Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wedding Planning Quick Tips: The Guest List

How To Pick Who Makes The Cut

Ask any Bride what the hardest thing was in the planning process. If it wasn't the budget, it was the guest list. There are a lot of reasons that this task becomes the most difficult. I'll go through some tips on how to create, manage, and decide on your future guests.
Meg Ann Photography

Make an Initial List

This list will be a rough.. rough.. rough.. draft of what the final guest list will look like. Make your own and have your fiance make his own too. My suggestion is to start with family. You will have a good idea of who will all be attending on your side and that they will be set in stone as well. Start adding in your closest friends and spouses of your wedding party. Make sure to remember parents of good friends who you would like to see there.

Start with just that. See where you are and add in your fiances first list as well. Is it far off either high or low from what you guessed? If it's extreme in one way or another you may need to reevaluate your budget. (We'll get to that later)

Who Do You Leave Off?

A good rule of thumb when it comes to weddings is if you haven't seen or spoken to a person in over a year, they don't make the cut. "But he was my best friend when we were 6!" Yes, but you don't spend time with this person, have a daily relationship, or even an occasional drink with them so why would they need to come to your wedding? This is where it gets tough but you need to be brutally honest with yourself and each other because at the end of the day it's about the two of you not someone who's feelings might be bruised for a day or so. 

What's the Magic Number?

Most venues have a max amount of people they can accommodate at seated tables. This should give you a pretty good idea of what you are working with if you've looked into a couple venues. At this point you should have chosen a budget and it should be fairly clear how much money you are able to spend. If you get quotes from caterers about price per plate it will help you bring it down to a close number of people. Ours was 300. It seems huge but after we started making our lists, we realized we would actually have to cut back on guests!

We went to a few venues and talked numbers. Guests and price per plate that is. It really helped us shape to a certain number of people we could host.

I would highly suggest doing this before picking a number at random and basing your list off that.

How to Divide by Groom and Bride

My family is significantly larger than my husbands so therefore I was bound to have a higher number than his. But at first we split it half way. I would get 150 and so would he. It really helped me look at who I wanted there the most. It's your day but it's not just about you. Make sure everyone has a say in who can come.

How Many Guests are Your Parents Allowed?

This can be a tough one especially if your parents are helping cover costs for the wedding. They will always feel obligated to invite friends who had invited them to their own kids weddings. They also will want to invite coworkers and old friends they stay in touch with. Make sure to set some limits here because the guest list can get out of hand quick with this theory!

Invite Your Friends

This is where the party is! Your friends will be the ones that will stay on the dance floor keeping the mood up all night. As current and fun as the music is, it will never be a good dance unless people actually get out there! Inviting friends is the best guarantee to have a good time!     

Stay Crafty!


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