There's a few ways you can keep your wedding guest list quite small... one way I've found to be easy, but perhaps not recommended, is by offending your family.
Like I said - it's not advisable. But an easy way to do it is simply by choosing your bridesmaids. My original list was about 10 people long, so I had to start cutting.
Some were old friends who I hadn't seen in a few years, so I decided not to go with them. Then there were the family members who I really ought to ask, but actually I don't like that much.
So I was brutal, and got the list down to four. And I felt pretty chuffed about it until people who thought they should have been included got offended.
Those that kicked off just went to prove my point that it should be the girls I actually want around me on my big day. The people I can trust to help the day go without a hitch, but more importantly, those that I want to share the day with.
I chose a Maid of Honour who knows both of us well enough to be able to help, but also to enjoy the day. Of course, actually asking the bridesmaids needed to be done in a special way; almost like I was proposing to them.
So I took them for a manicure and afternoon tea, where I gave them gift boxes with lots of little pressies in...miniature champagne to get them through the day, little scrapbooks for anything they want to put in their, Love Hearts sweets, and a couple of other bits and pieces, with a note saying 'I can't say I do without you.'
For me, bridesmaids are one of the most important parts of the whole experience. Throughout the planning stages (so far) and hopefully on the day itself, they help whenever it's needed, calm my nerves, and generally make things more enjoyable.
I chose carefully, and stressed over it for a while. And I'm flattered that there are some people who were so keen to be included that they caused all kinds of hassle when they realised they weren't on the list.
But I know I did the right thing. All I have to do now is make sure they don't upstage the bride...