The Importance of the Wedding Guest List

Importance of the Wedding Guest ListThere are many reasons why determining your guest list should take priority at the earliest stages of your wedding planning. Every decision you make after you make up your guest list will be affected. Your choice of venue for the ceremony and the reception may differ depending on the size of your wedding. A formal ceremony is unlikely to be held outdoors. A casual ceremony is unlikely to be held in a grand church. Because of this, your guest list is one of the most important elements in your wedding planning. Guest lists grow, and you may have to be diligent to keep the numbers in your budgeted range.

When compiling your guest list, consider having fewer guests to allow you to extend your budget. The guest list has a domino effect on nearly all areas of the wedding.  If the happy couple is paying for the wedding in full, they decide who to invite. If their parents are financing all or a portion of the wedding costs, they will also have a say in who is invited. If there are any arguments over certain guests, the bride and groom should have the final say.

How to Divide The Guest List

After you’ve determined how large you’d like your wedding to be, divide the maximum number of guests up between the bride and groom, and their parents. Each group should prepare a list of must have invites. These are the people who each of you feel absolutely must be invited. Then also prepare a list of not allowed people. These are individuals that you feels absolutely must not be invited. The bride and groom’s lists must especially be respected and considered.

Add lists of those that should be invited, but will most likely not attend due to location or other considerations. Then make a list of those you each would like to invited if there is room. This group can include casual friends, colleagues, distant family members and others who don’t fit into the other lists.

Trimming the Guest List

Now add them all up. If the total is within your budget, all is well and you can move forward with your wedding planning. If the total exceeds your wedding size, it is time to start trimming the guest list. When working on lowering your guest numbers, consider cutting an entire group, such as all work colleagues, club members or other groups. Also consider cutting those that the bride and groom do not personally know, such as individuals associated with their parents.

Don’t be afraid to be ruthless when trimming your guest list. It will affect the cost of nearly everything in your wedding planning. You will almost certainly go over budget if you are over your planned guest limit. The difference between 100 guests and 150 guests is significant when you consider the final cost of the caterer, wedding cake and other items.

Tempers can flare at this stage of your wedding planning, but be firm in your resolve. If anyone insists on someone’s being invited but it is over an allotted number of invitees, someone else will have to be removed from the list. The bottom line doesn’t move. The bride and groom should always have the final say, as it’s ultimately their celebration.

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