How To Make A Wedding Guest List Stress-Free
While some couples love making their wedding guest list, others find it to be an overwhelming task that produces anxiety and guilt. Between staying within your budget and trying not to offend anyone, creating your guest list can be a headache.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few simple factors to consider that will make the whole wedding guest list process much easier on yourself.
Determine Your Budget
Hopefully this won’t make you imagine little dollar signs everywhere, but for each guest you invite, there are expenses. For each guest, you’ll need to send a save the date, an invitation with postage, a place setting at a table, a meal, a piece of wedding cake, a few drinks, and a wedding favor. Figure out how many wedding guests you can afford with your budget before you begin making your wedding guest list.
Start With Those Closest To You
Once you have your wedding guest budget in place, begin listing your closest family members and friends. Try to allow room for your parents (or whoever is paying for the wedding) to invite a few guests of their own.
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Wedding Guest Lists: How Many People Should You Invite?
Don’t Feel The Need To Invite Everyone
We understand the desire to not offend anyone, but you don’t need to invite those cousins you haven’t seen in fifteen years, or every single person from work. Stick to those individuals or families who you really want to see on your wedding day and who you want to take part in this huge step in your life. If you’re not that close with someone, they shouldn’t be offended they didn’t get an invite.
Consider The Golden Rules
There are some time-tested golden rules of making a wedding guest list that are good to keep in mind:
Rule #1: If there’s a person that someone wants you to invite but neither you or your fiancée has spoken to, met, or heard their name before, don’t invite them.
Rule #2: If you don’t like the idea of having kids at your ceremony or reception, you don’t have to invite them! Having an adults-only wedding is perfectly acceptable.
Rule #3: If neither you or your fiancée has spoken to someone in three years and they are not a relative, don’t invite them.
Sometimes a wedding invite is addressed to just one person, and then that one person adds an extra (or a few extra) names to the “Attending” line. This is actually common. To avoid extra wedding guests that you didn’t ask for, include the names of the guest(s) on the wedding invite with a check box so that it’s clear that they are the only ones who are being asked to come.
Have A B-List
You can definitely expect about 10-15 of your “A-list” wedding guests not to be able to make it. This is when a B-list comes in handy. As soon as you know some of you’re A-list guests can’t attend, send out your B-list invites. (They won’t need a save the date card.) It’s good to have your B-list ready to go—some couples even make theirs at the same time as their A-list guest list. A B-list wedding guest list typically includes acquaintances, colleagues, or extended family members. When you order your RSVP cards, it’s smart to have a second set printed with a later date for your B-list group.
The Dreaded Plus Ones
This is always a delicate subject. Each wedding guest costs money, and many couples don’t really want to pay $100+ for a stranger, or for someone who they feel may not be in a long-lasting relationship with the wedding guest. However, lots of single people don’t like to attend weddings alone. The best rule of thumb with plus ones is: if your wedding guest is engaged or has been in a serious relationship for a long time, invite their partner. If they’re single, they can come alone and hang out with your mutual friends. They will definitely have fun!
Make Several Drafts
When you make your original A-list wedding guest list, make at least three drafts. This will help straighten your head about everything and will help you pare down, if you need to.
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