Wedding Guest List: Who should you invite to your wedding

So many parts of your wedding are determined by the size of your guest list, most importantly, your budget and venue. Right now, you might have parents insisting that you invite Mary from down the road along with those five aunties that you haven’t seen since you were a child – sound familiar? Of course, it’s good to keep your parents happy but when it comes to creating your wedding guest list you need to put yourself first.

guests toasting at a wedding

Though there are no set rules for guest lists, here’s our advice for creating yours:

1. Start with your immediate family and closest friends

These are the people that you couldn’t possibly imagine getting married without. This group could be ten people or 50 people, either way it’s the best place to start. This group usually includes parents, grandparents, siblings, close friends and your children.

2. Then move on to your wider circle of family and friends

This group of people are still very important but perhaps you don’t see them as regularly as the one above. The thought process for this group is that you would love to have them there on your big day, but it wouldn’t spoil your day if they couldn’t make it. People in this group range from aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and your wider circle of friends.

3. Consider those who you would like to invite if your budget allows it

For this section, we’re talking about your extended family, plus ones, cousins, friends you haven’t seen in a long time, travel companions for older relatives and work friends. Things can get difficult at this stage as your family might have strong feelings about who should be invited. Draw the line on who you’re inviting by considering your budget limits, venue capacity and the general vibe you want for your wedding day.

4. Think about those who you feel obliged to invite

There are many reasons why you might feel obliged to invite someone to your wedding. Perhaps your parents are paying for your wedding and want to invite their friends or other family members. Maybe you’re part of a hurling team and want to invite them. Or maybe you’re wondering whether to invite children or not. Again, you’ll have to consider your budget and venue limitations here.

Now that you’ve identified the different groups of your guests it’s time to ask yourself to go over your list a couple of times while asking yourself the following questions:

  1. When is the last time you saw this person?
    Have you seen them in the last year to 6 months? Nope? Well then you need to figure out if you should be inviting them.
  2. Why do you want to invite this person?
    If you can immediately think of the reason why you want this person at your wedding then perhaps they deserve a place on your list. Did they invite you to their wedding? Could you imagine getting married without them? Do you see them regularly? If you can’t think of a reason off-hand, perhaps you need to rethink inviting this person.
  3. Will the guest know other people at the wedding?
    This question is twofold. Apply it to plus ones that you don’t know and apply it to potential guests that might be lost on the day. Nobody wants to go to a wedding where they don’t know anyone else and for the most part, plus ones don’t want to go without knowing anyone either. Think about inviting a group of girlfriends together instead.
  4. When would you see this person after the wedding?
    Family members can be an exception to this. You might not see your cousins very often, but you want to have them at your wedding – that’s totally ok. We’re talking about people that you haven’t seen in ages and probably won’t see again any time soon.
  5. If you didn’t work with or live near this person – would you still invite them?
    This question can seem a bit brutal but it’s important. If these are the only reasons why you’re inviting someone you might need to rethink their place on your wedding guest list.

Planning a large wedding

Some couples may prefer to have a large wedding. Large weddings are quite common in Ireland, especially in the countryside. If you’re planning to have a large wedding you need to make sure that both your budget and your venue are up to it.

Large Wedding Venue 

At Clayton Hotel Sligo we cater for intimate weddings and weddings with up to 400 guests in our magnificent ballroom. Our wedding packages range from €49 per person to €63 per person allowing your wedding budget to stretch further when it comes to your guest list. Every couple that gets married at Clayton Hotel Sligo will have a dedicated team of wedding professionals to help with all stages of wedding planning – including the guest list.

Attend a wedding showcase at or get in touch with the inhouse wedding specialist and discover the value and service that you can avail of by having your wedding at Clayton Hotel Sligo.

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Clayton Hotel Sligo is currently open to essential travel only in accordance with government guidelines. During this time our leisure centre is closed.

Reasonable evidence confirming the stay is for essential travel must be provided on arrival, otherwise your booking will be cancelled.

Please contact our hotel team to discuss your requirements by calling +353 71 911 9000 or email info.sligo@claytonhotels.com