When we ask couples what they loved most about their weddings, often they say that it was having all of the most important people in their lives in one room at one time celebrating their love. Oddly enough, they never say, “our favorite part of the wedding was putting together the guest list”.
The process can be a lot of fun, but not surprisingly, a little stressful as well. Depending on who is hosting, and factoring in individual family dynamics, there can easily be 4-6 contributors (or more) who wish to add to the list. An “intimate” gathering can quickly become a monster affair for 200 or more.
As much as you’d like to make everyone happy, it’s not always practical or possible to host, seat and feed everyone you know. Keep your list of invitees reasonable by keeping your priorities and limits in mind. This list of dos and don’ts should help you do both.
Dos and Don’t
- Do discuss your budget and priorities before finalizing your list of invitees.
- Do choose ceremony and reception venues that are suitable in size compared to your possible guest count.
- Do not secure a venue that you know will be too small, or one that you know you cannot afford if all of your invitees attend. Assumptions are extremely dangerous when it comes to weddings. Don’t knowingly cause yourself a potential disaster.
- Do communicate to all involved parties how many guests you are able to accommodate and ask them to send you their requests early. While this is your wedding, understand that family members who are paying a substantial portion of the bills have a right to make guest list requests.
- Do be really careful with B-lists. B-list guests almost always figure it out, and some can be very hurt by not making your first cut. Some folks will naturally take a second-string invitation better than others, so if you must create a B-list, be very sensitive and try to send the second set of invitations as close as possible to the mailing of the first.
- Do decide early on if you will include children and plus-ones, and follow invitation word etiquette to communicate this clearly. Know that some people will be offended by the decision, so spread the word and be as consistent as you can. Try to avoid making exceptions as much as you practically can as it just makes guests who wanted to bring a child or a plus-one feel bad.
- Do not feel obligated to invite everyone you (or your parents) ever met.
- Do invite your officiant and his or her spouse, and do assume (until you hear otherwise) that they will attend.
Need more advice on wedding etiquette and how-to’s? Find out more here!