Guest Lists

You’re freshly betrothed and eager to compile your guest list…or coming to the end of your honeymoon and enthusiastic to write your personal thank you notes.

The Guest List

Compiling a guest list for your wedding can be one the most difficult decisions when planning your wedding. Deciding how many people to invite to your wedding, then who is to be invited, but at the same time being mindful of your budget, and ensuring people are not offended can make it a frustrating task.

To begin make 2 guest lists, one of all the guests you will be inviting (they may be overseas, unable to travel etc) and another of the guests you expect to be able to make it to your wedding. Use the second figure to plan your wedding, however keep the first in mind for the number of invitations and RSVPs required. If you are unsure expect approx.10% of your guests to be unable to make it.

Your budget is an obvious dictator on the number of guests you’ll be able to invite. Another influence, and perhaps a blessing in disguise, may be the restrictions imposed by your chosen venue. Most will have a set minimum and maximum number of guests. Make a decision before booking a venue on your min and max guest numbers. This will limit the research in finding a perfect venue, and hopefully allow for most guests. Should the perfect venue not hold the capacity required, or not fit to your planned budget you will need to begin to look at ways to minimise your guest list.

As couples now tend to fly in the face of tradition, you should not feel obligated to invite anyone, however it pays to be mindful of whom you could potentially upset while you’re cringing at Mum’s requests, or the thought of your brother’s current girlfriend at your wedding. If your parents or family members are helping with the bill then you may choose to consider their requests for the list. Ultimately, your wedding day is the celebration of your love for one another, so try to put yourself 10 years into the future and ask yourself who you really want by your side on the big day.

If budget and venue can’t stretch to hold your whole list, consider inviting those who are not in your close group of friends and family, but a part of your daily life – work colleges, acquaintances, the groom’s rugby team….. to the party after the formalities of your reception. This will be a cost effective option, yet still includes everyone, and if well chosen most people will understand without feeling offended.

It is no longer expected to add a partner to invitations of single friends. This limits the strangers at your wedding, and allows more room for guests you would like to join you

Making your wedding ‘adults only’ can bring numbers down. If many of your guests have children, organise a few baby-sitters and entertainment for the group. Venues will often negotiate a rate to provide a meal for children and this allows their parents to relax and enjoy the day.

If you simply cannot exclude anyone but your budget doesn’t allow for everyone, then try a different approach. Consider a picnic in a park or at the beach or make the reception BYO beverages, or instead of guests bringing gifts ask them to contribute towards your wedding. Using this option everyone will be happy as they get to share in your wedding.

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