You’ll always remember the people who surrounded you on your wedding day – friends, family, loved ones. Creating your guest list is one of the first steps of wedding planning but can also be the most stressful! Here are some top tips for starting your guest list.
Consider Your Budget
Before you can create a guest list, you’ll need to come up with your wedding budget. Remember that a small budget doesn’t have to mean a small guest list. You can have a big wedding with limited funds, but you will have to make certain sacrifices.
Set a Target Number
Talk to your spouse-to-be about your vision for the day. Do you want a big or small wedding? A hometown wedding or a destination celebration (hometown weddings typically have more guests because there’s less travel)? Are there any venues you have in mind right off the bat? Come up with a target guest count and make sure you’re on the same page.
Have “The Talk”
Have an honest discussion with those who will be contributing financially to your wedding. Express your general vision for your wedding and target number, and ask each party to create a list of their desired guests with that in mind. Make sure you emphasize that these lists aren’t final, and there’s room for discussion.
Think in ‘tiers’
Using the lists you’ve received from your VIPs, create three sub-lists. The A list should include immediate family and close friends, the B list are family members and friends who would be “nice to have” at your wedding, and the C list are those you don’t have a strong relationship with. This will help you narrow down your headcount and come up with a final list (after discussing with your VIPs first).
Final Means Final
Once you’ve come up with your final list, stick to it. We don’t recommend inviting certain people, waiting to see how many will attend, and then inviting others at a later time if there’s space. Your guests will find out that they weren’t on your “A” list and feel insulted. Make sure that you share your final guest list with your VIPs – you don’t want them saying “See you at the wedding!” to someone who isn’t invited.
Consider the Yield
For most weddings, around 20 percent of invited guests won’t attend. However, you’re likely to have more yeses for a hometown wedding (especially if you and your spouse are from the same town) and more no’s for a far-off destination wedding.
Make rules and stick to them. If you don’t want any children, don’t make exceptions. If you’re not inviting plus-ones, you have to stay firm. This will help maintain your guest count and avoid hurt feelings among your guests.
Still struggling to decide? Try this out this easy to use flow chart…
How many invitations should I order?
You only need to order one wedding invitation per household, not one per guest. So, for example, if you are inviting your brother and his wife to your wedding, you only need one invite for them together. Also, it is a good standard to order approximately five extra invitations for last minute guests, and in case you forget to invite someone.Remember, your wedding guest list should focus on the people who matter most to you now. It is not an excuse to invite everyone you have ever known. Follow these tips to help you minimize the chaos of creating a guest list for your special day!