Guest lists are something that cause one of the biggest arguments that a lot of engaged couples and their families deal with. How to separate the guest lists between the families? Should we invite all family, what about friends of both the parents and the bride and groom? This is a tough topic and one that many of my clients seek guidance on. In your beginning planning stages it's nice to decide on how you want to divide the number of guests. It's typically nice to allow his parents a number, your parents a number, and both the bride and groom. Easily if you want to have no more than 200 guests, you would each get 25% of the guest list. You don't need to invite every person you've ever known in your life. Consider who you still are close to, who you talk to, and who is most important to be a part of your big day! You can't invite everyone because you worry their feelings will be hurt, unless you want to have each guest pay a cover charge! :) And we know that's not an option.
When developing your guest list, create an excel spreadsheet or use a wedding planning software program that gives you organization and you can also track thank you notes and RSVP's here as well. Here are some pointers to consider when you're finalizing your guest list:
- Think about what type of reception you would like to hold, sit down, buffet, hor's doeurves, cocktail, as this will help you determine how much you will likely be spending per person. Do you want your wedding to be intimate, or a big gala for everyone you know to attend? Take a look at the budget that you have determined, whether it is you and your fiance' footing the bill, or if all parties are a part of the plans. Knowing your budget is going to help you determine how many people you can have. A $10,000 budget is not going to be feasible for a sit-down dinner for 200 people. It's just not feasible.
- When you're putting your list together after determining your budget think about those people on your first developed list. Have you seen or talked to these people in the last six months? Do you have a close relationship with these people? If you have a list that everyone has contributed to and you see that your budget is not going to be a feasible amount, continue to whittle your list down to a number that you're comfortable with within your budget.
- Also, consider if you're going to have children to be a part of the wedding. If not, will you provide babysitting services for them? Typically guests should know that if the children's names aren't on the invitation they aren't invited, however not all guests pick up on that or know that form of etiquette. It is considered to be against etiquette to put "Adults Only" on your invite.
- Don't let your emotions get involved in choosing who will stay and who will go. Weddings are a lot of money and do consider that if you want to have everyone you know and love there, you may be footing a lot more money than you had desired. Do keep in mind that people understand that weddings cost money. They will understand.
- What about an "A" and "B" list for guests. This is a sticky situation because what if one friend gets an invite and another doesn't and they find out. Then weeks later they receive an invite... they're going to know. The postal service isn't that slow. Don't put yourself in this situation to possibly offend and break relationships. See this an opportunity to save money if someone says no.
- Some couples have asked, if I invite them to my shower, does that necessarily mean they have to be invited to the wedding. That is a big YES! You can't invite guests to the shower, and receive a gift, and not invite them to the wedding. This is most definitely applicable to the shower that your bridesmaid's or close family my throw for you. Another question commonly asked by brides is if their co-workers through them a shower are they obligated to invite. Not at all. This was a choice for them to throw the shower and don't feel that you're obligated to invite them to the wedding, but don't forget them in your list of Thank You notes.
up next - The tedious boring task of floor plans...
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Sharon Patrice, Simple Perfect Peace/Designs by Shay