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5 tips for creating your wedding guest list

November 4, 2021

A wedding guest list can feel like the most daunting part of wedding planning.

While it may not be the most exciting part of wedding planning, it’s one of the most important, as many decisions will be based on your guest list, such as your venue.

Implementing a good process when deciding on your guest list will reduce stress!

Here are my top 5 tips for creating a guest list that you may be happy with:

Set a Wedding Guest Limit Before you Begin

Would you like an intimate wedding or a big wedding, to include most people you know? There’s no right or wrong answer but it’s helpful to put a limit in place before making a decision regarding who to invite. It’s really difficult to eliminate people after you have written a list!

Your guest list will have a direct impact on your budget. Draw up a budget first, and decide on an approximate amount that you would like to spend per head. When you have made a decision, the choice of a venue will be easier. 

Create Your Wedding Guest A-list First

Start by writing an A-list. This is a list of people whom you can’t imagine not having at your wedding, such as immediate family and very close friends! You and your partner may each write an A-list and then combine them.

Create a Wedding Guest B + C list

When you have written your A-list, create a B and C-list. Your B-list may be people who are close to you, but whom you don’t see that often, such as extended family. Your C-list may be people who are ‘nice to haves’ (think of ‘plus ones’ whom you don’t know, or extended family whom you see occasionally).

B and C list tips:

  1. If your partner or yourself have not spoken to them in the last few months, move them to the B list.
  2. If there are people whom you’re inviting because you feel you ought to (perhaps you attended their wedding), move them to the B-list.
  3. If neither of you can remember when you last saw or spoke to them, move them to the C-list. You may find that looking at your message thread on your phone is helpful in this instance! 
  4. We all have different priorities, so there is no right or wrong way to do this. I personally didn’t want anyone at my wedding that I hadn’t spoken to for a few months (even if we had been close in the past!) so I found that looking at my messages was a really helpful way to make a decision about who to invite.

Remember plus ones and kids

Just when you thought that making a decision about your guest list was difficult, remember that plus ones and kids may take up a fair portion of your possible guest list! This decision will be largely influenced by the guest limit you set at the outset.

If you would like a more relaxed, outdoor wedding you may be more than happy to have kids, but if you’re having a sit down meal you may be more inclined to request that no kids will attend the reception.

When it comes to plus-ones, some things you may consider are:

  • How long have they been with your friend/family member? You may be less inclined to invite them if they have only been dating for a couple of months.
  • Who is the guest for whom you’re considering a plus one? If they are your best friend or sibling you may choose to invite their plus one regardless of how long they have been together.
  • Does the guest for whom you’re considering a plus one know anyone else? If they don’t know anyone at your wedding, you may consider allowing them to bring a plus one, so that they feel more comfortable.

Have a Pandemic Plan

In the current state of the world, you may want to keep alert levels in mind. If you have a guest count of over 100 it’s valuable to have a ‘level two list’ which only includes 100 people. Thereby, if alert levels change before your wedding you won’t be faced with the last-minute stress of reducing a guest list.

Finally, it’s important to remember that this is YOUR wedding and your guest list should include people that you’re so happy to have there!

Do you have any further questions? Contact me here.

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