Top 3 Wedding Guest List Tips

Photographer:  Vin Le Photography   Venue:  Pasea Hotel

Photographer: Vin Le Photography
Venue: Pasea Hotel

Compiling your wedding guest list is one of the most important tasks in planning a wedding, and can also be one of the most difficult. Your guest list will have a direct effect on so many aspects of your wedding budget, from the more obvious ones like catering and bar, to cake, centerpieces, rentals, and even favors. If the thought of drafting your guest list is keeping you up at night, read on for my top 3 tips that will help you create and edit your guest list to fit your budgetary and venue needs.

  1. Start early. It’s never too soon to start your guest list! Having this count at the beginning of your planning process will help you get an idea of the venue size you’re looking for, as well as estimates for when you start meeting with vendors. Your number of guests is the first question any vendor will ask you and having this number ASAP will help you set your budget as well.

  2. Set ground rules. It’s important to be consistent in the way you whittle down your guest list, so consider setting some rules before you take the red pen to your list, such as:

    • Split up your guest count by numbers. Traditionally, 50% of invites goes to the couple, and 25% to each set of parents. Another great way to do this is just split the maximum guest count evenly between the 3 parties.

    • If neither of you have heard of or met this person, don’t invite them.

    • If neither of you have spoken to this person in 3 years or more, and they aren’t family, don’t invite them.

    • Decide if you want a kid-free wedding; it is completely in your right to declare an adults-only wedding!

    • Create a policy regarding plus 1s and stick to it. A lot of couples only allow plus 1s for guests that are engaged are married, but if you want to be a little more lenient, consider allowing plus 1s for anyone who was dating at the time of your engagement.

  3. Create a B-list. This is a great option to utilize during the chipping away segment of creating your guest list. While your A-list will undoubtedly be family and very close friends, your B-listers are people you would like to have at your wedding, but are okay not having there. Once you begin to get responses (and hopefully some declines here and there) you can branch out to your B-list.

There you have it! With these tips for creating your guest list, you’ll have your finalized numbers in no time. You may need to adjust as you go along, either in adding or removing people, but starting with a strong foundation will make the dreaded guest count a breeze. More than anything, keep the lines of communication open with your parents and your fiancé to make sure everyone feels that the guest list is fair and all parties are happy!