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Destination Weddings

How did you decide on guest list?

Having a DW that I want to be small and intimate. FI and I have a guest list which includes our families and close friends (about 30 people). This list does not include all of our friends so we have thrown around the idea of having some type of open house when we get home to see all of our friends or just inviting everyone to the DW and not worrying about another celebration. The main reason we are considering inviting everyone is because I don't want to offend anyone that isn't invited to the DW. The main reason we would not invite everyone is because I wanted the ceremony to be small and about FI and I, not about everyone else. We will be having a ceremony and then dinner at the site (no reception type event happening).

How did you all decide on who to invite to the DW? Did you have any at home celebration before or after that included people not invited to the DW and did you experience any conflict?

Thanks for any advice.

Re: How did you decide on guest list?

  • We are not having any guest at our destination wedding May 15 2015 but we are considering having a small reception with close family either before we leave or when we come back. 
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  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    We stuck to just close family and a few close friends to invite to our DW (about 30 people).  We also thought about having party back home after the wedding (nothing wedding-y, just a backyard BBQ), but I think we have decided not to do that either.

    I think most people understand when you say you are having a very small, intimate destination wedding and most people aren't hurt or upset by it.  So, I wouldn't really worry about hurting people's feelings.  Invite the people you absolutely need to have there (the people that you would be upset if they weren't there to share the day with you) and for the rest, just tell them that its a small DW, so you are only inviting family.


  • We considered having a party back home, but we decided against it since it felt like it defeated the whole purpose of us wanting to have a DW.  

    We have a lot of friends that we didn't include, and I know it's hard to feel like you're hurting people's feelings, but don't focus on that.  Think of the people that you would love to have be there with you and that you couldn't imagine the day without them (while considering that certainly doesn't mean they can/will/want to attend a DW).

    So we decided to keep our list to immediate family and friends, and each set of parents got four invites to include whoever they wanted.  We had different criteria for the friends we included.  For me, I just invited those that were active friends in our lives.  Overall, we invited about 90, and we had 40 that made it.  
  • Good Topic.  So this was our hardest decision as well.  We had talked about the guest list for about 6 months before making a decision.  My thoughts- it's your decision and you need to do what will make you both happy.  I at first thought of only inviting a few people (parents and bridal party) but then realized I really did want a full reception.  You need to figure out what is most important to you and what is within your budget.  Good luck
  • I am really struggling with this as well! We don't want more than 30ish people, but I can't decide whether to keep it to immediate family only (13 including us), or include close friends as well (which would more than double the wedding size!). I know I have at least one friend that will be very upset if she isn't included... but if I invite friends, it is very hard for me to determine who my "best friends" are and where to draw the line, and I'm very concerned about hurting feelings!

    So, if you figure this dilemma out, let me know :)

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