We get it, you’re newly engaged and until this point you and your fiancé have been in a lovely little bubble! But now the pressure is on to start planning the big day and anxiety surrounding the guest list is kicking in. Creating your wedding guest list can be one of the most stressful parts of the whole wedding planning process. In the ideal world, you’d have no limit on numbers and would be able to invite all your loved ones, but for most couples this isn’t the case.
Now that the pressure is on, we share 8 essential tips to make sure you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect day.
1. Discuss Your Wedding Goals
Start by sitting down with your fiancée to discuss your wedding goals. What sort of wedding would you like to have as a couple? Do you want to have an intimate wedding with close friends and family or you want to have an extravagant wedding? How many people will your ceremony and venue hold? What is your budget?
We recommend discussing this before starting on your wedding guest list as it will help you stick to the amount of people you invite and celebrate your union your way!
2.Consider Your Venue & Budget
Once you and your partner feel like you’re on the same page, it’s time to consider your budget. Unfortunately, every couple will have one and as you continue the planning process, you’ll find that the budget massively influences your final decisions. The longer the guest list the more expensive the wedding will be.
While it would be amazing if you could invite everyone you know, majority of couples just cannot afford it. Therefore, you’ll want to spend some time together figuring out how much you would like to spend on this day.
If you’re hosting your wedding reception at a venue that has a minimum charge per person, then this will be your influencer. These decisions can be tricky, so try and communicate with your fiancé so you’re not sacrificing your big day.
3. Ask For Advice
One of the most challenging parts when it comes to planning your wedding guest list is avoiding the family politics – especially if either set of parents are contributing to the wedding in any way.
The best way to make this a stress-free process is to sit down early and have an honest discussion about expectations on both sides. They’re bound to be more understanding in helping you achieve your end goal if you’re open and honest with them about your limitations from the start.
4. Create Your Master List
One final step before you start is to take a minute to determine your ‘Must Have’ VIP guests. Who must you have by your side on the big day? These people are the non-negotiables and are very unlikely to be cut during the elimination process. When it comes to creating your master wedding guest list, the aim is to write everyone down you’d like to have at your wedding.
Don’t worry about anything else at this stage, just simply make a list of everyone you’d like to see on your big day. We encourage both of you to create a ‘master list’ separately, then come together and discuss any guests that overlap or any areas that need to be dialed back a bit. This is a great way to make sure you’re both on the same page and will make the next few steps a lot easier.
Use a guestbook like our gorgeous gold foiled wedding planner to keep everything together.
5. Set A Few Rules
Discuss a few ground rules and f there are any doubts or worries surrounding the wedding guest list, now’s the time to air them. A few things to consider when setting some ground rules:
- Will you have children at the wedding?
- Is this an adults-only wedding?
- Will you allow each guest to bring a plus one?
If you don’t have enough space or the budget for everyone to bring a plus one, just be honest. Of course, there are always exceptions, just be prepared to make compromises and be honest about your decision. Otherwise, it can get very tricky offering this option to some guests and not others.
6. Begin Eliminating
More often than not, you’ll need to cut down your master list at some point to reach your final guest list. For most couples, this is the toughest part but remember to keep your budget and overall vision in mind.
An easy way to approach this is to see whether you can eliminate any big groups of people first such work colleagues or second cousins? If this isn’t an option or doesn’t quite take it down enough then maybe prioritise your VIP list and immediate family, then see who you can cut out after those.
7. Plan & Write Out Your Guest list
Now you’ve narrowed down your list, you can begin to plan out your complete guest list and make sure everyone is covered before you send out the invitations – after all you’ll want to make sure no one is forgotten!
The best way to stay organised is to purchase a pack of place cards and write everyone’s name down. Our white and gold name cards are perfect for this, and even better if you’re going for a gold themed wedding. By doing this, this will make the process easier and will provide a more visual and clear way of seeing your entire guest list before you order and send out the invites.
Equally, our gorgeous gold table planning kit would work well here too. However, this does take a little more prep as this would need to be organised by table, but a good option if you’d like to get ahead and feel on top of your guest list.
8. Be Direct & Remember Your Rules
Once your invitations have been sent, don’t be discouraged if there is a little backlash. Depending on your rules, budget and wedding vision there may be some hurt feelings – this is normal. However, it’s important to remember you can’t please everyone. When planning a huge event like your wedding day, it’s inevitable that some feelings may get hurt but just communicate clearly and refer back to your ground rules when you need to.
After all, this is the most exciting day for you as a couple – don’t get too caught up in the family politics.
Narrowing down a list of all your loved ones can be really tricky! But we hope these tips have made the guest list process a little smoother and as stress-free as possible! We’d love to hear what worked for you or any advice you’ve received that might be helpful for other brides!
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