How to create your wedding guest list! - White Cherry Invitations

How to create your wedding guest list!

How to create your wedding guest list!

When planning your wedding and choosing a venue, the first thing you need to do is to decide who to invite. This will dictate the size of the venue you will need and help you form a wedding budget.

Creating the guest list can be one of the least exciting tasks you will do for your wedding; it is nowhere near as fun as dress shopping or cake tasting.

There will be many opinions about who you should invite and who you shouldn't invite to your wedding including thoughts from your fiance, family & friends, and even yourself.

I have outlined the process below, that my fiance (now husband) and I found helpful when it came to compiling our guest list.

Step 1

Start by deciding who you and your fiance want to invite individually. Don't think of anyone else, just write down the guests that you want to invite.

Write this initial list with no rules applied. Don't worry about the total guest list number and those that have a question mark next to them, just write them all down.

Step 2

Add your fiance's names to the list and remove all of the double-ups.

Tip: Compile all of the names into an excel spreadsheet for easy editing.

Step 3

With your fiance, discuss and decide who your non-negotiable guests to invite are. Read below the different types of people you can invite to help you do this.

At the end of this step, you will want to have your initial guest list 90% complete.

Tip: At this stage, don't talk to anyone else about who to invite, including your parents.

Groups of people who you will need to consider inviting

When it comes to family, you will want to include both sets of:
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings and their partners and their children*
  • Aunts, Uncles and Cousins that you see regularly.
  • Partners & children* of said cousins above.
* See more about children below

Re-consider inviting relatives that you rarely see, or who live abroad and you don't keep in touch with, or whom you simply don't get along with.

Every family dynamic and culture will dictate who you need to invite; the above is just a general guide if you are unsure.

When it comes to your friends, think of the friends who you will be friends with tomorrow and not who you are friends with today.

If you haven't spoken to them in over a year or communicate with them regularly, then don't feel that you need to send them an invitation.

Also don't confuse yourself with those you stalk on Facebook and feel like you are still in touch with.

Parents Friends
You should have a good idea as to who your parent's friends are. Generally, you also know them, as you have grown up with them and their families, or you see/hear your parents socialising with them often.

If you have decided to add your parent's friends to your guest list, write their names on the guestlist before you chat with them. This will show your parents that you have considered their feelings and relationships.

But it will also prove to them that maybe they have some friends in their life that shouldn't be invited because you never thought to write them down. I think there needs to be some fairness that the marrying couple (you) has some idea as to who these people are.

Embrace the fact that they will want to celebrate their children finding love and happiness with their closest friends, but maybe you need to install some boundaries with them wishing to invite their tennis friends and work colleagues.

Work Colleagues
Every day you go off to work and hang out with the same people, you spend a considerable amount of time each week growing relationships both professionally and personally with them.

And because you spend more time at work with them, than you do with your fiance at home, you can feel a bit of pressure with who you should invite.

My advice! Only invite those who you have socialised with outside of work or who you see yourself remaining friends with in the future.

This doesn't include the convenient lunch break in the staff room, more so who you would enjoy leaving the office building with and going out with for a coffee, lunch or a drink after work.

Tip: If you find it hard to only invite a couple of people and not everyone, then my advice would be not to ask anyone from work.

When it comes to children at your wedding, you need to make a clear decision early on if you are happy for children to attend or not.

Reasons you may not want them to attend are:
  • Cost; each child still requires a seat at a table and catering and then the possibility for a creche or nanny
  • Rowdiness / noise
  • Kids can be unpredictable
  • You want your adult friends to be present as your friends and not as parents
You may decide that you prefer no children to be invited to your wedding; however, you might like to compromise and consider breastfeeding mothers or mothers to very young children along with the children that are in your bridal party.

For wording on how to request that no children are invited to your wedding, read this blog here

Plus 1's
By adding plus 1's to your guest list, your guest list could grow astronomically without even realising!

Only extend a plus-one invitation to:
  • a guest who might be on their own and not know anyone other than you or someone in the bridal party.
  • guests who are married, engaged or in a relationship

Step 4

Talk to your family.

Sit down and have a calm conversation with both sets of your parents and show them the guest list you have finalised including the list of their friends you have added.

Show them the complete list of who you are inviting, including their friends.

Now is the time to ask them if there is a handful of people you might have missed and see what they say.

This will show that you are in control of who will be invited to your wedding and at the same time showing that you are embracing their wants and needs.

Keep in mind that your parents have raised you and watched you grow into the lovely adult that you are. You are now officially leaving their family to start your own with your husband or wife to be. They will want to both celebrate and grieve this with those that are close to them.

At the end of the day, this is your wedding so the guest list should only include who you and your fiance want to invite. However, there are family expectations for many couples out there, and I am sure you are not exempt from this completely.

Additional helpful tips to help you create your guest list

  • Note down separately the guest names for the invitation and the guest names for the envelope as they will be different.
    For example, John & Mary will be on the invitation and Mr & Mrs Smith will be on the envelope.
  • Remember that everyone you send a save the date too is considered invited to the wedding, so ensure you get your guest list correct early on.
  • Include your bridal party and parents. Even though they may know a lot about your wedding day, they will still need to be sent a formal invitation.
  • The total number of invitations you need to order is approximately 50% - 60% of your total guest count due to your guests attending as a couple or as a family.

Goodluck with drafting your guest list!

If you have any tips of your own that you would like to add, please comment below for all to see!

Until next time
Bel x


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