As experts in the wedding and party events industry, we understand more than anyone how planning a wedding can be a stressful ride for the future newlyweds.
So many details to take care of, from choosing a venue, the dress, the menu, the flowers, the music, the photographer, the cake, and then, of course, a party is not a party without the guests. We’ve seen couples who are so eager in the early preparations (tasting cake flavors being one of them), but then get a bit stuck on the decision about how long their guest list should be. Nothing is irresolvable, and here we have a few guidelines that will help you cut through it faster, and be happy with it!
Drafting Your Wedding Guest List
Determine what kind of wedding you prefer and how much you can afford. If you prefer a small, intimate ceremony, then this task gets much easier for you. Your families, your dearest friends, and the best man will comprise your guest list. If it is a more substantial or more lavish wedding, then you can allow for more relatives, coworkers, and friends. However, the best idea is to think in terms of quality time and not quantity in terms of guests. Sometimes, your year-long colleagues can happen to be more close and dear to you than some distant relative that hasn’t shown much interest in keeping contact with you.
Who is involved in the creation of the guest list? The bride and the groom come first. Define the guests that you two as a couple would like to attend your wedding, without any ”restrictions” in your mind (the trimming comes later). You should come up with a certain number. Next, providing your wedding isn’t a smaller, intimate ceremony, your parents will most likely want to invite some of their closest friends or working partners. Ask them if there are certain people they would like to attend that are not on your first draft list.
Defining Your Wedding Guest List
Now that all sides have stated their guest wishlist check the total number. Does it match with the intended scope and size of the wedding? If yes, whew, lucky you, that was easy! If no, however, it is time to prioritize and compromise. Go over the list and put a question mark by who you would miss less should they not attend the wedding (it is not as cruel as it may sound). If you have listed kids (as “by default” attendees) and don’t feel crazy about having kids at your event, it is okay not to invite them.
If yours and your partner’s parents’ lists are much longer than you’ve anticipated, apply the even “rule“ of half + quarter + quarter. That means half of the total number of guests is from your list as a couple, one quarter is from your parents’ list, and the other quarter is from your fiancee’s parents’ list.
Should you invite your friends’ partners, providing you haven’t met them yet?
The answer is strictly dependant upon two factors: the number of guests you planned for and how much you trust your friends’ judgment. If you can allow for several more guests at the wedding and have no problem meeting new people on your wedding day, then it is okay for the invitation to be for two. The other factor mentioned – trusting your friend’s judgment relates to how much they know their partners or for how long. Attending a wedding with a new partner that they met last month might not be the most appropriate. However, most importantly, Relax!
Your wedding will not be less than perfect if the guest list is not 100%, as you imagined a few months earlier. Focus on your happy day and do the best to enjoy this day – after all, the guests are there for you, not you for them.