I'm sure I am not the only bride who has ever felt like this, but boy the guest list is stressing me out! We have so many factors to consider when deciding who to invite and who to leave out, and it pains me every time we decide that we just can't invite one person or another for any reason. We have to consider money (why are catered meals so expensive?!), how close we are to certain people, who would be a loner and feel really awkward, etc. How many people should we invite from work? I teach, and I feel that I am friendly with a lot of my fellow teachers... but do I actually socialize with them outside of work? Should I invite my mother's friends from church who I haven't seen in several years, just because she wants me to? What about my relatives that live across the country in Hawaii and California? How about friends from across the state where we used to live, who we only contact through Facebook now, but who we still feel deep friendship for? Ultimately, I believe that every couple has to decide what is important to them. We would rather have an intimate occasion and share it with the people who are our absolute closest friends and relatives. Other couples might value having the biggest wedding in the world. I think sitting down and talking about these things can help put perspective on the whole thing and take away some of the guilt associated with leaving people off the guest list.
If you are still stuck, I recommend this really genius flowchart from the blog of wedding planner Emma-Carly Williams!