Something many brides and grooms to-be struggle with while planning their wedding is creating a guest list. There are so many questions, like how many people should we invite? Who should we invite? Are we going to hurt anyone’s feelings? Are we accidentally leaving anyone out? What if we have too many people on our list…how do we shorten it? How are we going to break the news? It can be pretty overwhelming if you allow it to be.
The first thing I recommend doing is for both you and your fiancé to write separate lists, and combine them at the end. Kyle and I did this for family members and close friends. Write all of your family members first, followed by friends, significant relationships, co workers and other people you’d like to include if possible. Combine both lists to make your master list to work from. Some questions you should be asking yourself when creating this list are:
- How many people will our venue allow?
- Is this person a family member? Immediate or distant?
- Is this person a friend? or a coworker?
- Have you spoken to them in the last 6 months?
- Would you be upset if you didn’t get invited to their wedding?
- Can you imagine your big day without them?
- Would they make your wedding even more fun?
Once you have the master list, you can cater the list to your capacity limit and your budget and begin the process of elimination. It may be a good idea to prioritize the people on the list by dividing the list into people who:
a) without question MUST be at the ceremony;
b) you really want to be in attendance; and,
c) would be nice to include if possible.
We decided that in order to keep our numbers low and and be sure to include the people we most want to attend, we would not allow plus one’s. Some of our friends and family members are in long-term and serious relationships, and in those cases, the significant others will absolutely be invited. Our rule of thumb is that if we have met the significant other, or if they have been a couple for as long as we have, they are invited.
Once you’ve finalized your list, cross-checking to ensure no one has been forgotten, you can begin to record your guest list and jot down the important information needed. You create the “Guest List Check List” as I like to call it. I found a great worksheet online while creating my Wedding Planning Binder, which you can find here: Wedding Planning Binder. The information you’ll likely need is:
- email address
- telephone number
- # of guests
- Save the Date sent?
- Invite sent?
- RSVP received?
- Thank You Card sent?
It was a lot easier for us to formulate a great guest list, because as I said before, we are not having a traditional sit-down dinner during the reception so the number of guests won’t necessarily affect our budget very much. Our ceremony is going to be rather intimate and small, so we needed to be sure to only include the extremely important people in our life. Our reception and dance has a larger venue that can hold more people, so we were really able to play around with extending our invites to people we wouldn’t have been able to accommodate at the ceremony!
Kyle and I didn’t have too difficult a time deciding on our guest list, and we were absolutely on the same page with who we wanted to invite and who we could do without. Don’t invite people purely out of guilt or out of the feeling of obligation. Choose your guest list solely on who you most want to share your day with and the process will go a lot easier.
As always, thanks for reading! Be sure to like, follow and share my post and happy planning!