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August 26, 2020

Our Guide To Downsizing Your Wedding Guest List (COVID Addition)

DC Wedding Planner | Our Guide to Downsizing Your Wedding Guest List (COVID Addition)

If you’re on board today’s wedding planning rollercoaster, better squeeze in because it’s a packed ride! The struggle to create, and even sometimes recreate, your dream day is an all too familiar to-do list item for our couples getting married these days, and we’re right along there with them. Those getting married in this year (and potentially even next) are being faced with a wide array of guidelines and regulations, on top of living in a tri-state area. Seriously DC, MD, and VA we need you three to work together here.  

Some of those COVID-related restrictions placed on the wedding industry include face mask requirements, temperatures being taken in order to enter certain venues, 14-day quarantines for guests traveling from high-risk areas (DC has one of the area’s longest lists!), and social distancing of tables. In addition to these guidelines, there are special amendments made for food service, including cocktail hour bites and wedding cakes as well as stations and buffets. While the lists may seem endless, keep in mind that these protocols are put in place to maintain the safety of your guests and staff. As a result, couples are opting to downsize their wedding guest list and partake in minimonies by doing their part to keep contractions low but still tie the knot!

The Upsides

For starters, you save money. Splurging for upgraded table settings such as chargers, gold flatware, unique designer plates, specialty glassware, and luxury linens can really add up when you have a guest list of a few hundred people, but for 30 or so guests, providing everyone with an upgraded experience hurts your pockets way less.

DC Wedding Planner | Our Guide to Downsizing Your Wedding Guest List (COVID Addition)

With a smaller guest list, you can also focus your time and attention on more of your wedding guests. When you have a larger wedding, it’s almost impossible to do your rounds and make conversation with each and every individual, let alone snap a picture with them. A smaller guest list will also ensure your guests who are attending feel more comfortable given the current state of affairs. 

While we know this is all easier said than done, if you’re faced with the difficult task of downsizing your guests list in preparation for your big day, or even considering a minimony, here are some pointers worth considering to help you get the job done:

Create Your ABCD Lists Ahead of Time

We know all the blogs tell you to start with an A list and then have a handy B list off to the side for guests you’d like to invite if space permits. Well one tip we’re advocating to our couples to work on ahead of time is creating COVID restriction type lists, in a non pressured way. Basically use this time as an excretes to drop your guests lists in increments of 50, starting with those you absolutely need to attend, should you need to pull the trigger. That way when it comes time to tie the knot if we’re within a 50 max capacity for your venue, you already have your 50-person guest list handy and are ready to move forward as planned. If guests begin to drop off of your original list, you’ll also already have lists in order or priority to pull from easily and effectively.

Haven’t Talked to Them in Years? Cut Them.

Though easier said than done, it’s one of the easiest ways to get that guest list down to the bare bones. Leave off the long lost cousins, college buddies you haven’t heard from in a decade, and even your previous neighbors from three years ago. Most guests understand that you’re dealing with extenuating circumstances and may even be relieved to not be on your invite list at this current point in time. 

Eliminate Plus Ones

In your effort to keep your guest list as small as possible, eliminate the offering of allowing guests to bring a plus one. Most guests will completely understand your need to cut down on your guest list and will still be in attendance without their significant other. If they decide not to attend without a plus one, sadly they just made your job that much easier.

Give Guests the Option to Attend Virtually

Between live feeds, IG Lives, Zoom and even the newly launched LoveStream, the possibilities are endless when it comes to live streaming your wedding for those that can’t attend in person. In fact, recently we’ve seen a larger number of those viewing the wedding day online instead of being in attendance and the feedback has been more than positive. Here guests can purchase you a gift from your registry, leave a congratulatory note for the elated couple, and even request songs for the DJ to play, all from the safety and comfort of their home. With a number of guidelines and restrictions in place, at the end of the day your friends and family simply want you to be happy and share in on the moment as best they can.

Tiffany Rivera is a DC Wedding Planner & DC Event Planner serving DC, Maryland, Virginia and beyond! For more wedding advice, be sure to check out 5 Perfect Wedding Masks for You and Your Guests.

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  1. […] their wedding during a pandemic. With their original 225+ guest list, they knew early on that reducing their guest size to a smaller wedding was something they weren’t comfortable in doing, so postponing to 2021 […]

  2. […] the middle of a pandemic, among guest restrictions and even dancing bans in place (um hello Footloose anyone?), John & Stepheny landed on their […]

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