Tips for Making Your Guest List
Perhaps one of the most difficult tasks involved in planning your wedding is deciding who to invite. Naturally, there will be many people that you and your partner will want to invite. In a perfect world, you could invite all of them. However, your budget and the capacity of your venue will place certain limitations on the size of your guest list. As a result, deciding the guest list can be a time consuming challenge, involving much deliberation and discussion. To complicate matters, both your and your partner’s parents may be involved in the decision making process. This can lead to some disagreement about who should or shouldn’t be invited.
When deciding who to invite to our wedding, we need to strike the right balance between living within our budget, inviting the most important people, and keeping everyone happy. Easier said than done, you might say! In this week’s blog post, we’ll be sharing some tips that will hopefully make this process a little easier.
Start by Creating Your Ideal List
You should begin by making a list of everyone you might possibly want to invite to your wedding. Start with the people you’re absolutely sure you’ll invite, and work your way through the others until you’ve listed everyone. Once you’ve done this, you can divide this list into smaller lists, with an A-list for the most important group of potential invitees, a B-list for the next most important group, and so on. Depending on the total number of invitations, an A-list and a B-list may be sufficient, but for larger weddings you may wish to have more.
When it comes to sending out your first round of invitations, you can expect that some will RSVP to let you know that they won’t be able to make it. So, once your A-list has been exhausted, move on to the B-list and send a second round of invitations. Continue this process until all of your invitations have been accepted. Remember to do all of this in plenty of time, as some might take offense at receiving a last minute invite.
Be Clear About the Total Number of Invitations
Before you get too far along in the process of deciding your guest list, you should have nailed down the exact number of people you’ll be inviting to your wedding. Your budget and the capacity of the venue will be the most important factors here. As a result, finalising the guest list will come quite late in the planning process, after all the details have been ironed out with the venue, the caterer, and so on. Once you know exactly how many guests you’ll be able to invite, narrowing the list down will be easier.
It’s customary to divide the invitations between the couple being married and both sets of parents. One way of doing this would be for the couple to take half of the invitations, and give each set of parents a quarter of the invitations. Depending on who is contributing to the cost of the wedding, and how much they’re contributing, it may be fairer to divide the invitations up differently. Another consideration might be that one of you may have a larger family and thus require more invitations. However you divide the invitations up, remember to communicate openly and clearly about who is inviting whom. You don’t want any double invitations!
Consider Carefully Whether You’ll Invite Children or Plus Ones
Inviting your guests to bring their children, or inviting your single guests to bring a date, is thoughtful. However, these are also good ways to see your guest list balloon. It may be best to deal with these on a case-by-case basis. As a general rule, you can politely ask guests not to bring their children, making exceptions for the children of close family members. Likewise, you can avoid extending plus one invitations generally, but make exceptions for guests who will not know many of your other guests, for example.
Whatever your decision, make sure it’s communicated politely and clearly to your guests. If you’re inviting any children, remember to make sure that your venue is suitable for children.
Make Some Rules of Thumb If You Get Stuck
If you find yourself having a lot of trouble deciding who should be invited, a good way to solve this problem is to make some rules and apply them strictly. Although coming up with such rules may be difficult, using them will eliminate any ambiguity about whether someone should be invited.
Here are some questions you might ask yourself, if you’re unsure about inviting someone. If the answer to any of the following is no, it might be a good reason to cut them from your list. Have you spoken in the past year? Do you socialise with them during your free time? Do you have reasons for inviting them, other than a sense of politeness or obligation? Would you miss their company on the day? Do you expect them to be in your life after the wedding?
You may find that deciding your guest list is frustrating and takes a lot of time. We hope that these suggestions will be of some help. Remember, it’s your wedding, and ultimately deciding the guest list is a question of who you want to be there on the day. Of course, it’s important to try to keep others happy, but the final say is yours.