You’re finally getting to marry your perfect match, but you’ve got one big hurdle to overcome…the dreaded guest list. You’re probably asking yourself: Where do I start? Should we invite co-workers? What about family friends our parents want to invite? Where does my budget come into this?
We’re going to answer all those questions and more on the blog today. Read on for the ultimate guide to the wedding guest list!
#1 First, you have to know your total wedding budget. How much are you allocating for the venue? Food? Drinks? Cake? All of these line items play a role in the size of your guest list. No matter your budget, you’re most likely going to need to narrow down your list. Read on for some tried-and-true ways to create the perfect guest list.
#2 Create an A-List. Who are the people you absolutely must have at your wedding?
To get you started: Close family members. Godparents. Best friends.
Talk to your partner. Make sure the two of you agree on every person on the list. Keep this list front and center as you work through these next steps.
#3 Create a B-List. Ok, you’ve got the must-haves down, now make a list of the want-to-haves. Does your budget allow for more guests? Later, if some of your A-List RSVP no, then you can go back to the B-List for additional invitees.
#4 If you haven’t considered this already, we’re here to remind you: don’t forget the plus ones! This can drastically alter your headcount! A tip for those plus ones: Limit plus ones only to those people who have been together X number of years (you get to decide the number!). Or, include plus ones based on relationship status-married & engaged couples, for example.
#5 Take some time to talk to your parents and future in-laws about who they want to invite. If those people are not on the A-List or B-List, talk it over with your partner. Remember, you don’t have to invite guests simply because your parents want you to. But, it’s always a good idea to take their wishes into consideration.
#6 How are you going to keep track of all of these lists and RSVP’s? Make a spreadsheet! And color code it! One color for A-List. One color for B-List. One color for RSVP ‘yes.’ And one color for RSVP ‘no.’ This will save you endless amounts of time going back and forth between pages in a notebook (or, let’s be real, loose scraps of paper).
#7 One final piece of advice: Take an estimated guest count with you to scout out locations! Overestimate this count. Too many seats can be a good problem to have, but too few can be a nightmare. There is nothing worse than finding the perfect spot only to realize that 1/3 of your guest list won’t have a seat. But, if you find the absolute perfect location that will require you to cut 15 people off your list, don’t automatically pass it up. If it’s perfect for you, go back to your A-List and see if you can make it work.
We can’t end this post without answering some Frequently Asked Questions!
Should I invite them if they invited me to their wedding?
Only if you want to! Do you genuinely want them to be a part of your special day? If the answer is yes, then add them to that A-List! But, if the answer is no, don’t feel bad! Everyone can’t possibly get an invite to your wedding, and it is completely within your rights to decide who does/does not make that list.
Should I invite co-workers?
Again, don’t feel an obligation to invite them just because you see them at work every day. If you have a genuine friendship with some of them but don’t feel they make the A-List, then add them to the B-List and extend the invite if space allows.
Should I invite children?
Our first inclination is to say, No! Only if your budget allows. Having children at a wedding can, one, cause a major distraction and, two, adds to your budget and guest list. There are a few ways to take care of kids at your wedding. Stay tuned because we will address this on a future blog! In the meantime, here are a few tips: If you are having a traditional, more formal ceremony, we recommend leaving children off the guest list. However, if you’re having an outdoor ceremony or in a more relaxed setting and really want your guests to bring their children, then by all means! By inviting children to the reception, you are appeasing guests who might get their feathers ruffled about no kids at the ceremony, and you likely won’t see those kids for long because bedtime will be calling! Over all, this is your call to make. Don’t feel an obligation to invite children just because 60% of your guest list has small kids.
We hope you found this blog helpful and are well on your way to creating the perfect guest list! Check back next month for our blog on wedding invitations!