The struggle is real: Managing your wedding guest list
Lhia Ubaldo | July 23, 2020
Struggling managing your wedding guest list? We’ll help you manage with these tips.
As your wedding becomes one of the most significant day of your life, your guests are part of what makes it special and memorable. But let’s all face it, drafting and cutting your guest list might not be quite as fun as tasting cake flavors and picking out flowers for your bouquet.
Coming up with your guest list should be something you and partner should discuss when you start planning for your wedding. Small intimate weddings are always a win-win in terms of experience (for you and your guests) and your budget. But that isn’t always the case. Not when you and your partner come from big families and have lots of different sets of friends and colleagues.
So how do you manage your list and stop the numbers from going up the roof? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
INVITE WHO MATTERS MOST IN YOUR LIFE
Will they be in your life for the next 5 – 10 years? Do you speak to them often? Do you share a special bond with them? Do they add something to your life which is likely to remain the same for years to come? From work buddies to childhood friends to great aunties you see at Christmas, ask yourself are they in for the long-haul, if not, then drop them from your list. After all, your wedding is a special day you want to share with important people in your life.
…BUT ALSO CONSIDER OTHER DECISION MAKERS
Ultimately, its really up to you and your partner to decide the people to invite to your wedding. But if there are other parties helping to pay for the celebration (parents, grandparents, relatives), then it’s considered polite to include them in the process. Proper etiquette for a traditional gathering usually means that the couple and both sets of parents are involved with the guests. So that means you and your partner get one-third of the guest list space.
MAKE AN A-LIST AND A B-LIST
So here’s how it works: Your A-list consists of the must-have invites you couldn’t imagine not having at your wedding, like your family and close friends. They’ll receive your first round of invitations. The B-list are guests you still really want to be there, so don’t put just anyone in it. If you start getting RSVPs and it turns out they couldn’t make it or didn’t RSVP’ed in time, then you’ll start sending invites to your B-list.
MAKE THE FINAL MASTER LIST
Once you’ve collected all the names, write it all down and consider it as your master list. Do discuss this with your partner for further screening.
Just a warning: This tends to be a sensitive subject, so review your list (very common and totally normal) wedding guest list arguments ahead of time so you can be prepared to talk it out in a fair and rational way.
AVOID LAST MINUTE ADD-ONS
Inevitably, words will spread out fast before someone can spell Mississippi. So you’ll probably get a one to two awkward comments along the lines of “I can’t wait to come to your wedding!” from someone you’re not sure or really planning to invite. Naturally, you’ll reflexively respond “Me too!”. Do this and you’ll end up adding them in your list.
Tip: Save yourself from potential awkward conversations by coming up with a polite response such as “Of course we’d love to invite everyone, but unfortunately, with the venue space and our budget, we aren’t able to.” Then take the conversation in a totally different direction.
CONSIDER AN ADULTS-ONLY WEDDING
As you allow kids in your wedding, your guest count will also increase. But ask yourself, if you’re allowing kids, you’ll satisfy your loved ones or if you actually want them to be present during this important moment of your life.
If you decide to have an adults-only wedding and stick to this plan, this can keep your guest list numbers a little lower overall. Your call.
ALWAYS FALL BACK TO YOUR BUDGET
When it feels like the guest count is over the roof again, go back to your budget. While it would be nice to invite all of your co-workers, distant relatives and your friend’s friends, most couples simply can’t afford to have every person in their lives attend their wedding. At the end of the day, your happiness and well-being is all that people should want for you and your partner.
FINALLY SEND THE CAREFULLY SCREENED INVITES
Once you, your partner and some other decision makers have agreed on the final list, it’s time to figure out who can actually make it. Make your “RSVP by” date very clear and obvious. Then, follow up with late RSVPs right away by phone. If they can’t respond by then, let them know you regretfully may have to offer it to someone else.
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As a couple, it helps if you stay firm with your decisions when making a guest list. So don’t stress too much and go finalize that guest list!
Now Managing your wedding guest list will now be easier.