One of the things that makes your wedding day so special is that you share it with those who mean the most to you. But if numbers are limited, how do you narrow down the attendees? Although it can cause some hard decisions, sometimes it needs to be done so that your wedding budget remains feasible.

Claudia Postigo, the founder of The Planner Co., provides some guidance on how to make these difficult decisions, giving her expert opinion on how to choose the right guests for your big day.

Set Some Parameters

First, consider your budget. How many people you invite should always be guided by how much money you can realistically spend, as each extra person incurs an extra cost.

You should also consider your ideal venue and the atmosphere you’d like for your wedding. A smaller, more intimate wedding will mean a stricter guest list, while a larger affair with a huge venue allows for more flexibility.

If They’re Family And Friends

Start with your inner circle, including your immediate family members and closest friends. These are the people who’ve been integral parts of your life, so they should have a spot reserved at the top of your list.

If They’re Plus-Ones

Inviting plus-ones can significantly increase your guest count. A good strategy is to only give plus-ones to those who are married, engaged, or in a long-term relationship.

For single guests, consider whether you can afford the extra invitation. If a single guest won’t know anyone else at the wedding, it might make them feel more comfortable to bring along a plus-one. However, if they have other people they know to hang out with, chances are they won’t feel annoyed by being unable to bring an extra guest.

If You Haven’t Seen Them In A Year

If you haven’t seen or spoken to them in the last twelve months, do they need to be on your guest list? While your wedding can be a chance to reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a while, consider prioritizing those you make the effort to see often and give those you haven’t seen for a year or more a lower spot on the list.

If They’re Work-Related

Only include colleagues or professional connections if you meet up socially outside work. Your wedding is a personal event, so it’s okay to limit attendees to just your friends and family.

If They’re Extended Family

This can be tricky, especially in larger families! Be honest about your relationships: will their presence add to your day, or are you inviting them out of obligation? It’s okay to not invite distant relatives if you don’t have a close relationship.

If They’re Your Parents’ Friends

The same questions you asked yourself about inviting extended family members also apply if the potential invitees are friends of your parents. Your parents might just want to share the joy of their child getting married, but remember that this is your wedding. Are you friends with your parents’ friends? If not, they should be a low priority when considering who to invite.

If You Wouldn’t Go For A Drink With Them Alone

This ‘One-On-One’ test is a great way to separate mere acquaintances from genuine friends. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable going for a drink with them alone, consider why you feel they should be on your guest list.

Claudia says, “Review your list several times, and seek feedback from your families. Ultimately, it’s your day, and the final decision rests with you both”.

While following these tips might not take all the stress out of narrowing down your guest list, keeping these ideas in mind will give you some ideas on who should (and should not) be a priority.