So you’re planning a wedding. One of the areas that can sometimes cause friction is the guest list; everyone wants to see this new chapter in your life begin. This can be one of the toughest tasks of planning, but it’s one you’re fully equipped to take on! Use these tips to make creating your guest list a breeze!Intertwined Events_The Guest List

Decide on the guest count first. Do you want a large intricate wedding or a small intimate one? Have you always dreamed of getting married on a wide-open beach or in a small church? Consider where your wedding will be and what your budget is before thinking about who will be there.

Establish a hierarchy to know who to invite first. Here’s a good start:

  • A – Absolutely! The people you can’t imagine not there. Close family and friends.
  • B – Better to invite them! Friends of the family, more distant relatives, not-as-close friends
  • C – Certainly a possibility – Co-workers, old friends, that girl you work out with at the gym sometimes.

If your list grows too large, start by removing people in the ‚ÄòC’ group first. If you do have to remove names from the list, do it in groups. Instead of just taking off the girl who talked to you at the water cooler once, take off all the coworkers you never seen outside of the office.

Intertwined Events_The Guest List

If both families are splitting the costs, divide the total of guests in half so both sides can invite the same number of guests. If you’re going to have 200 people at your wedding, and as a couple you’re inviting 100, then of the remaining hundred, 50 should be invited by the bride’s family and 50 by the grooms. This way there is no playing favorites.

Consider creating rules for everyone to follow – for example only people who are associated with at least four family members. Setting expectations upfront means you don’t have to have the awkward conversation when your sister wants to bring her college roommate.

Intertwined Events_The Guest ListDo you want to have children at your wedding? How about plus ones? Be sure to establish these rules upfront in the invitation – address it to Mrs. Insert-Name-Here and guest. For more info on invitations, check out our “Anatomy of an Invitation” blog post.

Assume that 15% of your invited guests won’t be able to attend. This gives you a bit of flexibility in how many people you actually invite, but always plan that everyone will be delighted to attend. If you find you have more space, you can always send a second round of invites following the same hierarchy rules you already established.

Intertwined Events_The Guest ListRemain in control of the guest list, don’t be bullied into inviting people you don’t need there – it’s your day! Everyone is so excited for you, which means they all want to share your special day. Just remember if you don’t want your mom’s book club to come, you’re allowed to say no (politely, of course)! There is always a chance that someone invites a plus one (or five), which is not in your capacity to host. Feel free to read our past post on how to appropriately communicate to your guests that they cannot bring a guest.

Your wedding day is going to be the best day of your life – so make sure you invite all the people you want to share it with! Happy inviting!

Intertwined Events_The Guest ListPhoto Credits: The Guest List: APictureLife Photography; Advice For the Couple; Bohemian Board; Planning Book; Purple Invitations


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