Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and your guests are an integral part of what makes the day so special. Selecting your guests is such a fun process – when else do you get a day filled with all your favourite people!? Don’t get overwhelmed by all the people you want or all the people you feel you have to invite… we’re going to help you nail your guest list, which you can then keep track of with our handy Guest List tool. You’re welcome!
Where do you want to get married? If your event is a lavish affair in a massive venue, then go crazy on numbers. If you only want your nearest and dearest at a smaller venue, then that will give you an indication of how many people you can invite. Your budget will also play a big role in the decision making process, but tricks like opting to hold a buffet or a cocktail party instead of a sit down meal will give your budget room for manoeuvre (yay!).
Set aside a cosy evening to sit down with your loved one and write down everyone you might want to invite: family, friends and optional guests. The optional guests will probably include work colleagues, distant relatives, or the potential plus ones of family or friends. The best way to decide on the optional guests is to ask yourself: would I be offended if I wasn’t invited to their wedding? If the answer is yes, then it’s best you include them on the guest list! Bonus: if you suddenly need to cut down on the guest list, you will know which group to start with! And if some of your friends and family can’t come, you can start inviting some of those optional extras.
Consider how many guests you are allocating to each of the families. When previously the bride’s family paid for everything, they got the upper hand in deciding whom to invite. Now, some couples pay for their own weddings, or both families contribute, so think about how to have this conversation with your parents. Similarly, families may be expecting to bring their children along to your wedding and if this isn’t something you want, think about letting them know in advance, so that they can organise babysitters.
Play around with your timings. You could invite immediate family and friends to the ceremony and reception and then invite a load more for the food and dancing – or the other way round. Or you could invite more people after the wedding breakfast for cocktails and grooving. Play with the timings and numbers to suit you and your budget! Remember, that on average, 20% of your invited guests may decline, allowing you more room for manoeuvre. However, don’t hold out for this exact number to decline! In fact, it is always worth asking your caterer the cost of last minute changes, just in case someone turns up or drops out!
Final point: Once you’ve made the perfect guest list, don’t forget to put your own names on the list, you would be surprised how many couples don’t do that and are amazed to find the caterer short of two plates!