Let’s face it: guest lists are tricky, especially when it comes to weddings. It is one of the first things you need to discuss with your fiancé as soon as you start wedding planning. Intimate weddings are always a win in terms of experience (both for you and your guests) and your budget, but this doesn’t often happen. Not when you come from big families and have different sets of friends and colleagues. So how do you manage and stop the number from going up? See the tips below—and bookmark this page, you know you’ll need it!
Set Realistic Goals
The number of guests are connected to your budget and venue of choice. More guests = higher expenses. So sit down with your partner and set a clear, conservative and realistic number. “Conservative” because a little wiggle room will go a long way. Setting this early on will greatly help you in choosing your wedding venue.
Place Your Guests in Categories
When creating your guest list, it is always good to use an Excel sheet or Google Drive, where you can filter and see your guests easily. Put each name in categories, like “Bride’s Immediate Family” or “Groom’s High School Friends”. This way, you’ll be able to easily see if you missed anyone, and you’ll be mindful of the headcount. Say you have 150 guests, you can divide this number with your fiancé, and then allocate a certain number for each category (family, friends, workmates). Having categories will also make your life easier when it comes to assigning seats for everyone.
Put the Number of Seats in the Invitation
When you’re inviting groups or an entire family, always make sure that you put the number of seats allotted for them. This is to avoid confusion and to avoid an overflow of guests on the day of the wedding. This will also send a clear message if you choose your wedding to be an adult only event.
Have a Second Wave of Guests to Invite
Most venues have a minimum number of guests required, so when you start receiving regrets from your invited guests it gives you room to invite more people! This group may include your former colleague who moved to another company, or your high school classmate who now lives in another state. Having a second wave guest list can be tricky, because it’s important that these people don’t know or even feel that they are in your secondary group or wait list. Send your invitations early and remember to print a a different RSVP Card with a different deadline that you can send to your second wave group.
Be Open in Making Other Plans
If, after trying all these, there are still people that you/your fiancé/your parents feel that they need to invite, consider hosting a separate dinner for them or invite them to your wedding’s after party.
Ultimately, this is your and your partner’s wedding so it’s your call on who to invite. Those who are closest to you will make time to celebrate with you. Go now and sit with your partner, so you can finally finalize that guest list. Happy planning!