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Budget Brides: Trim The Guest List, Not The Wedding Accessories

For brides on a budget (and let's be honest, who isn't on a budget these days?) balancing the line between a dream wedding and an affordable wedding can be difficult. You want a beautiful day that you will remember for the rest of your life, but you also don't want to spend the rest of your life paying off your debt. So what's a girl to do? You could cut out your wedding favors or reduce the amount of decorations you use, but because most wedding venues and vendors charge for their services by the guest, the best way to lower costs is to trim your guest list - not the wedding accessories! Read on to learn how to cut down your wedding guest list, without losing friends in the process.

Narrowing down your wedding guest list is never a fun thing to have to do, but since a lot of the most important details of your wedding plans are dependent on the number of guests you're inviting, it's better to just rip off the band-aid and get an idea of your final guest list as soon as possible.

It's understandable that you want to share the happiest day of your life with as many people as possible, but when you're on a budget this just isn't feasible. When creating your wedding guest list, put each guest into an A-list and a B-list. The A-listers you absolutely would never get married without having there; they most likely include your immediate family and closest friends. The B-listers are everyone else. Now narrow down your B-list by asking yourself some questions: How close are you or your fianc?� with this person? When was the last time you saw or spoke to this person? Would having him or her there on your wedding day really make or break the event?

Keep in mind that if you have to give a lot of thought to whether or not to invite a specific person, you probably should keep them off the list. And never ever invite someone to your wedding out of guilt (especially if you've never met them or just plain don't like them). If it helps to think of it by the numbers, ask yourself if you'd be willing to spend your per person amount on a guest if it was just the two of you going somewhere. For instance, if your wedding venue is charging you $100 per guest, would you treat your Aunt Mildred's dog walker to a $100 meal in any other circumstances?

Other ways to cut down on your wedding guest list: Eliminate old high school or college friends that you're pretty sure you'll never see again; second and third cousins who you wouldn't recognize if you ran into them on the street; and your parents' extras (unless your parents are the ones paying for the wedding). You can also make your wedding an adults-only event; invite single people without the option of a plus-one (it'll promote more mixing and mingling); and take your nagging coworkers off the list (anyone that invites themselves, saying they can't wait to receive their invitation, should probably get crossed off the list too).

You may feel bad about cutting people, but the reality is, a lower guest count is one of the most sure-fire ways to save lots of money on your wedding. If you get the guilt trip just be honest with people who didn't make this list. Explain that your wedding is going to be very small and it's impossible to invite everyone you want to. It might be difficult at first, but if they really are your friends, they will understand.

Last but not least, remember that it's your wedding and you should invite whomever you want! Don't sacrifice your dream wedding over a few wedding guests you'll never see again. Now go make your wedding guest list and start planning your once-in-a-lifetime wedding!