HOW TO CREATE A WEDDING GUEST LIST
Although creating a wedding guest list may seem like a simple task - at first
will likely find it to be much more difficult than you thought - mainly
because so many people will have input regarding who should - and should not -
be invited to your wedding.
First of all, although excitement for your wedding abounds, you will need to
refrain from calling everyone you know or announcing it to everyone at work and
verbally inviting them all to your wedding. You are going to need to
follow some simple guidelines about inviting guests to your wedding - or suffer
the consequences... You are going to need to compile a wedding guest list.
Before you start putting together your guest list, you will need to consider a few
other determining factors first - like how large or small you want your wedding
to be, the capacities of the ceremony and reception locations and - last but not least - how
much you can afford to spend and who is helping to pay the wedding costs.
Once you have determined how large or small you want the wedding to be and how
many guests you can fit into the ceremony and reception facilities (and into your wedding budget) you
will be ready to tackle the task of creating your wedding
In the past, since the Bride's family paid for the
they pretty much controlled the wedding invitations and the number of
guests that the Groom's family could invite. Frequently, but not
always, the invitations are now split evenly between the two
families. Depending upon who is paying for the wedding expenses, this
means that sometimes negotiating and compromising will be necessary by
all to make the guest numbers and
budget numbers work.
Much of the wedding planning process consists of lists, and since information
wedding guest list will be used to send invitations, track RSVPs, note special
needs of your guests, assign seating at the wedding reception, list
gifts received (and note when thank you notes are sent) you should
seriously consider using a spreadsheet program to simplify this part of the wedding
planning process. Using a spreadsheet allows your wedding guest list to be shuffled, sorted and
categorized on the fly. You can use the spreadsheet programs found on your computer
that came with XP or VISTA (there are free instructions on how to create
a wedding guest list spreadsheet found online) or you can purchase (there are free programs
available online as well) some sort of spreadsheet or wedding planning software application.
ONE NOTE OF CAUTION - Be careful when you sign up for free online programs at
wedding related websites because you may end up on a mailing list that is sold
to anyone and everyone who will purchase it.
Usually the easiest place to start your wedding guest list is with the family.
After determining the total number of guests that you will be a able to
accommodate, ask your parents to create lists of family and close friends that they would like
to be invited
to your wedding.
Also, start to create your own list of family and friends that you would like to
invite. Since you will be editing the combined lists later, there is no
need to be terribly selective about who you put on the list at this time. Just
keep in mind that the people you are inviting to your wedding are the people
that you really want to celebrate your special day with you. Enter these
guests into the database (including children) and eliminate
the duplicates from the merged lists. This will give you a good base list that
you can add to or subtract from.
Then the real fun starts. It is time to go through the list and see who was
overlooked - or who should have been overlooked. When it comes to
modifying the wedding guest list, simply consider the purpose of the day and
keep in mind that your final guest list should contain the people that you really
want to share your special day with. Focus on the people who are the
closest to you. Family First, Friends Second. Also, if you do not
want children to attend, now is the time to make that decision. This decision
alone can cut significant numbers off of your wedding guest list. You will
need to consult with your parents during this process if it looks like guests
from your parent's lists will be affected.
Keep in mind that when you establish a target number of guests to invite, 10% to
15% of those you invite will usually not be able to attend your wedding for one
reason or another. Ultimately you will want to invite 10% more guests than
your target number. For example, if you invite 200 wedding guests it is
likely that at least 20 will not be able to attend. For that reason you
will also want to have a B list of those wedding guests that you and your parents wanted to invite
but couldn't. You will be adding B list wedding guests to offset the guests from
the main list that cannot attend.
Once you have whittled your guest list down to the targeted number, you
are ready to initially send out the "Save the Date" cards to the out of
town guests and to send out the wedding invitations at the appropriate time to everyone on your main wedding guest list.
As RSVPs are returned you will be able to send invitations to the B list
guests to make up for those from your main list who can not attend.
Guest List Steps Recapped:
Determine how large or small you
want your wedding to be
Determine how many wedding guests
you really can afford by estimating the wedding costs and the "per guest"
expenses like catering
Determine how many guests your
wedding ceremony and reception locations can hold
Compile the "Big" list of all of
the guests that you would like to invite to your wedding
Edit the "Big" wedding guest list
down to meet the established budget and capacity limits - This will be List
Create a "B' list of wedding
guests that you would like to invite but could not
Send wedding invitations to the "A"
list of wedding guests
As "A" list RSVPs come in you
will be able to determine how many guests from the "B" list you can invite
Back To The