How To Create A Wedding List

9 Simple rules to help you nail down your wedding guest list.

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Hopefully you don’t have a family of vampires to invite.

There are a million little details to consider over the course of planning a wedding. Between the venue, the dress, the flowers, the wedding party, the music, and the location, planning the event can feel a little bit overwhelming. But when you add in the task of creating a guest list, it can seem downright impossible. If even the thought of making a wedding guest list makes you reach for the antacids, you need some advice from the experts.

1. Keep in mind your overall vision of the day

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Unless you have a very, very clear vision of what you want your wedding day to look like, the guest list shouldn’t be one of the first things you do in terms of wedding planning. In order to make your guest list, you first need to be able to answer some preliminary questions. Janessa White, co-founder of Simply Eloped, told INSIDER that knowing if you want a big or small wedding, where you want to hold the wedding, and on what day, should be set before you start to make an actual serious list.

“If you want to do it on a Monday or a Tuesday, your rates are gonna be way lower for that venue, but most people are only going to come on a weekend if you’re inviting hundreds of people,” White said.

2. Consider your budget

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Your budget influences pretty much every decision you’ll make regarding your wedding.

“Once you remove all other expenses, how much are you willing to pay per guest? Your venue will either have a general food and beverage minimum or a charge per person for food and beverage,” Chelsea Roy, founder at Everything But The Ring, said. “Take these numbers and add the service charge (generally between 18 and 25%) plus your local taxes. This is the amount you’re actually spending per person. Does it still fit your budget? If not, you will need to cut the list.”

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you won’t be able to invite everyone, but you have to feel comfortable with how much you’re spending on your wedding

3. Think about your target count

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If you have a general number of guests in mind, that can help you start to whittle down your list and start to figure out who should be included and who maybe can be left off the final tally.

“What I usually try to recommend is do you want to have a huge celebration or do you want to have something more personal? Because it’s hard to have both at the same time,” White said.

Make sure you clearly communicate to guests if they’re allowed a plus one, if you’re inviting the family, and other details, White advised. Keeping a target count in mind can also help you make some of those initial decisions like venue and food without having to have a completely finalized guest list ahead of time ormaking your venue choice and then altering your list.


4. Consider a backup list

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Backup lists are somewhat controversial, but if you’re having a really difficult time figuring out who should be at your wedding and who shouldn’t, they can be a compromise.

Essentially, a backup list means that you’ve made two lists: one that encompasses the people that you absolutely feel have to be at your wedding and another list of people that you’d like there but would be OK without them being there.

“The earlier you send invites, the sooner you can have an idea of who may not be attending so that you can open up those spaces to others,” Roy said. “Having this list may also come in handy if you have a food and beverage minimum and as you receive RSVP’s and realize you won’t meet your minimum, you can add these people in so that the money doesn’t go out the door. Be mindful to invite these people as early as you’re able to make a decision — receiving a wedding invite less than several weeks before a wedding is obvious and may make for some hurt feelings and questions.”

But some planners, however, do not recommend that you make two lists. “I don’t believe in making two lists,” wedding planner Linda Payne said. “You know who you want to invite…invite them. If they aren’t on the ‘A’ list you didn’t really want to invite them in the first place.”


5. Write it out

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On a computer, it can be difficult to tell exactly how long a list actually is — it can grow and grow before you even really realize what’s happening.

“Start your guest list on paper, then move it electronically,” Emore Campbell, owner of Emore Campbell Events, told INSIDER. “Writing instead of typing will help the couple realize exactly how many people are on their list, and may help slow down or halt the number of people they invite.”


6. Have a meeting

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Everyone who is involved in making the guest list for your wedding needs to be on the same page. If you and your partner are the only ones who are going to be making decisions about who will be in attendance at your wedding, then the two of you are the only ones who need to be in agreement, but all too often, there are more people involved.

“Have a meeting with all parties who are involved with adding to your list: parents, grandparents, groom, and bride,” Karen Emery, owner of A Wedding For You, said. “Spell it out. You have room for only a certain number of people and each division can only invite a certain number of people. Always blame it on the venue. If you blame it on the budget, they will offer to pay for additional people.”


7. Kids or no kids?

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Although you may want to have kids at your wedding, you shouldn’t feel obligated to accommodate them if you’d rather they weren’t there.

“Feel free to have an adults-only wedding,” Jennifer Gay, owner of Blue Flamingo Weddings, said. “If you don’t want your ceremony interrupted by a crying baby or a whining little one, if you don’t want your dance floor overrun by children (and believe me, if they are there, they will dominate the dance floor), if you want your friends to be able to imbibe and socialize freely without having to censor themselves, by all means, make your wedding adults-only.”

If you know that there will be a lot of kids coming into town with their parents for your wedding, you might want to coordinate babysitters for the kids so that the parents don’t have to worry about finding one — or let that keep them from attending the wedding in the first place.


8. Stick to venue restrictions

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Venue restrictions aren’t just a suggestion, so you should keep them in mind when determining your guest list.

“How many people will your space comfortably hold? Think about how you want to use the space,” Jessie Pinson, owner of Modern Vintage Events, said. “Will pushing your guest list to the max capacity of your venue allow for your sit down dinner or your 12-piece band and dance floor?”

Plus, no one wants to be stuck standing for most of all of your reception (if your venue will even allow that) because you invited more people than could comfortably fit in the room. Don’t invite way too many because then you don’t have much control over how many people actually attend. Stick to your venue’s guidelines.


9. Think about who’s paying

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Whoever is paying for the wedding should have some influence over the guest list. If you and your partner are paying for it all, then you have total control over the list. If you’re getting some help, however, you need to make some compromises.

“The guest list can be a give and take, especially when parents are contributing heavily to the budget,” Pinson said. “Understandably they feel that their friends should be there to celebrate the day with them since they are footing the bill. When numbers are tight though, this can lead to hurt feelings and a lot of added stress. I recommend giving each set of parents a set number of guests that they can invite outside of the already planned for family members so they can have some of their important people present with them.”

Article source:  This is Insider