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How to Limit Wedding Guests With Your Invitation & RSVP Card

The guestlist is too big.

The venue only fits ____ people.

The In-Laws are inviting everyone they know.

There are too many kids.

These are common statements Iowa couples make when the guestlist is getting a little out of control, and that leads them to start asking:

Who gets to decide who makes the cut?

How do we politely tell people we don’t have room for them to bring a guest?

Is it rude to ask people not to bring their kids?

Well we say, let your invitations and rsvp card do the talking, and save yourself some tricky conversations!

How to limit wedding guests with your invitation and rsvp card

EmDesign’s shares 5 ways how to limit your wedding guestlist using your wedding stationery!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re limiting guests because the venue has strict limits (that you’re already exceeding) or because your future in-laws are adding guests to the list whom you fiance hasn’t even met. These tips will save yourself some headaches!

1. Limit Guests via Wedding Invitation Envelope

Your invitation envelope should be clearly addressed to ONLY the guests invited. Be as specific as you need to. The more vague the addressing is the more questions you could raise.


Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Man and wife only) Mr. & Mrs. Smith & Family (Man and wife and all of their kids)

Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Jimmy Smith & Guest (Man and wife, 1 of their kids + a guest)

2. Limit Guests via Wedding Response Card Option 1

Instead of writing an open line such as


You instead write:

____ OF ____ ATTENDING

And you fill in the second blank with the number of guests they are allowed to bring. For example:

__2__ OF __3__ ATTENDING

They can rsvp for 1,2,or3 guests but they cannot bring 4 of 3 guests are their are only 3 seats.

3. Limit Guests via Wedding Response Card Option 2

For this option, you still pre-select the number of seats, or if all guests have the 2 seats the blank would be filled in with “two”



4. Limit Guests via Wedding Response Card Option 3

The third option is to create various versions of your rsvp card. Each card had a different number of lines. And they are specifically mailed to families with that number of lines. A husband and wife would receive an rsvp with 2 lines for names/attending. A family of 4 would have 4 lines, unless the 2 children weren’t invited then only 2 lines would be available to them.

5. Limit Kids via Wedding Details Card

If kids are not invited at all, it is common to include special wording on the details card to indicate this, such as “adult only reception”.

These are all friendly ways to limit your guest list without anyone getting too upset.

TIP: Also go in with realistic expectations that sometimes matter how clear it is, people will just show up with an “uninvited” plus one or a kiddo. Try to stay cool and enjoy your day.


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