Planning a wedding is no small feat, but deciding who will watch you walk down the aisle is one of the biggest challenges. Your lives are filled with people you love and the thought of excluding anyone makes you uneasy. But whether you embrace it or not, you and your hubby-to-be are going to assume the role of gatekeepers and choices will need to be made. Even if your budget is endless or you’ve agreed to have a large wedding, every couple needs to look closely at their network and see who ranks top priority. Here are our tips to strategically selecting your invitees. See What You’re Working With In order to accommodate your wedding guests and make sure everything goes smoothly, your finances are going to become the focal point. Most places base their pricing on a per-guest system, so the amount you’re able to spend will determine the number of slots available. If you’re getting married abroad, many resorts are all-inclusive, so that’s something to consider too. Once you’re clear what your venue and wallets can handle, come up with a feasible number and aim to stick to it. Then, decide whether you’d like to join forces to create a master list, or divide the total so each mate gets the same amount of invites. Prioritize As you begin to jot names down, try to sort them according to immediate family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances. This will come in handy when it’s time to plot seating arrangements. Next, consult your parents (especially if they’re pitching in) to see who’s on their wish list so their experience will be meaningful.  It’s considered good etiquette to allow married people to bring their spouses and for friends to bring dates, especially if you’ve met their partner. Some couples downsize by not extending invites to children or co-workers they’re not close to. As a rule of thumb, you should probably include your boss or mentor for good measure. Deeply assess your relationship with each potential guest and ask yourself where your relationship will be in five years. Think of those that have supported your union along the way. If it would disappoint you to not have them there snapping pictures and throwing rice, add them to the list. Improvise When it comes to sending invites out, timing is key. There are loopholes to getting as many desired attendees as possible. On average, about twenty percent of people won’t be able to make it. Many couples wait for the first round of RSVPS to pour in before referring to the secondary list. If your favorite aunt can’t attend, perhaps your friend can bring a date or your cousin can bring his roommate. You can also inform people that you’re having an intimate wedding and invite them to the reception. After all, this is where the real celebration occurs. As long as you and your fianc are excited about the guest list and you stop trying to please everyone, it work all work out perfectly. Find out who our Will You Marry Me? couples plan on inviting to their big days. Read More: