Once you’ve got your venue and date booked in, what’s a wedding without your nearest and dearest? Your guest list plays a huge factor to the overall cost and experience of your wedding, and asking someone to be at your wedding is kind of a big deal.
Off the top of your head, I’m sure you can name a group of people you’d like to invite. But trust me, that list will continue to grow when you start writing them out and getting input from your fiancé and family members.
Our smart wedding guest list manager gives you a quick way to add and tally up all the names of the people you could imagine inviting to your wedding so you’ll have a good idea of how many guests you can expect before searching for the perfect venue.
Creating Your Wedding Guest List
To start, use the guest list manager to add all the people you two could ever image at your wedding, including any plus ones and children. This will give you an idea of the number of guests you want to invite, and from there, you should consider who else might be expecting input into this equation.
Now this is where things might get a bit sensitive. If you have parents, in-laws, or any family members who are contributing financially to the wedding, it’s only fair to be mindful of this and allow them to have a say in your guest list before making any big payments or decisions.
But while it’s important to show your gratitude for their financial help, don’t be afraid to respectfully put your foot down if things are getting out of control. After all, it’s your wedding day!
Now once family politics are in check and you’ve got their guest lists, you can add them to your guest list to draft up your wedding guest ‘wish’ list.
Wedding Guest List Tip #1: What’s Your Wedding Vision?
We recommend sitting down with your fiancé and figuring out what each of you envision your wedding to be? Do you imagine an intimate gather of just your closest friends and family? Or do you see a massive party with hundreds of friends and extended family?
Take some time to figure out what your wedding vision is. Your guest count number is going to play a huge role in your budget and finding a suitable venue for accommodating everyone.
Cutting Your Wedding Guest List
While there are varying opinions on who to invite to your wedding, I think you should invite those who you actually want to spend your day with! After all, weddings are about celebrating with the people you love, right?
So if you’re finding yourself questioning some of the names on your guest ‘wish’ list, it’s time to do some trimming.
From my experience, guest numbers add up quickly and it can get a bit emotional when deciding who makes the cut. If you’re having trouble figuring out who to invite, we have a great resource for that.
Wedding Guest List Tip #2: Set Some Rules
Let’s be real, when it comes to weddings, all sorts of family and friends start coming out of the woodwork. You might get the awkward “So when’s the wedding?” question from an distant acquaintance or a “Can I bring my Tinder date as my plus one?”
If you start inviting anyone and everyone, your guest list can easily get out of control. It’s important to sit down with your partner and set some rules so you’re both on the same page.
Here are some rules to consider that might make putting your guest list together a bit easier:
- If you haven’t talked to them in over 18 months, rethink the invite.
- Feeling guilty about cutting them out because they’re friends with other guests? Don’t invite them.
- If the guest isn’t in a serious relationship, don’t give them a plus one.
- Not crazy about kids? You can opt for an adults-only wedding.
- If they are a friend of a friend that you don’t see very often, count them out.
When all is said and done, you should only invite the people you want to share your day with. And honestly, the people who weren’t invited will understand!
Dividing Up Your Guest List: Wedding A & B Lists
After you’ve get through some trimming, you should have a rough idea of the number of guests to expect. This guest number may be expected, a pleasant surprise, or a total shock.
If you’re still finding yourself with a massive guest list that doesn’t match your vision or your budget, I recommend breaking your guests down further into an A-list and a B-list.
Your A-list guests are people you simply can’t imagine getting married without; your closest family and friends. Your B-list guests are for people you’d love to have at the wedding if your budget and venue allow for it.
Your A-list guests get the first round of invitations, and if any of those guests decline, you can start inviting guests from your B-list. It might seem a bit unpleasant to rank your guests by priority, but really it’s the easiest way to ensure you celebrate your wedding day with the most important people in your life without going over budget or venue capacity.
Don’t let invitation guilt sink in when you’re making your guest lists. Every single person on your list, even on the B-list, should be someone that you would love to have at your wedding.
The 10-week mark from your wedding day is a good time to send out invitations to your A-list. For a destination wedding, you should aim to send out the first round of invitations at least 2 or 3 months before your wedding date.
Once the invitations have been sent, you should start getting RSVP’s back within a couple of weeks!
Wedding Guest List Tip #3: Put your B-list guests in order
Expecting your RSVP rate to come back 100% is highly unlikely. Not because they don’t love you, but they’ve got to consider travel expenses, taking time off, and other personal circumstances that they may or may not tell you.
Having a guest regretfully declining is totally expected, and once you know who won’t be able to attend so you can start sending invitations to guests on your B-list!
So you don’t find yourself scrambling to choose who to invite next is putting your B-list guests in order of priority. That way you’ll know exactly who is next in line for an invitation.
Online Wedding RSVPs
When you start receiving your RSVP cards back by post, you can quickly update each guest’s RSVP status and make note of any dietary requirements they may have in your guest list manager. But if your guests are RSVPing directly on your website, their statuses will automatically be updated and shown in your dashboard!
To get a head start on your wedding guest list, create an account on wedsites.com to start using all the wedding planning tools!
Happy planning x