How Do We Manage The Ever-Changing Guest List For Our 2021 Wedding?

Some guests now have children and different plus ones

Hey APW,

I am one of the many who had a 150+ person wedding planned for 2020, that is now *hopefully* going to take place in September 2021. I thought I had guest list anxiety in round one of wedding planning, but now that we have moved our wedding to a year later, there is even more uncertainty.

My husband (pandemic elopement!) and I both have large, complex families but we didn’t want our wedding to be full of people we barely know (nor could we afford it). It has been a big task to get the numbers down to around 185 invites with the hope of a 150-person wedding. We have a guest limit of roughly 150, give or take. When we were planning for 2020, we said no kids except the flower girl (my niece), mainly because there weren’t very many kids in the mix anyway and the ones who were had good alternative activities (one is my step-sister’s step-child who I have known for about one year, so she could stay with her mom), and the others were all infants in the local area (could be with a sitter).

By the end (dear god, please be the end) of this pandemic, we will have gained 2-3 new infants of close family members, and multiple serious partners who might have previously been +1s but weren’t in the picture last year when we were planning. Obviously this is still all up in the air until weddings can actually go back to what they were like in 2019, but given that they do, do we have a responsibility to invite these new babies and new +1s?

While I am here, I might as well also ask about one more pan-dilemma. What about previously invited couples who broke up in the pandemic? What’s more complicated: what about if one of the members of said couple already has a new romantic partner and they’re still around by our wedding next year?

We have no idea if people will be more or less likely to attend in a post-pandemic, vaccinated world and we made an educated guess on our guest list and limit last year in a completely different world. My husband’s answer to this is “who cares, do what we gotta do, even just invite em all and ask forgiveness if we are over the limit”, etc. But the people-pleaser in me wants to make sure I get it right and have no hard feelings on the other side of this. Help!



Is it necessary for this couple to make guest list modifications in the midst of the pandemic? Should they wait it out until more COVID info is available to make changes? would you include new plus-ones, exes, and babies, and risk going over the venue limit? We want your two cents in the comments. We’re in uncharted wedding planning territory here, y’all.

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