You’re compiling your wedding guest list. Your venue is booked, you have found your dress, and everything may seem like it’s falling into place– or maybe everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control. Maybe you’re stressing over who to invite. Maybe you’re not sure if you should invite your second cousin from three states over who you have not seen in three years, but you were invited to her wedding. How are you supposed to handle your guest list?

Think before you post

In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and over-the-top romantic proposal videos, it’s impossible to keep your engagement quiet. It’s understandable to post photos of your ring and the two of you after your significant other proposed to you. You, as the individual posting on the social media sites, need to be aware of any possible wedding invite backlash. If you’re keeping the wedding small, and you have already made some difficult decisions for your guest list, don’t post your wedding date. There is no need to have a minute-by-minute countdown for all your social media followers to see, especially if over 95% of them will not be invited. It’s all relative to your wedding’s size and your guest list, and how comfortable you are posting the details.

To invite, or not to invite?

Sometimes it’s not 100% clear on who you should invite to your wedding. There are a few schools of thought about how you should approach the ambiguous guests. Real Simple suggests to tier the guests by most important to least important. By sectioning the guests off, you are able to get an idea of who you can invite depending on your venue and budget, which you may not have secured yet. Some couples suggest if they haven’t seen a certain individual within a certain number of years that they should not be invited. This is a good rule of thumb for local guests that you will see over the years. For those “maybe” guests who invited you to their wedding, think of how long ago their wedding was, how close you currently are with them, and how large their wedding was. Most of all, go with your instinct. If you would feel terrible not inviting a certain individual, then do it. However, you have the final say!

Give even numbers to both families

This one should not have to be said, but sometimes if one side is footing the majority of the bill, that side feels entitled to a higher number of guests. Give both sides the same number of invites, and then if one side has spaces leftover, allow the other side to use them. The sooner this happens, the easier the planning will be.

Ultimately, you should allow any other family members or friends dictate who you want to invite to your wedding. The only opinions that matter are you and your future spouse’s. It is one of the most important days of your life, and you should be surrounded by however many people you wish.