Are you dreading the idea of organizing your guest list? While this task might not be as much fun as dress shopping or cake tastings, it is a critically important step in the wedding planning process. Your guest count will directly affect your overall budget. So while the thought of having to “cut” people out might cause you some anxiety, take a deep breath, and follow these 6 simple steps to help you breeze through this process.
Tip #1. Talk with your partner FIRST. Discuss who gets to contribute to the guest list and determine a hard cap on your maximum guest count. Before you involve your families in this process, it is essential that you and your partner decide how you want to go about divvying up the guests’ list, if at all, between yourselves and your family. The last thing you want is to end up with only 20 people you know at your wedding because other people hijacked your guest list. Traditionally, the couple gets at least half of whatever the total guest count is, and each set of parents takes a quarter or less of the list.
Tip #2. Create an A-List of a potential guest. Your A- list is your dream list of wedding guests, the ones you can’t imagine not having with you on your special day. Included in this list should be your immediate family members, your old college roommate who was always the life of the party, and even your childhood best friends. As you work your way through your guest list, use your A-list as a guide to keeping you on track. Once your A-list is set, share with your pre-approved input parties to come up with a finalized guest list.
Tip #3. Create two separate lists. At this point, you will want to assess the overall budget. Having an A- list and a B- list of guests will help you differentiate between your must-have guests and any guests that you still really want to come but may not be able to accommodate without increasing your budget. Using your A- list & B- list as a guide, send your first round of invites to your A- list promptly. Doing this will ensure that as you start to receive RSVP’s back, you’ll still be left with enough time to send any invites out to members of your B-list and include them in the celebration.
Tip #4. Come up with a list of rules for adding or excluding people from your list and STICK WITH IT. Some examples of restrictions could include;
Wedding planning is a process that’s filled with many little details to track. And while you may decide to change your tablescape design 6 months into planning, do yourself a favor, and avoid making changes to your restrictions. Trust us, this will not only help to prevent any drama down the line, but it will take a load of stress off your plate so that you can focus on making other important decisions.
Tip #5. Reciprocate the gesture. If you were invited to someone else’s wedding, it is usually considered good etiquette to extend an invitation to them to attend your wedding as well. Of course, the idea here is that this couple has already been added to your A- list or B- list, so extending an invite to them should feel natural and less like a weighted requirement. If this is not the case, circle back to tip #4 and don’t feel like you have to invite them to avoid feeling guilty.
And our last and final tip;
Tip#6. Think about the overall value of your guest. If you’re having a hard time deciding whether someone makes a list, think about what they will add to your celebration. Is this person great at getting the party started? Do they have a knack for making others feel comfortable and can pull people out of their shells? They may even have a reputation for being incredibly generous. These are the kinds of guests that make other guests enjoy your celebration, so if your headcount allows, extend an invite to them.
Remember, your wedding is the one day you want to look back on and think fondly about all the people who were there to cheer on you and your partner. So include the people who have and will continue to support your journey in love and marriage together, because the memories of your wedding day will be something they too will cherish forever.
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