With the economy slicing through earnings and savings, dream weddings are colliding with financial realities—resulting in trims to the guest list, and thorny problems choosing who makes the cut, the Boston Globe reports. The average guest list has shrunk to 139 this year, from 166 in 2007, analysts say; total costs have dropped to an average of $21,814 from $28,704 in 2007.
So “who do you cut?” asks one bride-to-be. A guiding rule is to cut guests by category: For example, don’t invite family beyond second cousins. But that’s easier said than done. If you don’t invite someone, he or she “probably won't talk to you after you get married,” she worries. In the end, “you've got to eliminate some people you really want,” says another planning her wedding.