Tips for Creating Your Guest List

Planning your guest list can be one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning.  Why is that?  Because everyone loves going to weddings.  Seriously.  Rarely do you find anyone not wanting to attend a wedding.

I have been to over 50 weddings in my life so far - weddings I’ve planned, coordinated and attended as a guest.  And to this time, I still don’t tire of them.  There’s something about weddings that make it a fun gathering that people want to be a part of. 

However, whether you are on a limited budget or you have limited space at your venue, deciding who will attend your wedding can be difficult.  Do you want it to be an adult-only wedding?  If you allow kids, should you put a limit as to how many families you invite?  Do you let your parents invite their friends?  Or your siblings invite their friends? Do you need to invite your coworkers?  How about your college friends? High school friends? Childhood friends?  Or how about, the friends whose weddings you've attended, but you haven’t been in contact with them in years?

Feeling overwhelmed yet?  There are so many questions and soo many people.  How do you get a grip on who to invite without wanting to tear your hair out?

Here are my tips for getting organized when it comes to your wedding:

Tip #1: Start a list. Take out a piece of paper and for the next week, you and your fiancé will write down every name of every person you may want to have attend your wedding.  You can open this up to your immediate family as well (especially if you are close to your siblings' friends or consider your parents' friends to be honorary aunts and uncles).  I say take a week because, at your initial writing, there are names you will most definitely forget.  

Tip #2: Know how many people you can invite. Then invite 10% more than that number because anywhere between 10-20% of your invited guests will decline.  

Tip #3: Go to excel or grab three sheets a paper.  I say excel because I like the convenience of it or you can start a sheet in Google docs and it can sort, alphabetize, add/subtract easily. But if you prefer paper and pen grab the three sheets of paper.  Label each sheet “List A - must have, List B - would be great to have, List C - no biggie if they’re not there.” 

Tip #4: Start placing names on each sheet.  This is definitely something for you and your fiancé to do together.  Don’t tackle this alone because you’ll end up putting all your people on List A and his people on List B or C. Haha just kidding.  Maybe not.  But it’s good to do this with your fiancé, especially if there are guests your immediate family want to have there but they end up on List B or C. 

Tip #5: Don't do it all at once. If you try to do it all in one sitting, I guarantee by the time you get to the bottom of the list, you're going to be so drained you won't care what list each person is put on.  So do a little bit, take a break, and come back to it when you can.  Of course, don't put it off for too long; the last thing you want to do is send your invitations last minute. 

Bonus Tip: Look at your List C.  Depending on your relationship with the people in this group, you can save yourself some potential headaches and tell them (in-person ideally) that you may not be able to invite them to the wedding. You can give an explanation like we don't have enough space, we're on a limited budget, etc. Give a reason that's genuine.  They'll understand. However, if they’re people that live far away or you’re not close to them, you don’t need to say anything, and just send them a wedding announcement after. 

Hopefully creating your guest list can now be stress-free!  Did you find these tips helpful?  Share with us below how you created your guest list?