The Easiest Way to Compile Your Guest List

12:16 PM, by Unknown

One of the biggest lists you will ever compile, is your wedding guest list. Seriously, it is no easy task, and can stir up more conversations, drama, and money than you ever imagined! When it comes down to it, all of the friends and family who come together from all aspects of your life, are what make up your party. It is also, these people who have heavy influence on your budget, venue options, caterers, bar services and so much more! This list can make or break your event, it can also make or break friendships and relationships with family members. I am not joking, when I say almost every aspect of your wedding is determined by your guest list. Wanna hire that calligrapher you admire on Instagram? That may be harder on your budget if you have 250 guests instead of 150. Want to give your guests individualized succulent favors, or miniature bottles of champagne with custom labels? Adorable, but the price goes up and it gets harder to fit in the budget the more guests you have.

Party Size Guidelines//
Intimate- 50-80 guests
Small- 80-120 guests
Average- 120-180 guests
Large- 200-300 guests

Step 1//Compile the list of well... pretty much everyone you can think of.
Think long and hard about this list. Its okay if their are people that may not make the final cut listed. Also, do this before you ever consult your family members for guests. Here is a tip from the pros : If you don't think of them right away, or don't even know who they are... they don't necessarily need to make the final cut. So make your list first, and then consult your family for who they also would like included.

Step 2//Organize your list
Organize your guest list into groupings (we have an awesome program for this in our client portal!) Divide them up between Bride's Family, Groom's Family, and Friends.

Step 3//Make Cuts
So you have this long list, of your friends, family, everyone that your parents think should be there, and then some. Odds are it is WAY larger than it needs to be. This is where drama and offending people can tend to occur, but make sure you are clear and concise, while also being fair. Don't eliminate 25 people from the Groom's family side, and 2 from the Brides. Be fair. My best advice is to sit, look at your list, and analyze each guest party. Think of the following points about each person... 1. Can you imagine your wedding without them? 2. Are your parents going to be upset if they aren't there? 3. Are they personally going to be upset if you do not invite them? Another good tip is to focus on who matters now. Just because you were friends with someone 10 years ago, if you haven't talked to them in forever, they may need to join the B List ((B List: the list of guests who depending on RSVP counts, may get an invite depending on how many guests decline their invitation)) Another note, if you have never spoken to, met, or heard the name of guest previous to this moment, cut them. Even if Mom or Dad get upset. Do not let guilt determine your guest list.

Step 4//Make a universal decision in regards to plus ones and kids
Ah, the never ending topic of plus ones and kids at weddings. Their are pros and cons to both, but whichever choice you go with, you need to be universal about it. If you say "No significant others unless they are engaged or live together" or "No children under age eighteen" you need to stick with that throughout the whole guest list. You don't want anyone offended or causing a scene the night of the wedding. Same goes for kids (however, if you have kids in the wedding party, or you personally have kids, they are always seen as an exception)

Step 5//Finalize it
Have your guest list finalized no later than 11 months prior to the wedding. This allows ample time for amendments and changes to venue counts, catering numbers, invitations, cake, and so much more!

Bonus Tip!//Vendors and Venues
Make sure from the get go you know minimum guests required. Venues and some vendors can book out 1-2 years in advance. So, if you fall in love with a venue and book it 18 months out, make sure you know the minimum guest count. Some venues do not budge on this number, and will either make you pay for the difference if you go under their minimum, or will not allow the wedding in general. So make sure you know the minimums and requirements for your guest count, this is a huge factor, and you will be happy you know this when it comes to your guest list creation.

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