Tips for Settling Your Guest List

Those of you who have planned a wedding, know the difficult task of coming up with the perfect guest list. How do you know when to call your guest list final knowing there is a potential for hurt feelings or disgruntled family members if they don’t receive an invitation? We’d like to offer a few tips for streamlining your guest list so your budget stays intact and you have the most memorable wedding for years to come (because that’s what it’s really about anyway).


Sounds cliché, but every couple must ask themselves this question, “Will it matter to us if they were at our wedding 10 years down the road?” It’s hard to say “yes” to this question for Mom’s best friend from high school, co-workers you don’t hang out with outside of work and that friend from college you invited because you didn’t want her to feel left out. It’s okay to consider invites for all these guests, but make sure they aren’t taking seating from those primary individuals who daily enhance your lives. Don’t know where to put each person on the list? We suggest categorizing your guest list!


Grab a spreadsheet and start categorizing your guest list: immediate family, closest friends (you talk on a regular basis), longtime friends (friends for a long time but don’t talk regularly) on down to co-workers, friends of parents/grandparents, distant relatives and so on. Determine the number of individuals that your venue permits and your budget allows and start filling out your spreadsheet by categorical importance. Once you have determined your categorical primaries, see where you are at with your numbers and then start inviting your secondary list. Reserving the first seats for those most important in your lives ensures that you are not only staying on budget but your closest people are celebrating your biggest day with you. Communicate early and often that your wedding is going to be for family and closest friends. 


Remember, the more intimate your guest list is, the more intimate your special day will be. Time spent with intimate friends and family often leads to the biggest and most special memories. So start listing, start categorizing and start inviting because the most memorable day of your life is ahead of you!

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