How to: Get Your Wedding Guest List Right

The guest list. The bane of many couples in the planning stages of their wedding. Who makes the cut? Where do you put those that did? Why pay for a …

The guest list. The bane of many couples in the planning stages of their wedding. Who makes the cut? Where do you put those that did? Why pay for a great uncle twice removed who you only ever see at funerals? Luxury wedding planner, Lexie Lenoir of Queer Weddings UK, shares her top tips for nailing your wedding guest list and seating plan.

1. Be Realistic About Your Budget
“Your budget will determine how the whole wedding will go,” says Lexie. Couples need to be honest about the final amount that they want to spend on their special day. There’s no doubt that weddings are expensive. Do you really want to give precious resources to those you speak to maybe once, twice a year, or have to pass on that amazing photographer because the boss you hate wants to eat like a king at your reception?

“Ask yourself whether you’re prepared to go beyond your budget. Once you know the ‘no-go, this-is-it’ figures, you’ll get a clearer idea about who you want to share the day with.”

2. Be Selective
We’re entering an era where small and intimate weddings are taking the world by storm. And whether the reasons for this boil down to budget, shrinking tolerances or something else, Lexie firmly believes that “intimacy is now prioritised over popularity”.

And as budgets are getting smaller, so too are the guest lists; to-be-wed couples are becoming increasingly selective with their choices. So how do you cull your guest list? Lexie recommends starting with a selection of core family and friends that you’re regularly in touch with.

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“If you haven’t spoken in more than six months to a year, why would they get an invite to your special day?” At the end of the day, there are no guests that need to be present. “Only those who are lucky enough to grace your lives should attend your special day.”

3. Seek Advice
Your wedding tribe has got your back, so turn to your nearest and dearest if you’re truly stuck with guest lists.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” she says. “It can be helpful to bring other opinions on board and it will give you a clearer idea of the bigger picture.”

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4. Don’t Be A People-Pleaser
Put yourself first. Although you may feel obliged to tick certain family boxes (particularly if you’re from a family with strong traditions), try to keep what you want at the top of your list.

“Your wedding is yours to enjoy,” Lexie points out. “Don’t let anyone ruin the day or the joyful experience of wedding planning. And if they do, well, they shouldn’t be present to celebrate with you. It’s your special day, so you should stay in control. You and your partner deserve a stress-free wedding; after all, you’ll never relive this special day again.”

Image Credits: Image by Daria Nova Photography

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Paris-born Lexie Lenoir has planned weddings in some of the UK’s most prestigious wedding venues including Tower Bridge, the Barbican, and Syon Park. She has lived in London for more than a decade and founded Queer Weddings UK to create beautiful unions for modern queer couples. You can find Lexie online at or on social media at @queerweddingsuk.

Kate Lovell
Author: Kate Lovell

Our very first writer for The Gay Wedding Guide with over 300 articles written. Unfortunately, she no longer writes for us as she left to focus on other copywriting and projects but she'll always have a dedicated place in our hearts here at The Gay Wedding Guide.

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