When sending out wedding invites, there are automatically certain guests that are top of mind. But how do you decide on the “B” guest list?

Immediate family and close friends get checked off the wedding invite list first, of course. But depending on the size of your future wedding and the budget that you’re working with, there may be a few hundred other people on your potential wedding guest list that you must narrow down to fit the venue.

According to Brides.com, cutting down your wedding guest list is the current conundrum of the modern wedding industry.

Of course, couples want to keep costs down and stay within their wedding budget. And having a list of 200-300 wedding guests does not make this an easy feat. But on the flip side, it is difficult to combine loved ones with your partner and nix people that you care about from the list.

We have four tips to help you start reshaping your list to fit your budget, without hurting any close loved one’s feelings (or at least trying not to!)

1. Start with a set number

This may be the hardest part of making your guest list, but it’s necessary to start with a projected number of people that you want to invite to the wedding. If you remain stern with this number, it will make it easier on you in the long run.

Decide on the number that fits your budget and do not stray from it! This may force you and your partner to make sacrifices and compromises, but hey, isn’t that an important part of marriage?

2. Immediate family (that you’re close with) first

Which members of both of your immediate families are you closest to? List them all out and add them to the list. This will help you fill the first few rows of your ceremony (traditionally for the immediate family of the couple) and will send you on your way to create a guest list that works.

Don’t worry about inviting family members that you don’t speak with or haven’t seen in years unless that’s important to you both. It’s okay not to have every single member of your family at the wedding, so try to take that pressure off yourselves.

3. Close friends (and plus ones)

Next on the list, add your closest friends that you remain in contact with. It’s important to include friends that have stayed by your side during your lives, and that you truly want at your wedding. Don’t forget their plus ones! Make sure to leave room on the list for the partner/ spouse/ date of your friends and family if you’d like; but also, don’t feel required to give them one if you can’t fit them in.

If you have friends from college or high school that you haven’t spoken to in years and don’t feel close with anymore, don’t worry about adding them to the list. Think of it like this: would they be surprised to get the invite? Would they truly want to come and enjoy the wedding? Ask yourself these questions when inviting older friends or acquaintances that you are indecisive about inviting.

4. Work acquaintances

So, you’ve added all your closest friends and family members and their plus ones to the list. You’re including everyone that you feel close with and have remained in contact with over the years. Great! But there’s still some wiggle room on the invite list. Time to bring in the work acquaintances!

Do you have any work friends who may be new in your life but still support you and are fun to spend time with? Add them to the list! For some people, the more friends at the wedding, the merrier. But for others, skipping the work acquaintance invite and opting for staying under budget may be the best move.

©CTW Features