Looking at your caterer’s bill at the end of the event, you’re gnashing your teeth in anger because the bill exceeded what you had planned for by a whopping $5000! Earlier on, you had guests standing shoulder to shoulder, numerous children running up and down on the dance floor. Food and drinks ran out, an elderly woman collapsed due to heat exhaustion, loud noise from the back made it difficult for you to hear what the Master of Ceremony was saying. Well, you are that bride who didn’t know how to say no to family members and friends. If you’re like that Bride, some of these scenarios are bound to happen at your wedding! Below are a few tips on how to keep your wedding guests to a minimum:

Draw out a Budget: If you’re someone with many friends and a big family, your budget should determine how many of these people you can invite. If you’re a bride working on a low budget, you should avoid inviting distant relatives or relatives you haven’t seen in 20 years. If your budget is $10,000, having a guest list of 1000 people is ludicrous. Ensure the number of guests you’re inviting reasonably matches your budget.

Write up a Guest list: Having a guest list from the onset of your wedding planning will help you to determine who needs to get an invitation and who doesn’t. Don’t wait till the last minute to find out who your parents are inviting as well, e earlier the better to start the pruning process when your parents have invited 50 guests when they were only allowed 20.

Don’t send out ambiguous RSVP cards: It should be stated on your invitation card the number of guests that card is inviting. Are you inviting the whole family including the kids, or just the parents? Ensure the invitation states that they are not allowed to bring additional guests or that it only admits 1 or 2. Not having specific details can make your guests assume they can bring in guests. A friend of mine who had an RSVP card that had “how many will be attending?” had an aunty reply with “7”. The aunty wasn’t too happy when she got a call letting her know that she was only allowed 1 extra person. Avoid the awkward phone calls; be specific on your RSVP cards.

Have a greeter/security: If you have a feeling that people are still going to invite guests even though you’ve asked them not to, you should have someone who is not known by most people act as a greeter at the reception. He/she can ask them for their names, and match it to the guest list for proof that they were invited. You can also discourage wedding crashers by including this information on the wedding details information: “At the Reception, you will be met at the door by a greeter who will sit you at your table using your Invite. Please don’t forget your invite to help our greeters sit you quickly.”

Having all the tips listed above in place will ensure you have a controlled crowd at your wedding. Remember your wedding is about you and your spouse; don’t focus on pleasing people by allowing them to bring additional guests. They may not be there to bear the financial brunt with you after the wedding.