The guest list can often be a source of great anxiety for brides and grooms alike. Often family and friends will have an opinion on who you should or shouldn’t invite which can make it a stress-inducing topic of discussion. To help ease some of the difficulties of this task, we’ve created a helpful guide containing tips for making your guest list.
Be Realistic About the Number
It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement of wedding planning, but this is the time to be realistic about your budget. Consider how much money you have to spend on your wedding total and how much of that budget you plan to allocate to the reception (hint: it should be the majority of your budget!). If you can afford to invite 200 people, don’t create a guest list exceeding 300.
Decide On How Many People You’ll Each Invite First
Splitting the guest list between both sides can often be a breeding ground for strife. Whether you’re paying for the wedding yourselves or are having help from one or both sets of parents, it’s a good idea to decide on how many people you each plan to invite prior to getting outside opinions. For example, if you’re planning on inviting 200 guests you may decide you want to split the guest list 50/50. Or perhaps if you think your parents will want to invite friends or family you can decide to allow each set of parents to invite 50 guests each while you and your fiance invite the other 100.
Once you’ve decided on how many people everyone gets to invite, then you can allow people to begin to give their input on the actual guest list.
Create a Shared Guest List Document
Instead of creating handwritten lists, that can get messy or even worse – lost. Create a cloud-based guest list that everyone has access to. A Google Sheet or Document or other wedding guest list platform is a great way to do this. You can easily notate how many people everyone can invite and then keep track of RSVP’s as they come in.
Don’t Feel Guilty About Making Cuts
Of course, you want to invite as many people as possible to celebrate your big day, but at some point, you’ll have to begin making cuts to the guest list. Begin with the people most important to you and your fiance. Your immediate families and your closest friends to start. Then move on to extended family, colleagues, college friends, and family friends. Continue to move outward until you hit your maximum number of guests and then stop. You don’t have to invite everyone, just the people that matter the most.
If you’re still having difficulty shaving the list down consider not inviting children to the wedding, or only giving plus ones to those in serious relationships. This is an easy way to give yourself the ability to extend your guest list without going over your number.