‘Can I uninvite a plus one?’ How to deal with 5 problematic guests you don’t want at your wedding.

There's a very specific type of stress that comes with planning a wedding.

It's a feeling so many brides (and grooms) know all too well. And it usually begins from the moment the novelty of a proposal has worn off... because that's when the hard work really starts.

From wedding dresses and tailored suits to bridesmaids and groomsmen; from food and bar tabs to venues and wedding cakes, it's all just so... hard.

But we want to talk about a very specific part of planning a wedding – and that's the invites.

Or rather, who's getting invited. And who's... not.

We brought in Amy Parfett, the co-founder of Wed Shed, to ask her every burning question about who to invite (and un-invite), and what kind of fallout you can expect when you leave certain names off the list.  

Watch: How much do Aussies spend on weddings? Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

There's not a wedding-related question Parfett can't answer because, quite frankly, she's seen it all. 

Here's your very specific rundown on wedding invite etiquette, including what to do, what not to do and how exactly to craft the wedding guest invite list of your DREAMS.


The general rules on how to make a good guest list. 

Parfett tells Mamamia that creating a wedding invitation list can be one of the biggest challenges for a bride and groom. 

"The nature of weddings means you can't really invite every man and his dog – nor should you," she says. "You need to be really conscious when it comes to putting together an invitation list."

Her advice would be to create a shared spreadsheet between the bride and groom and start with a really broad list of potential invitees.

Then start to collect each person into "no-brainers" list and a "maybe" lists.

"It's definitely not a romantic way to do it but you have to be aware that the more people you have, the more expensive your wedding will probably be, and that this is a way to help you get really clear on who you actually want to have at your wedding," Parfett says.

"A good way to think about it is, 'Am I happy to shout this person a really expensive dinner?' Because that's the reality of what your wedding will probably will be like."

Do I have to invite my estranged parents to my wedding? 

If you're currently in this situation, remember you're not alone, says Parfett. 

"We've got a Facebook group called Wedchat by Wedshed and there are close to 25,000 people in there," she tells us"And [questions about estranged family members] is something that comes up really frequently in there."

A lot of the time, brides and grooms ask about how to best manage their relationships with people they don't want to invite – including estranged parents.


"Family drama is heartbreaking when you're just trying to create a celebration that is all about you and having a great time," she says. "Overall, family is always a tough one. But if you're only inviting someone because you're feeling guilty, then the answer is probably not to invite them.

"I know it sounds simple when it's actually not. But really, when you get to the crux of it, your wedding day is a day that's about no one else. The only people that you have an active relationship with should be there to witness it and be a part of it."

Do I have to invite someone who invited me to their wedding?

Just to clarify, you never have to invite someone to your wedding that you genuinely don't want there. 

But for complicated potential guests who you're really unsure about and need a little guidance on, Parfett says it's important to look at the bigger picture.

One big question that often gets asked by brides and grooms is whether they have to invite a certain cousin/distant relative/old friend they haven't spoken to in years just because they were invited to theirs.

Confusing, we get it.

However, Parfett makes the answer simple by telling brides and grooms to ask themselves the right questions:

How long ago was the wedding they invited me to? 

If the wedding was a long time ago, and you've lost touch, then does it make sense to leave them off the invite list? 

"Relationships change, but it's also okay not to reciprocate, even if their wedding was more recent," she says.


"Weddings aren't a tit-for-tat game. And if you're only planning on inviting someone as a token gesture, I'd suggest you save the seats for people who are genuinely more valued in your life now."

Do I have to let my MIL's friends come to my wedding?

When you're talking about guests that you don't even know potentially coming to your wedding, there's an added layer of complexity. And Parfett says an invitation list from parents isn't uncommon, especially when they might have pitched in for the wedding financially. 

"When a financial contribution comes along, it's not surprising that some sway or some special requests on the guest list might come through," she tells us"I think it's just really important when you accept a financial contribution from someone toward your wedding that you have a really open chat about what comes with that — just to make sure that there are no conditions around it."

It's not unusual for a bride or groom to feel they have a little less control over the invite list, especially when there's been a financial investment.

But there can be a happy medium, says Parfett.

"You might want to depend on how close you are with your parents and friends," she explains. "You might be okay to say, 'Hey, you can have a couple of mates there.' But I think it's really important to be on the same page right at the start – especially if you're taking money from family for your wedding."

Can I pick and choose which friends' partners come to my wedding?

It's always tough uninviting someone from a wedding.


Mamamia threw a specific instance at Parfitt and asked what to do if a couple wants to rule out one friend's partner coming, but allow another's partner to attend.

And while we thought it was a doozy, it was an easy one for the wedding expert to answer.

"I think the general rule is, you can't cherry-pick, right?" she says. "So you need to make a rule and stick to it for that particular social circle of friends. In that situation, I would say, it's all or nothing. You're inviting all your friends' partners in that social circle or none of them.

"And the caveat there is, that can sort of change, or you could approach it differently – for example, if one friend was coming from out of state and they didn't know anybody else that was there... But I think the safest bet is to stick to the same rule within social circles."

So how do I un-invite someone from my wedding?

This is a challenge brides and grooms run into more often than you might think.

It can be for a bunch of different reasons, but Parfett says that when uninviting someone from an event (and especially a wedding), you must be clear they can no longer come. 

"My advice on that would just be to have a really open conversation around it or, if you're not that close to them, you could also send them a message," she says. 

Wedshed even has its very own handy template they offer for all couples who are forced to un-invite people from their wedding celebrations (thank goodness).

"We've decided to reassess what our wedding will look like. And after much thought, we've chosen to get married in a more intimate celebration.


While this sadly means we will no longer have the opportunity to share our day with you, we want to extend our most heartfelt thanks for your support and friendship. We hope to share a celebratory drink to all of our futures with you soon.

With love,


Overall though, Parfett wants brides and grooms to remember that their wedding is about them most of all. Angry feelings might come from those who have to sit out of celebrating, but that doesn't have to ruin a special day.

"You can't control how people feel and this goes for everything in life, really," she says. "Weddings are a time that brings up some of the best and some of the hardest emotions of people. You've just got to remind yourself of the reasons you didn't invite that person and feel confident that you've made the right decisions. 

You've made that decision for a reason. Stick with it and know that it'll blow over. No one's sitting there and holding a grudge five years later because they weren't invited to someone's wedding... If they are, then they shouldn't be in your life anyway."

Amy Parfett is the co-founder of Wedshed, a wedding planning platform that connects couples with suppliers. They also offer resources, advice and wedding venue management. She is also the co-founder of Gravy, a digital gifting company that sends anything, to anyone, for any occasion.

Feature Image: Getty.

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