Is it inevitable that you’ll upset someone when putting together your wedding guest list?

Is it inevitable that you’ll upset someone when putting together your wedding guest list?

Of all the aspects of organising weddings in Gibraltar or elsewhere that have potential to cause more than a bit of political anguish, perhaps the greatest is the assembly of the wedding guest list. 

You know the state of play; you have certain people you know you want to see at your wedding, and then certain others you might be ambivalent about, and then some more people who you absolutely do not want to invite. And that’s before you get to the separate matter of who might be upset or offended not to receive an invite, and how you can possibly manage this. 

All of a sudden, an act as seemingly straightforward as deciding on a wedding guest list and sending out the invites can feel like a minefield. So, let’s consider some of the ways you can begin to navigate this potentially tricky part of the planning of your nuptials. 

Prioritise your budget, not fears of causing offence 

That’s right; even during times outside of the present when the cost-of-living crisis has put particular pressure on many people’s wedding budgets, it is the financial implications of your guest list that should most concern you. 

It is really important to keep within your means when you are considering how big to make your wedding guest list – and that decision, in turn, will mean that you can include some people, but possibly not others. 

You won’t want to start off your married life regretting that you blew the budget on trying to accommodate everyone – even that friend of a friend’s teacher who only met you once a decade or so ago. For practical reasons alone – which will also include the size of the wedding venue – you will almost certainly have to be selective to some degree. 

So, should you be considering other people’s feelings at all? 

Of course, we aren’t saying you shouldn’t take the emotional side of things into account when you are putting together your wedding guest list – your wedding will be one of the most emotional days of your life, after all. 

But above all else, your wedding should be a celebration of the love that you and your sweetheart have for each other – not a tightrope act of trying to avoid the faintest chance of anyone being upset that they were left off the guest list. 

In any case, there are solutions for managing any such risk of upset. One potential ‘compromise’ could be to invite only a small number of your closest family and friends to the ceremony, followed by holding a reception to which a much broader range of people are invited. In that situation, it’s unlikely that a colleague of yours who you only chat to now and then, will exactly be offended that you didn’t invite them to such a small and exclusive ceremony. 

Speaking of colleagues, if you can’t fit them in on the guest list of either your ceremony or the reception, why not suggest after-work drinks as a way of celebrating your union instead? 

And as we touched on above, there are always going to be certain people who you will find very easy to rule out of inviting, and whose upset at not being invited probably wouldn’t be a great concern to you. We’re referring to such people as those who may act in an embarrassing way whenever they’re drunk, and those who just stress you out in general. 


Basically, what we’re saying is that it is possible to navigate the politics of wedding invitations, without necessarily upsetting people. And if you would appreciate further advice and assistance with the broader range of tasks involved in planning a wedding such as the weddings in Gibraltar that we routinely organise ourselves, you are very welcome to contact the Sweet Gibraltar Weddings team