Tips to Remember When Creating A Wedding Guest List

February 14, 2020

Creating your guest list is one of the more time-consuming and challenging parts of planning your wedding. You can’t forget any of your immediate family members or closest friends and have to know what the budget will cover. Consider the tips below to stay on track and not get overwhelmed when making the guest list.

Know Your Venue
Begin by laying out a set budget for your wedding. This figure is going to directly impact how many people you can invite to your special day. The budget goes hand in hand with having your venue booked as well. The site you choose will articulate the maximum capacity that it will hold. From this information, you will know precisely how many people you can invite and how much money it will cost. The venue cannot add space, and there are things to consider such as fire regulations. This will be an excellent place to start knowing the exact number you cannot exceed.

Wedding Style
Once you know the venue, you will be able to dive deep into how the atmosphere of your wedding will be. Is it mainly outside? Is there limited space? Is it more elegant or casual? Answering these questions will set you up to better understand the lengths of your guest list. One thing that can influence the style you’re aiming for is whether or not you choose to have an adult-only wedding. This is a tough decision to make. However, let your invitation break the news about excluding children. This can also help cut down on costs!

Immediate Family
If you have a big family, choosing who to include and who to leave out is a difficult task. Depending on the size of the venue and your budget, you might be able to invite everyone. If you can’t, consider who is the closest to you and your significant other. Each of your parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, great grandparents, and first cousins should be the bulk of your list. If it’s adult-only, some first cousins might be cut out here. This will make more room for a second or third cousin you’re close to. Family is a hard category to exclude people from, discussing this with your parents might help.

The category of friends can be a tricky area, too. It is all too common to feel compelled to invite a friend who invited you to their wedding. This does not have to be the case.  Really think about when the last time you spoke with them was. If it has been over a year, don’t feel obligated to invite them. Life changes and relationships do, too. That is OK! Pick friends that you are the closest with right now and can’t imagine your special day without.

Plus Ones
Do you have to give everyone a plus one? No. When looking at your guest list, you should have a good idea of who has a significant other in their life. If it is unclear or they are in a new relationship, it is alright to extend only a single invitation. You can even decide to only give a plus one to couples who are married, engaged, or living with their significant other.

Seating Chart
Once you have gone through all of the tough decisions, you should be left with a final polished guest list. From here, invitations should be sent about two to three months before the wedding. If you send them any sooner, people will forget. You want there to be enough time for people to get the invitations, make a decision, and then RSVP in a timely manner. Once you have the final list, creating the seating chart is next. Seating charts add a decorative element to the wedding reception. One idea that goes with any theme is using mini picture frames to direct guests to their table. Get paper that goes with the theme and either type or handwrite the names of each guest and their designated table number. Each guest will retrieve their individual frame in order to find their seat.

When you have your final headcount, you now know how many favors you need, too. There are many different directions you can go with favors. The options are endless and can coincide with any theme. Think about using succulents. Not only are they a great favor, but they can also double as a seating guide! There could be one for each guest with a label attached that states their name and table number. If you want a separate favor, some ideas include DIY candles, s’ mores kits, or little jars of honey.

Start thinking about the guest list as soon as possible. It will inevitably take some time to complete and weigh your options. You want the people who are closest to you and your significant other to attend your wedding. It is a day to celebrate the love you share for each other, and having your closest friends and family there to share it with you will make it all the more special. Planning a wedding isn’t easy, start early to make everything exactly how you wish it to be. Find more on the top tips for planning your wedding here.