Seven Tips for Managing Your Wedding Guest List
Creating your guest list can be one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of wedding planning. After all, you want everyone to share in your happiness! Unfortunately, inviting everyone you know and their mother isn’t a realistic option for most couples. While creating a guest list can be challenging and even emotionally trying, there are a number of different things you can do to manage your guest list without the heartache!
Discuss Your Goals
What kind of wedding do you both envision as a couple? Do you imagine an intimate occasion with only your nearest and dearest by your side? Do you imagine dancing the night away surrounded by a few hundred loved ones? Perhaps you’ve always loved the idea of throwing the party of the century with your family, friends, and maybe even friends of friends (the more the merrier, after all). Talk about the wedding size that would be the most satisfying for you as a couple and keep this fact in mind moving forward.
Determine Your “VIPs”
Ask yourselves: Who are the guest list “must haves?” Who have you always imagined being by your side during this pivotal moment of your life? These people are your everythings, your non-negotiables. It’s likely that cuts will have to be made toward the end of the guest list management process, but your VIPs will never be on the chopping block.
Brainstorm a Master List
Once you’ve determined who’s on the VIP list, make a master list of all the guests you’d like to have at your wedding. The sky’s the limit! Think of it as a brainstorming session for your guest list. Some experts suggest that couples create two seperate master lists, then come together to see where there’s overlap and where the fat needs to be trimmed. This exercise is a great way to get the conversation started around who should and should not be there.
Manage Your Parent’s Expectations
Some parents can be opinionated about the guest list, especially if they are picking up the tab. While it’s important to respect your parents, particularly if they’re financial contributors to your big day, it’s also important to lay down boundaries. After all, it’s your wedding day and once you allow them to step over the line, the requests for changes will only keep pouring in.
Figure Out if “Plus One’s” are Allowed
While it’s traditionally been a given to offer wedding guests a plus one, it’s becoming more common for couples to turn away from this tried-and-true rule. Afraid to break convention? Keep in mind that once you open the doors to a plus one, it’s generally considered rude to cherry pick who brings who. If your brother can bring his wife of 10 years, then your friend can bring their flavor of the week fling. Ask yourself: Do you really want to look at your wedding pictures and see a room full of strangers?
Consider an Adults Only Wedding
Inviting children can increase the guest count, but it’s important to ask yourself if you’re allowing kids to 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 your guns, this can keep your guest list numbers a little lower overall.
Always Fall Back on Your Budget
Long guest lists tend to make for expensive weddings. While it would be nice to invite all of your co-workers and your friend’s friends, most couples simply can’t afford to have every person in their lives attend their wedding. Keep in mind that every person that you add to the guest list is another mouth to feed and at the end of the day, your happiness and wellbeing is all that people should want for you and your beloved.