Ah the dreaded guest list. Creating the guest list is by far one of the most stressful things you will do when planning your wedding. There are lots of feelings involved in deciding who will be there to witness one of life’s major milestones. Once you get to this point follow these 5 tips.
1. Budget & Venue
When looking at your guest list first determine what is important to you and the groom. If your budget is non negotiable decide if you would prefer to have a more casual wedding in order to accommodate more guests. Think about how many people your venue will hold. If the church holds less than the reception site think about inviting a smaller amount to the wedding and a larger amount to the reception. Once you factor in these variables you can decide how many people you can reasonably have on your list.
2. Bride/Groom Ratio
Decide if the guest list will be split 50/50 or 60/40 depending on large families or mutual friends. This will help you decide how many each family can invite and give you a solid number for your future mother-in-law or your own parents in order to keep the list reasonable. Don’t forget to factor in your numbers as well to save room for your important guests, it is after all your wedding!
3. Cut by Category
Put each guest in a categorize such as A, B or C . Those in category A are absolutely invited. Those in category B will more than likely be invited, category C are a maybe and so forth. You can be more granular if you want it’s all about helping you pin point who should and shouldn’t be on the list. Once you have your list created start by count out the A’s to make sure your wedding budget and venue can handle the amount of people who without a doubt need to be invited, continue on down until you have to start make touch decisions. Some people who may not make the cut? Maybe you decide to cut out co-workers or young kids. The choice is completely up to you and your family, your wedding venue and what your wedding can afford.
4. Focus on the Present
Don’t feel obligated to invite people from the past that you no longer stay in touch with. Just because you were invited to their wedding 5 years ago does not mean your relationship is the same as it was 5 years ago. Focus on those who are part of your present life and know you as a couple. If your wedding budget and list permits start adding those people who played an important role in your past that you would like their not just feel obligated to invite.
5. Stick to Your List
Once you have some boundaries created make sure to stick to them. If non-couples guests can’t bring a date, or young children are not allowed, try not to make exceptions in order to keep from offending loved ones. It makes it easier also when someone asks you can let them know the guidelines you and your fiance have created. It makes it easier when everyone sticks to the guidelines that everyone has agreed to.
This should be a first step to cutting down your guest list. Of course there will always be some tough decisions but just try to focus on what the day is really about. It’s about celebrating your love for one another with those you care the most about and support you the most.