One of the first tasks of wedding planning is to start compiling a guest list. It is important to have a rough estimate of the number of people you will be inviting so you can begin searching for venues able to accommodate your guest count. You wouldn’t want to fall in love with a venue, only to find out it can only fit 80 out of your list of 200 guests, right?!
How do you decide who to extend an invitation to?
Start off by listing all of your family members, both immediate and extended. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.
Next, list non-related people who have made an impact in your life and/or you speak to regularly. This can include close friends, co-workers, clients who have become friends, college roommates, etc. Also, remember to ask your parents if they had a few requests for the guest list.
Lastly, discuss whether or not you would like to include children/and or plus-ones. If you prefer an adult-only affair and/or your budget doesn’t allow you to extend a plus-one invite to every guest, there are a few ways to determine who will be able to bring their own guest. A plus-one invite should be extended if he or she:
- is married, engaged, or living with their significant other.
- is in a long term relationship (a year or more).
- will be required to travel a great distance to attend.
- is in your bridal party or an immediate family member.
- will not know anyone else at the wedding
Don’t feel obligated to invite acquaintances you’ve chatted with at a the water cooler a handful of times, friends from high school you haven’t spoken to in years, or even your entire workplace. Weddings are an intimate celebration and you should be surrounded by your nearest and dearest. Worried about hurting feelings? Gently explain to those not receiving an invite that you would have loved to invite more guests but due to budget constraints you and your fiancee had to limit your guest list. More often than not, the uninvited person will completely understand.
You will likely write up a few drafts of the guest list over the course of your planning, adding and removing names – and that’s totally okay! As long as you have a ballpark idea of the number of guests, you can begin planning.