September 5, 2018
Hey friends! A few weeks ago the topic came in on how to make the guest list an easier task and I decided this is a great topic to share with all of you. This is something so many couples struggle with including myself. I know how you’re feeling when it comes to writing your list out, because it is a huge task and so much goes into it. The guest list can be very overwhelming but following these 5 tips hopefully can show you an easier path to follow, when it comes to your guest list.
1. Establish your budget
The reason why I say this first, before anything is because you need to know your over all budget before you can think about your guest list & venue. When I was engaged, I missed this step and didn’t start out knowing our budget, which left me feeling unorganized. If you can establish your budget from the getgo before any plans are made, this is one of the smartest things you can do.
I know money and who can invite who is a weird subject that might be awkward. You will have to rip the bandaid off when it comes to feeling awkward and talk about it because communication is key. Knowing who is paying for what out of you as the couple, the brides parents or the groom’s parents is a discussion that needs to be gone over. It needs to be talked about before the planning process in order to keep everything in check!
Traditionally the bride and groom gets half the guest list. The other half is split between each set of parents. Other times, the bride and her parents have half the list and the Groom and his parents have the other half. Either of these approaches allows the guest list to be drama free when split evenly.
2. Who to add or discard on your list
Something to remember, if you haven’t seen them in over a year, will you regret later on not inviting them? The gut check is really crucial here because you might feel the need to invite a friend since you were invited to their wedding but do what’s right for you. If they aren’t active in your lives, there is no need to send an invite out of guilt. Send out to friends who are by your side no matter what stage of life you’re in!
If you’re close with your coworkers who are like your bff’s then of course add them. If though you simply share lunch from time to time and are more acquaintance by work rather than “friends,” chances are you wouldn’t miss their presence on your big day. If your co-workers are inactive in your lives don’t feel that they need an invite just because your office is across the hall from theirs.
If you don’t know the guest’s plus one, don’t feel obligated to invite unless they’ve been in a relationship over a year! Your guest’s plus one’s will add numbers quickly to your list and more of the time, the plus one’s are people you as a couple don’t know. In the occasion that you don’t feel it’s right not to allow a few of your guests a plus one who aren’t in a relationship. Run it through your gut check. If it doesn’t sit right with you, allow those few guest a plus one. If you’re running low on numbers keep in mind that doing this adds to your list
3. Create the A & B List
Now that you know who to add and who shouldn’t receive an invite, now it’s time to make the A & B list. For some couples this really works well and is the best way to stay true to your budget and venue capacity. Some guests though on the other hand, view this as rude. If these guest, realize they are on a B list, they are offended by being a “backup” option. Let’s be honest, in my opinion as well as many others, we should be guests who are grateful and honored no matter what list we’re on.
A- Start with the A list. Be sure to add anyone who you couldn’t picture your wedding day without. Remember to include yourselves into this list as well as your immediate families. Sometimes couples forget to add in themselves to the list till after, which then causes frustration on the added numbers.
B- Finish with your B list. This is for the maybe guests you’d still love to send an invite to if there is room. When people from the A list send you a “maybe” or “declined” rsvp, the B list allows you wiggle room. When you get declined from your A list (because this will happen) you still are able to put their numbers to use and give it to someone on your B list. This doesn’t mean the B list are backup options as in can apear. The B list guests are still very important to the couple but in reality aren’t as close as the A list.
If you still feel weird about this, find an option that works best for you and your gut feeling. Or, send out the invitations for the A list 10 weeks in advance. Doing this allows plenty of time to get the rsvp’s in so you can send out invites to your b list without the B list being a big deal.
4. The no Shows
Something to keep in mind as well as to remember, there are a good handful of no shows who rsvp “yes”. It is frustrating because you could have given their spot to someone else. Most of the time, you won’t experience this until after the wedding because they had said “yes” to coming and now, are nowhere to be found on your big day. This can be due to a stomach bug, the guest forgetting the date or time. Regardless, this happens at every wedding. If you send your invites out and are over your capacity by around 10-15 guests, don’t sweat it. I’m not saying to rely on the no shows but I am saying that if you’re a little over on your list, that’s okay because it’ll even itself out when no shows happen.
5. Venue Capacity
Now that you have your A & B list together, it’s time to venue shop. Your numbers can really dictate on where you have your wedding. If you have a small guest list then you are doing great while having flexibility on where you’d like your wedding. If you have a larger guest list, look for the venues that allow 200+ guest. These venues are more limited but you can still find them!
Something that is also really great is to start meeting with some wedding planners. Now that you know your budget and your guest list, you can skip the research of different venues and their capacity and tackle this with a planner by your side who knows all about your budget, the venues in your area as well as their capacity and restrictions.
I hope these 5 tips give you better knowledge on the mumbo jumbo of the guest list! There are many ways to type up your list but I find the best way to keep everything organized is through excel spreadsheets. There are great resources and tools on how to start a spread sheet on excel, for your wedding guest list. Here is a youtube video tutorial that walks you through from start to finish on excel, that I found helpful. – CLICK HERE!
If you are someone who is engaged and having struggles or would like to request a blog topic, please leave it in the comments below or contact me. Let me know how I can better serve you!
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