Apart from matters of health and safety during the pandemic, couples may want to have a smaller wedding with 50 guests or much less because of reasons such as you want to stick to a budget, you simply don’t want to be the center of attention amongst a crowd, or you just can’t keep on postponing anymore and want to get married already even if that means having a smaller event for now.
But here’s the tricky part: telling your big family. The wedding guest list often tends to be a sensitive topic, especially when it comes to making a shortlist. Who and how many will be included? Will your Titos, Titas, Lolos, Lolas, and Cousins be offended if they didn’t make the cut? Here are some tips to help you.
Once you decide to have a small wedding despite the easing of quarantine restrictions, it would be best to let your relatives and friends know in advance. Set and manage expectations as early as you can so that people will already have an idea about your intentions rather than keeping everyone in the dark. It would be better to have the news come straight from you rather than just a social media post or waiting until it spreads through the family grapevine. This way, you are still showing people who would have been part of the big guest list that they are important to you.
You don’t really need a lengthy, detailed explanation about choosing to have a small wedding. It’s your day after all and what you decide matters. But it always pays to be kind and direct about it. Simply tell your family that as much as you want everyone to be part of your wedding, a small event is the best decision right now. You can express your own personal reasons for deciding to do so, too, but it would be a good idea to stick to a clear and concise explanation for everyone to easily understand.
It’s always a beautiful gesture to have your parents be included in the wedding preparations. Though sometimes they might insist on a guest list of their own, it would be a good idea to sit down with them and explain your reasons for having a small wedding. One of the major reasons you can give is that you are prioritizing safety which is why you would prefer to have an immediate family-only event without children and senior citizens. If you desire to only have one or two pairs of principal sponsors, tell them why this matters and is more meaningful to you than having a dozen. If you want to reserve the headcount for your closest friends or cousins as entourage members, clearly express your wishes.
You can also ask for their help in explaining your reasons to their sides of the family. Having a key family member represent you and convey your thoughts is also an appropriate method.
Choosing who to invite is not always an easy task, because you don’t want anyone to feel hurt and unimportant. But remember you still have the rest of your lives to spend quality time with every relative and friend you have. If you’re inviting people other than your immediate family, you might want to reserve in-person invitations to those who have a close connection with both of you or to members of your entourage like the Best Man or Maid of Honor, if these roles aren’t given to your siblings. People who truly love you will respect your decisions no matter what.
If you still have room in your budget or if you can set aside extra money, you can also hold different gatherings with your extended relatives like a post-wedding reception held at a later time. You can also commit to visiting your relatives in the provinces with your new spouse so you will all have the chance to bond. You might even want to host a party over a video call. Maybe you can also ask your parents to host an engagement party for you if they express the desire to have most of your relatives included in a special celebration.
Like many couples, you can also hire a supplier to livestream your wedding so everyone else can witness the joy of your special day even from afar!
Your wedding is such a significant milestone in your life, and what matters is how you would want to remember this special day of yours. If you need more advice on managing your guest list, take a look at these articles on how to communicate your change in wedding plans and how to plan an elopement.