The Wedding Affair Perfect Planning Guide… The Guest List
Good morning all! We’ve made it to hump day…
Of course, you know the drill, it’s our favourite day of the week #weddingwednesday which mean’s it’s #weddinghour this evening (happy dances all round!). We’re the proud owners, and host #weddinghour every Wednesday between 9-10pm, over on Twitter. It’s the perfect excuse for us to talk non-stop about weddings (even more so than usual), everything pretty and hand out plenty of advice, too. Today, the topic is all about the feared guest list.
As always, whether you’re a Bride, Groom, supplier, venue, magazine, blogger or even a wedding fantasist; we’d love you to get involved with the beautiful conversation. Let us know your idea’s, experiences and tip’s for selecting who will be attending your wedding.
In the meantime, if you’re grappling with guest list anxiety; we have a handy little guide with all of our top ideas for guest list dilemmas. Drafting and cutting your guest list might not be quite as fun as tasting cake flavors, but follow these tips and it’ll go much more smoothly than you will have ever thought
Decide how you’ll divvy up the list—before accepting financial help.
We won’t tiptoe around the truth: Making a guest list can get very messy, especially if one or both sets of parents are involved in the planning or contributing financially. That’s why you should be clear about your expectations before you accept help from them. Even if you’re paying for the wedding yourselves, it’s a good idea to get the families together and talk about the guest list so there are no surprises, for them or you. Once you’ve started putting down deposits with someone else’s money, you’re in a bind, whereas before you start spending, you can still negotiate or choose to decline.
Use a system that’s collaborative.
There are a lot of different ways you can build your guest list, but it’s best to use a system that’s collaborative so anyone with input can make edits in real time and see the most up-to-date version. With online apps and planners, you can easily can export your guest list to help create a seating chart and track your RSVPs. A website would be great for this too! It’s also useful to have everyone’s contact info all in one place, so later on you have a list for Christmas cards, anniversary party invitations and other special occasions.
Tip: Don’t delete any names once you get going. When the time comes to start dividing the yeses from the maybes (and the nos) you can use several color-coded tabs, or make a separate document for names you’re unsure about. You might discover that you do have extra space, but if you erase the names completely, you’ll have no idea who you might want to invite and possibly miss people from the list.
Design the dream list…
When you start building your wedding day list, take a note of everyone you could ever imagine attending your wedding, from old school friends to your cousins that you haven’t seen in forever. Just for this part, take your budget and venue out of the equation. You’ll have to do some trimming later on, but for now, think big. As I mentioned above, you don’t want to miss out on people at this stage, as it can get trickier further down the line.
Tip: If you’re tempted to invite even more people on a whim later, go back to this list as a reality check. If they were never on your dream list, are they really crucial now? Is it possibly worth saving a few pennies?
Be realistic & avoid stress…
Crunching the numbers the glamorous part of wedding planning, but there is a figure you really can’t avoid: your guest list counts.
Your budget and the venue size are the main factors that should play into this decision. Each guest adds to the number of plates your caterer will prepare, favors, chair rentals and how much cake you’ll need. Oh, and too the amount you pay per head for the wedding breakfast. Choose a number that’s larger than your venue’s capacity and you’ll be holding your breath every time you open an RSVP.
It’s much better to keep your number on the conservative side. If there’s room in the budget or you end up having more space than you thought you would, add later on. Alternatively, you could see if you have room for them at the evening do.
Make some rules (and actually follow them).
It’s time to return to reality and start trimming that dream list until you reach your real number. The easiest way to cut the list is to come up with rules and actually stick to them. We promise it’ll be easier in the long run and you’ll avoid potential drama down the line.
So, What do we mean by “rules”? Here are a few common ones to get you thinking:
Rule 1: If neither of you has spoken to or met them or heard their name before, don’t invite them.
Rule 2: Not crazy about inviting children to your party? Don’t feel bad about having an adults-only wedding.
Rule 3: If neither of you has spoken to them in three years and they’re not related to you, don’t invite them.
Rule 4: If there’s anyone who’s on the list because you feel guilty about leaving them off (maybe because you were invited to their wedding or they’re friends with lots of people who are invited), don’t invite them.
After this, send out save the dates to your priority people, if some of them can’t make it you will then have some space to invite the people that were in the ‘maybe’ list!
Don’t let people wear you down. This is YOUR wedding
Boundaries—set them and stick to them. When it comes down to it, this is your wedding. If budget is the issue, and your parent’s are being a pain then the solution could be as simple as having whoever wants more guests chip in extra to pay for the overflow. If you are wanting a cosy intimate wedding, then tell them this from the get go, don’t let them make you feel that their choice of guest prioritises over yours. Also, if someone is giving you a hard time about not been invited to your wedding, that will show you all of the reasons why they shouldn’t be coming.
Surround yourself with people that you love, and people that love you and your day will be much more special. Remember, don’t loose sight of what the day really is about. That’s the most precious advice.
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