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Coronavirus wedding - Tips to cut down your guest list

What a heartbreaking decision to have to make but the reality is that if you want to still get married in 2020, your best bet may be to cut your guest list. Here are some considerations to get your guest count down to a CDC compliant guest list.


  • Get clear on how many people you can invite - A gathering of 50 people or less doesn’t mean you can invite your 50 closest friends. You and your soon-to-be spouse are 2, vendors that will be present for the event (photographer, caterer, servers, bartenders, etc.) count as well. So do the math on essential staff first to figure out your guest count number.

  • Cut kids – unless they are in the wedding, consider asking your friends to leave their kiddos home

  • Plus ones – take a look at who has a plus one. Friends wives and husbands are certainly a yes, but your 2nd cousin’s new boyfriend who you haven’t even met yet may not make the cut

  • Friends of parents – when parents are helping with the budget and therefore the guest list, this one can get a bit touchy. But ask your parents to be critical with their lists as well. Set a realistic expectation of how many friends they can invite. Ask them prioritize and maybe come up with an A list and B list. If you have space, the B listers can get an invite!

  • Distant friends – We all have those old friends we don’t necessarily talk to all the time but when you do, you pick up right where you left off. Those oldies but goodies should certainly be there to share your big day. But those old friends who have sort of drifted maybe not… good rule of thumb; if you haven’t seen or spoken to them for more than 1 year, consider cutting them from the list.

  • Distant family – this is a tough one. How do you invite your uncle who you love and see all the time, but not the one who you never really clicked with? Often when parents are involved with the guest list, family invites can get more complicated. Discuss with your parents to see who is top priority and who they are willing to add to the B-list.


Tough times to be planning a wedding and these are certainly awkward conversations to have. Ultimately, just let folks know how difficult of a decision it was for you to make. Let them know that while you’d love to share the day with them, your priority is to get married and you can always celebrate together later!

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