Wediquette Wednesday: How do we divide up the guest list?

Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)

Question: My fiancé and I are about to start working on the guest list for our wedding. We both have big families and are very social. We are paying for parts of the wedding, my family is paying for the majority, but his parents are contributing, too. Needless to say, we are very grateful for everything and want to do the right thing regarding who gets to invite whom, but we aren’t sure how to split it up. How do we divide up the guest list?

Answer: Traditionally, the guest list would be split three ways: The couple’s guests, the bride’s parent’s guests and groom’s parent’s guests. This split doesn’t take into account who is paying the most, so don’t worry about that part. If you want to “donate” some of your spots to your parents or his, feel free to do so. Have everyone make a rough draft of their list, then start discussing where you can give and take, because in many cases it works itself out. If it doesn’t, revert to the rule of thirds.

Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email

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