The effects of COVID-19 are still around and, for most of us, that means staying at home to stay healthy. But isolation doesn't mean you can't continue to plan your wedding. In fact, in a lot of ways, staying at home gives you more time to complete your wedding planning.

After determining your budget, one of the biggest questions on your wedding planning checklist is how to decide who to invite. If you've decided on a destination wedding, not every intended guest will be able to attend. If you're getting married in your hometown, you may not be able to afford to invite absolutely everyone. So how do you decide?

  1. Start by making a 'dream list' with your partner. If you had all the money you needed, and if everyone you invited were able to attend, who would you want at your celebration?
  2. Acknowledge the type of wedding you want: large, family-only, intimate.
  3. Allot each family the same number of invitations.
  4. Decide whether you want children at your wedding. Maybe you're okay with them at the reception but not at the service. Or maybe you'd like to invite them to the dance after the dinner. Whatever option you chose, decide it early in the 'wedding guest' process. Recognize that some people may not attend if their children are not included.
  5. Make a "B" list. "A general overall percentage between 75-85 percent of wedding guests usually attend." The breakdown: 85 percent of local guests, 55 percent of out-of-town guests, and 35 percent of destination wedding guests will show up, Buckley said. But then it gets mucky.

  1. Decide if you want to include a "Plus One" for your single guests. Although this option is becoming more popular, it is not, according to The Knot, required.

  1. Once you've answered those fundamental questions, you will probably find that your wedding guest list is larger than you want or can afford. Begin whittling away at the list by asking yourselves these questions:
  1. Is this person an automatic 'yes'? There are some family members, friends and neighbours that are 'non-negotiable'.
  2. Do you believe you will be in contact with this person in five years time?
  3. Have you shared lots of experiences with this person?
  4. Would you miss this person if he/she were not at your celebration?
  5. Were you invited to his/her wedding?
  6. When was the last time you had contact with this person?

Eventually, you will determine the guests you want and can afford to have at your wedding but know that you might have a bit of 'guilt' around people you weren't able to invite.

Although our in-person classes are not available right now, the Institute of Wedding and Event Design (IWED) continues to offer its courses online. For more information about the program and financing options, check out

How did you or are you deciding your wedding guest list? Post a comment. We'd love to hear from you.

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