One of the biggest stresses in wedding planning is making the wedding guest list. This is the day you have been dreaming of most of your life and it is natural to want to invite everyone to the party! We know creating and cutting people from your list is not as fun as cake tasting or choosing your wedding flowers, but we hope these tips will help!
First make your dream party guest list! This is the fun part for you and your fiancé, include everyone and don’t think of your budget and venue for a moment. This list you can refer to later if need be and if someone makes your must-have list that was not on your dream list then maybe it is someone who should not be invited.
Budget is a huge part of the guest list. When it is time to start cutting from the dream list budget comes into play. Depending on financial support, this is when you can begin do divvy up your guest list.
Traditionally, the bride and groom get to decide half of the guest list and each set of parents get a quarter. If the brides parents are paying for most of the wedding they may want to invite more guest. On the flip side, if the groom’s family is wanting to invite more guest it is ok to ask them to help pay for more of the wedding.
We suggest open communication up front with both families to ensure everyone knows how much is being invested into the wedding and how many guest will fit into your budget.
Make rules with each other for cutting, that best fit you as a couple and stick to them. Five simple rules we love are:
#1: If neither one of you has spoken to, know, or ever heard their name, then cut them!
#2: Give yourself the “one-year test.” If neither of you have seen or spoken to them in a year it is ok to leave them off of the list.
#3: If the potential recipient has never met your significant other, then they shouldn’t be on your list. First introductions should not be done on your wedding day.
#4: Anyone who is on your list because you feel guilty if they were not invited, should be taken off. Just because you have been friends since the 2nd grade and see each other every so often, or were invited to their wedding 5 years ago, does not mean they need to be invited to yours. If you have lost touch, it is ok to cut them off of the list.
#5: If you have to do some major cutting, cut out the kids. This gives the parents some time to let loose and saves you money on drink and food cost.
Make and A-list and B-list. No one has to know what list they were on and we promise we won’t tell! The A-list will be absolute must-haves such as family members, close friends you could not imagine not having there, and of course your bridal party. The B-list are co-workers, your parents business partners, and extended family you may have only met a few times at family reunions. The A-list will receive the first round of invites and if you receive a few regrets back in your RSVP’s use the B-list to fill in these spots.
Lastly, use an Excel spreadsheet, Google Docs, or some time of guest list manager with each guest name, email, phone number, and address. You may have to do some following up so it is nice to have every guest information in one place. After the wedding you will need guests addresses for thank you notes and this document will become an easy reference for you. Instead of deleting names that don’t make your list use different tabs so you still have that persons information saved.
Once you have finalized your guest list to fit your budget and family needs, be confident in it! Don’t let others try to steer you another way to add more people on! If you stick to these tips and tricks you can save a lot of time and hopefully have a more care free process.
We are here to help! We love helping our bride and grooms stay organized and have a stress free wedding journey! If you need any help finishing your guest list and final wedding touches give us a call.