You Can Count on Us: Tips on Making Your 2021 Wedding Guest List(s)

Wedding guest list planning during a pandemic - how to navigate the changing restrictions

If you are reading this and planning your wedding celebration for 2021 and 2022 in Ontario, you are not alone in dealing with who to invite! The reality is this - couples have had to reduce guest counts for weddings, no exception. Unfortunately, it’s been almost a year since they’ve been forced to invite, uninvite, tentatively invite and last minute invite their favourite people for their celebration, and we don’t see this changing until the end of the year. Well now we (myself and Jennifer See Studios) know you might be thinking “this blog post doesn’t sound very upbeat or light hearted”… and to be quite honest this first part isn’t. We’re hitting you with some provincial facts and links to the government’s website on all things covid-19. But it’s all out of love. But we promise you’ll want to keep reading for the informative stuff and lots of cute photos along the way!

As per the Ontario provincial website gathering restrictions are based on what area of the province you are located in - classified into colour zones. Within each zone there are different gathering restrictions: whether you’re planning a staffed event at a public venue or you are hosting your wedding on private property (at home, an airbnb, family property, etc). The ceremony and the reception are being treated as different and distinct guest counts which means creating multiple or ‘contingency’ guest lists. So be sure to check which zone and venue type you and your wedding fall under and then cross reference that with your guest count numbers!

To download the PDF released by the Government of Ontario (March 2021) with the full response framework click below.

Government of Ontario CoVid19 Response F
Download • 356KB

If you want to know what zone your wedding will fall in, or more information on each zone check out this link

We’ve been so happy to hear and chat with couples working through this tough planning process who have had an open mind and still have so much optimism around their celebration. Here are some of what some of our Covid Planning MVPs have had to say;

1. "We can have 70 of our 125 at the ceremony which is awesome, and will have everyone else zoom in. We are planning to send everyone a bottle of bubbly for the occasion.”

2. "Taking it day by day and communication with your vendors. Things are changing every day so it’s really all you can do. Good friends and a supportive partner to help keep you level headed are important. And of course wine!”

3. “Honestly we realized that an indoor venue wasn’t going to work for us so we’re in the process of booking an outdoor tent. It seems that there may be more flexibility with outdoor spaces so my advice is to have 2 lists. Keep your core people on that list and have a secondary list that you can invite last minute if the restrictions lift. And give people the head up that they may be invited a month out from the wedding. Keeping people in the loop is appreciated!”

4. “What helped me when I went into problem solve overdrive was ‘what is the most important thing about the day.’ As long as we could still get married, I reminded myself I could still celebrate with everyone another time. We also had our ‘no debate’ list which helped us stay focused when we went back to the drawing board”