Bride,

Planning weddings is such fun, isn’t it!  You go into it thinking it’s all cake tasting and tiara’s, but really, no.

So here’s the thing, and it’s a super hard line to stick to.  It’s your wedding, and your money, so invite who you want.

Try to put the word out there, especially with family members, that you would love to invite the entire world to come and celebrate with you, but your budget just won’t allow it.  Hope that people will understand, but expect they might not, and own that too.

There’s never a way to please absolutely everyone, as much as you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.  That’s just the way of the world, non?

In regards to a tiered invitation system, I’m not so sure about that.  It seems that’s where you risk hurting people’s feelings when they realize they are on the B list… But hey!  You know these people better than Dharma does, and what their reaction would be to a second wave invite, so do a risk analysis as the situation unfolds.

For what it’s worth, Dharma would be more than happy to be on your B list, if that helps you any…  🙂



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  • Sharia Ali says:

    I think the second wave of invites may not be such a bad idea after all. What you can possibly do is send out the first round of invites with ample amount of time, and give those people a certain time line to confirm by? Like for example, by the end of a specific month? Add that no response by that time/month, may allow for their spots to be considered as ‘not attending’. After all, the first round of people you’re inviting are people that are close to you, and they should/would understand how important it is for you to get a response of their attendance within a certain time. Anyone that has a specific reason for not being able to rsvp can make the effort to let you know why!

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

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