Your Former Besties
You were a tight crew growing up but you moved away after high school, and now you're just Facebook friends. People and relationships change over the years, so don't feel bad leaving this group off the list.
The Bride Who Invited You
The two of you were close a few years ago, and you went to her wedding but once she became a Mrs., she only double-dated with other married couples, leaving you in the dirt. Just because you were at her wedding doesn't mean you should automatically invite her to yours. Give her seat to someone who actually deserves it.
If your budget is limitless (dream on!), then by all means invite every unattached guest to bring a date. But if every dollar and place setting counts, there's no need to turn every single guest into a double. The only exceptions: Someone who is engaged or is in a long-term relationship, and anyone who won't know another soul at the wedding.
Years ago it was standard to issue an invite to the boss. Most didn't attend but it was the thought that counted. Today, ask yourself how close are you two? If the only time you talk is at meetings or when you run into each other in the office cafeteria, consider her a "don't."
Your Parents' Friends
Yes, it's your wedding but in a lot of ways, it's your parents' too. So if they want to celebrate your happiness with their close friends, don't deny them that pleasure, all the more if they are helping you foot the bill.
Your SoulCycle Buds
Sweating in close proximity to someone can make a person think they have a friendship. But do you? How often do you go out for a bite after class? Do you text each other on nonexercise days? Do you know one another's pet's names, email address, and work phone? If you do know their personal info, it makes sense for them to watch you wed.
The Kindergarten Friend
Back when you were both five years old, you pinky-swore you'd be each other's maids of honor. But you lost touch except for sending each other holiday cards. Cross her off the guest list and don't feel bad: She probably doesn't even know you're engaged.
People You Already Know Won't Come
Aunt Stella and Uncle Mike live across the country and have a poor record of attending family weddings. Despite their lack of guest history, send them an invite. It's up to them to accept or decline—don't make the decision for them. You never know—maybe they'll plan a vacation around your wedding or win the lottery and buy a private plane that they're eager to show off to the relatives.
It all depends on the timing of your wedding, your budget, and your attitude. Will you feel like a wedding won't be the same without all family members—even little ones—present? Or are you worried that a late-night affair could disrupt youngsters' sleep time and result in tears and tantrums even before the first dance? Your call. If you go ahead and invite kids, set them up at their own table stocked with food, drinks, and toys they'll love.