how to manage your guestlist

I think the hardest part of planning your wedding is choosing who to invite. Making sure you can have your friends there, while not upsetting family politics is a tenuous dance! You want to appease everyone, but – and here’s the most important part of this whole post: This is YOUR day. You and your significant other get the final say in who is there and who isn’t. I recommend going about your guest list in the following way:

Step 1: Set The size of your wedding

Are you looking to have 25 people there or 250? This is completely your choice. It will determine so many things: venue, cost of food, intimacy level, party level, etc. If you have your dream venue lined up, you can also start with what the venue accepts and use that as your parameter.

Step 2: Make a List of Everyone You Could Possibly Invite

And I mean EVERYONE. Your entire family. All of your friends. EVERYONE. They’re all going to ask to come anyways, just write them all down. Writing them down at this point doesn’t mean you’re inviting them. It just means that if you had an unlimited number of people you could invite, they’d be on the list. Personally, I do this in Excel and add columns for number of people – do they get a plus one? – and a separate column for number of children.

step 3: cull the list

We put the people we were “cutting” further down the excel sheet in case we changed our mind. I recommend doing this in steps.First, your automatic “no”s. Get them out right away.

Second, anybody you wouldn’t miss on your big day. Third, cousin twice removed you only see at Christmas and barely know? Take them off the list. Its OK.

At this point, check your numbers. Are you close to or below your desired number of guests? Then you’re good. If not, you now need to be more discerning. Did you invite Joe because he’s a party animal, but you haven’t seen him in three years? Maybe cut him out. Do you not care if there are kids there? It’s a great way to cut down on people! Plus, your friends may enjoy a night out without the kids.

4. talk to your family

It needs to be done. You don’t need to make decisions based on what they say, but you do at least need to listen to it. Once again, don’t forget that this is YOUR day.

5. Finalize Your List

Make your final revisions. Set them in stone.

Step 6: Order and Mail Your Invitations!

Now you are ready!! Make sure you order invites based on one per household. You probably want to have about 15 extra just in case, but you definitely don’t want to order double! Make sure you’re mailing
invites at least two months before the big day. Most vendors will want your final count thirty days before and you need to make sure you’ve had time to reach out to those that haven’t responded to the RSVP prior to giving your vendors those numbers.

You’ve made it! Give yourself a pat on the back, a glass of your beverage of choice and a big hug

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