DON’T: Invite guests to showers or parties if you’re not inviting them to the wedding.—Mary Douglas, owner, Bringing it Together Events
DO: Write invitations yourself. “The wording of the invite and the manner in which you mail it should be a notch above. It should say this day is special and it means a lot to us.”—Joyce Criswell, owner, The Bride’s Maid LLC
DON’T: Invite exes. “You’re getting married. It’s a new beginning.”—Abby Mitchell, owner Abby Mitchell Events
DO: Communicate your wishes when it comes to kids. “It’s okay not to include children. Just politely say it’s an adult-only event.”—Lenette Kujawa, owner, Aflair Events
DO: Include significant others if they’ve been in a relationship for a year or more.—A.M.
DON’T: Communicate unnecessary details on the invitation (registry info, cash bar, kids policy, etc.). “I think the idea of having a website is always the better option [for communicating] things to the guest.”—M.D.
DON’T: Worry about inviting someone simply because you were invited to their wedding. “You should set your own guest list. Someone could feel really close to you, but you don’t feel close to them.” There’s an exception: “If it’s close in time, like within the same summer, just invite them. But if they’re six to eight months apart, don’t worry about it.”—A.M.
DO: Consider separate guest lists for reception and ceremony. “A lot of brides find themselves in a real bind because they can’t tell their brother not to bring a niece or nephew. So now they say they can come to the ceremony but have an adults-only reception.”—J.C.
DO: Consider providing a babysitter. “If you’re going to invite out-of-town family and they’re paying for a hotel, the bride should offer to [provide a sitter].”—M.D.
DON’T: Ask for online responses. “Not everybody is computer savvy. Some of your mother’s friends may not want to go online.”—J.C.
DON’T: Feel pressured to invite people if you don’t have the space or money. “Every situation should be thought through thoroughly, as some people will be offended. It’s your day and your call.”—L.K.
DO: Envision the event. “The people you invite to your wedding should be special people in your life. Do you want to hang out with your closest friends and family, or 100 random people that brought you a gift and are taking your time?”—M.D.