How to Cut Your Guest List, According to Real Couples


Monika and Ryan, Astoria, New York

Monika and Ryan’s original wedding date was set for September 26, 2020, but their originally planned 175-person wedding had to be reimagined. “Although it was a very difficult decision with many conflicting feelings of disappointment and concern, we knew it was the right decision for the safety of our guests,” says Monika. They came to the difficult decision to downsize their wedding due to the state-mandated limitations on gatherings, which helped determine what kind of celebration they could have in lieu of their original plans.

“With two months out from the wedding date, our wedding coordinator at The Garrison accurately predicted the slim chances of the restrictions lifting in time and presented us with an alternate, intimate wedding with a virtual celebration option,” she says. “Although we ultimately ended up having our ceremony elsewhere this year, we were so appreciative for her help, guidance, and cooperation during this difficult time.” 

How They Downsized: The couple first had to decide whether to have the wedding this year or postpone it altogether. Ultimately, they decided not to postpone but knew they had to downsize. “We had a large bridal party—10 on each side,” says Monika. “We eventually decided to just have our immediate families involved this year and have our reception next year on our one year anniversary, with a vow renewal so that we still have a ceremony with everyone in attendance (hopefully!).” 

Who Made the Cut: Their parents, siblings, and their significant others, Monika’s grandmother, uncle, and godparents. 

Advice for Couples Planning: “Remember what the wedding is all about: your marriage, love, and commitment to one another,” she says. “A party can always happen at a later date, but to get married, you just need who is most important to you, by your side.”

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