Designing a Guest List
Figure this: You have just gotten engaged (congrats!) and are now looking at the daunting task of planning your wedding. There is just so much to do! Where do you start? Well, the very first step is to come up with a guest list- something that can be quite the ordeal in and of itself. Who will make the cut for your big day? (When you have done all this- check out my blog post for other tips in planning your big day!)
The first step in making a guest list is for you and your now-fiance to each make a list of the people whom you would like to invite. Also ask your parents if they have any suggestions- though you do not necessarily have to take them! This includes everyone- family, friends, coworkers, etc. Categorize them- those who have to be there and those that would be nice to have. Also note who needs to get an invitation and/or announcement but probably will not come. How big is this list? How many people do you have in common? To start whittling this down, here are a few more tips.
Remember that you should set a total number of guests you will be inviting. And don’t forget to stick to it! A realistic and dependable guest count will help to guide you in your plans for a venue, food, etc. Make yourself a buffer of a few for those you forgot to invite, but set a hard and fast date that no more people can be added.
As you are setting your list, make sure a decision is made early on as to whether you want children at your wedding or not. There is no right or wrong answer to this! (But check out this blog post to give you some ideas!) It is your day and you can celebrate it with or without kids there. Just make sure you are counting the kids when you are making your final guest count. With the exception of the smallest of babies, the kids will count toward the seat count, but not necessarily toward the catering count. Make sure you check with your caterer for more info!
Next, you need to decide your stance about wedding guest dates. Generally the saying of “no ring, no bring” is not necessarily for the best. In this age, a lot of people have been a couple for a heck of a long time but are not engaged or married yet. Sometimes it is not worth alienating others! Still need to keep your list down but want to invite those long-term partners? Make sure you address your invitation to both of them, rather than just one. Then maybe ask your 16-year-old nephew to leave his prom date at home this time.
Finally, do know that you do not have to invite everyone! This is YOUR day and you should be able to enjoy it. For instance, you may be on friendly terms with your ex, but it is definitely not advisable to invite them! You are also under no obligation to invite your boss or your coworkers that you are not friends with in real life. If you are going to be letting loose and enjoying an open bar, you may not want to have them there! Additionally, do not cave under pressure from your parents to invite their friends. Just because they have known them a long time does not mean you have! Put them on the list to receive a post-wedding announcement, but there is no need to have them attend.
Now go forth and start your planning!