To Everyone But the Bride

September 23, 2011  |  Wedding Tips

I’m pretty fired up this morning and felt the need to post this.

Why why why do people INSIST on putting a bride in such an uncomfortable and stressful place.

Coming up with the guest list is EASILY one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning.

Why?? Because of the people on and off that list.

I talk with 100 + brides every year between planning, hourly consults and invitations and one of the most consistent problems I hear about is figuring out the guest list.

– Your twice removed, step-aunt is wondering why she didn’t get an invite

– Your cousin insists you have to invite this group of people

– Your mother-in-law wants to add 50 people to the list that even the groom has never heard of

What do you expect a bride to say to that?? Do you honestly think they have a choice to say no? Even if you give the out of “It’s still up to you,” they still feel obligated to not create waves.

Something I struggled with when planning my own wedding is feeling like everything was about me. I was just so afraid to come off selfish. A lot of brides feel the same way so they let people walk all over them even if it adds tons of stress to the wedding day.

Moms, mother-in-laws, fiance’s, friends: If you TRULY want to see the bride less stressed, stop ADDING stress. Don’t make anyone feel bad if they don’t invite someone. There are so many factors that go in to why people are or aren’t invited. Respect that.


I honestly have the best in laws (shout out to the Woerners!!) and they only added peace to the process. When I hear of some of the situations my clients are dealing with, I can’t imagine how anyone would do some of these things to brides. Know that the bride has several people to work with: her parents on her budget, her fiance in staying calm and not stressed out (because they normally bear the bulk of that) and the in-laws in growing that relationship, not harming it. When you send the bride your guest list with 100 people more than she said to invite, that’s incredibly disrespectful. You may ask for a little wiggle room but in general, respect the number she sends. She has them for a reason.


If you’ve been invited, respect your invitation. Did it say to bring a guest? Well, bring a guest. Did it not have “and guest”? Then don’t bring a guest.


Respect their decision and don’t get offended by it. EVERYONE is on a budget. I specifically tell guest to set their count by their budget, not by every person they think to invite. In this case, of course not everyone will make the list. If you do bring it up to the bride, you are basically putting YOUR feelings about the BRIDE AND GROOM’S OWN WEDDING DAY above the bride’s feelings. That’s so backwards.

This issue may seem small if you’ve ever just thrown out a “hey, can I come?” but it weighs heavily on brides. I see it first hand. They’re not only worried about hurting people’s feelings but if they do say yes, it’s putting a strain on their budget. Guests, you easily costs $40+ PER PERSON when you go to a wedding, couples $80+ and families $100+. I hope understanding their perspective will help know how to respond in different situations.

NOTE: I work with some incredible brides, not bridezillas. I understand some brides can take this to the opposite extreme and be demanding and pushy but this advice is based on my experience with brides who can end up letting their wedding day be about other’s wishes instead of their own. They are naturally unselfish and my hope is that they are surrounded by people who respect them and don’t put them in awkwardness.


  1. Holla!!! Needed to be said! People need to just chill sometimes 🙂

  2. I am planning my wedding now, and this is SO true. Love this post. <3

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