From getting the dress to finding the perfect venue, you’ve got it all under control — except for that one thing: the infamous wedding guest list. It might induce inner screams of panic and distress because as all past brides have known, the wedding guest list can be pretty bothersome. You invite one, but upset another.
Whether you are introverted or extroverted, it’s your day and your invitation list must be meaningful to both you and your partner. Which friends or family finally make the cut? Do you send invites to co-workers or your boss? We help master the guest list with a few simple tips to ease your anxiety.
Consider the size of your venue
Before you figure out who to invite, consider the size of your venue. This will be the anchor to everything else you plan. Not only does knowing the size first help you to stay on budget, but it makes planning way more easier than inviting a long list and then realizing you need to cut back on some guests. Keep in mind that each guest adds to the number of mouths you will feed, the rentals for furniture and how much bigger your cake is so the bigger the room, the greater potential for falling out of budget.
Create listed tiers
If you’re not sure who to invite, create tiers to help you decide with your partner — don’t include your family’s input just yet. The first tier would ideally consist of all your essential family members, the second would be close friends and extended family, and the third would be coworkers and other friends you might consider inviting. Once you get all the names, start simplifying by cutting down your list from the bottom tier up. To help you figure this part out, ask yourself how long ago did you last speak or see this person. If the answer is anything more than two years, chances are you can keep them off the list and there will be no love lost. After this process, author of Do I Have to Wear White? suggests to assign 50 percent of that number to the bride and groom, 25 percent to the parents or altogether to determine the number of guests you can afford.
Organize by using apps
Where would we be without our smartphones? Before technological advancements graced our society, wedding planning mainly consisted of scribbling down our ideas in agendas, notebooks and making telephone calls with the planner, baker and venue. But today, you can work with your planner via email and organize everything you want thanks to apps. Push notifications not only remind you to attend your dress fitting, but when to order stationery, track down your RSVPs and assist you in every other need. Between Wedding Party to Appy Couple, organize in style and ease. If you want to organize further and kick your planning up a notch, check out The Knot’s Wedding Guest List Manager, which is not only stress-free but helps manage your registry too.
Be selective about plus one’s
Allowing guests to bring a “plus-one” that you don’t know is a quandary so many couples face. Do you let a complete stranger come to your wedding or do you not? Don’t feel bad about being selective when it comes to adding “plus-ones.” Instead, be specific and give them a specific figure on the invitation, such as “We have reserved ONE seat for you,” or “TWO,” etc. If you know of a friend or relative who is engaged or dating long-term, be sure to invite them. If go by such a relationship rule, make sure you apply it fairly to all guests. Whatever happens, keep in mind that the number of guests you invite can drive the cost of your wedding sky-high and mess with your budget.
Avoid last minute add-on’s
Before you even figure out your guest list, when you announce your engagement, you might find a few friends or acquaintances on social media comment with, “I can’t wait for your wedding!” While you can comment immediately, leave it be while you plan. Don’t feel pressured into inviting people you’re not entirely close with or even sure to invite. This day is about you and your partner, so it’s alright to be a little selfish in how you want it. If you are just getting started in planning or are in the early stages, steer clear of sharing your ideas and thoughts on social media until you eventually send out the invites.