What makes a wedding perfect? The stunning venue, the unique decor, the well-thought-out concept...and? Of course, the guests! All those amazing people surrounding you on the most special day of your life. But creating a guest list that everyone feels happy about is not as easy as it might sound. That's why we decided to put together a list of 8 simple tips to help you get started.
The Earlier, The Better
Deciding on who to invite is a pretty tricky task. It requires a lot of consideration, patience, and making quite a few hard decisions. Starting well ahead will not only save you time but will also make it less stressful for you if something unexpectedly goes wrong or you need to make changes. So, the best timing? As soon as you decide on your wedding date!
It Takes Two to Tango
We absolutely love this saying, and it perfectly matches our next tip. Weddings are all about celebrating the love and commitment between two people, so your partner is just as important in the planning process as you are. Be honest with each other and make sure you share a similar vision for the guest list and overall vibe of the day. In moments of disagreement, try to find a compromise instead of turning everything into a conflict. Wedding planning is already quite a journey, and sudden drama won't make it any easier.
Budget and Venue Matter
When creating your wedding guest list, keep in mind your budget and venue capacity. Even if you don’t have an exact location booked yet, you probably already have a vision of your day. Ask yourself some navigating questions like: "Will it be an opulent celebration? Or something more cozy and intimate?" With this in mind, set an approximate guest number and start working from there.
Put Family and Close Friends First
Before writing down all the names you can think of, determine your VIPs and must-invites. This would most likely be your inner circle and people you just can’t imagine your wedding without: parents, siblings, grandparents and very close friends. Be sure to invite them no matter what! Then, if budget and venue allows, add others such as extended family, work colleagues and mutual friends. If, at some point, you have to cut down your list, just cross out the names that are closer to the bottom of the list.
Create the A & B Lists
A very wonderful idea is to come up with two guest lists. It’s a very nice strategy that can make the planning process easier. Your A list would include the most important people in your life. Meanwhile, the backup list B would feature people you'd love to invite but may not have the same level of connection with. Here's how it works: if an A-list guest can't make it, you can move the B-list guest to the primary list. But make sure to keep these lists private to avoid any potential awkwardness or hurt feelings!
Set the Rules
Another important step is to decide whether you will be inviting plus-ones or allow kids, and if so, under what circumstances. We recommend coming up with some rules and sticking to them with everyone you are planning to invite. For instance, a plus-one will only be invited if someone is married, in a long-term relationship or already engaged. For kids, you can set a certain age cutoff or go for an adults-only wedding. If you're leaning towards a kids-free celebration, don't stress about it — it's totally acceptable and very common!
Sure, you can go traditional with a pen and paper. But how about making the process faster with spreadsheets or online managing tools? With just a few clicks, you can personalize your lists to match your needs. For example, you can add extra columns for addresses, RSVP status and dietary preferences, making it so much easier for you to update and filter out information about your potential guests. Plus, you can easily share your spreadsheets with your partner or family and edit them collaboratively.
Don’t Feel Guilty
It’s impossible to invite everybody, so don’t feel guilty every time you skip a name. You are not obliged to invite to your wedding a friend of a friend or an acquaintance only because they were nice to you. Set priorities! Remember: politely saying "no" won't offend anybody, and if somebody tries to guilt-trip you, don't get caught up in their manipulation. After all, it's your day, and you are to decide who to invite. As an alternative, you can always arrange a relaxed dinner after the main event for some of those who didn't make it to the final cut.