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How To Make a Guest List

Deciding on a guest list is an important first step when planning a wedding. Having an idea of the size of your guest list will help you when setting up your budget, envisioning your wedding style, and choosing your location.

One of the first things you need to do is sit down with your fiancé and decide whether you would like a smaller more intimate wedding of just close family and friends, or a large gala event with hundreds of guests. Remember your budget; the larger the guest list, the larger the bill. Then start making your list. Begin with your closest family and friends. These are the people that will be invited no matter what. Then you can start adding in extended family, friends, co-workers, etc.

Also, talk with your parents and future in-laws. They should have a say in the invited guests, especially if they are helping pay for it. Ask them to sit down and right out a list of family and friends they would like invited to the wedding. Once you have all the lists together you and your fiancé can make a final master list of the guests to be invited. As you start this master list, include the must-have guests first. Depending on your budget or venue capacity, you can then determine how many more guests you can invite and which people off the lists will get those invitations.

Another decision you need to make regarding the guest list is whether children will be included. This will all depend on your personal preference, overall wedding vision, and behavior of the children you would be inviting. If you envision a black tie, elegant, fancy event and all the children in your family are rowdy then you might want to consider leaving them off the guest list, even if there are a few that would be well behaved. The best bet with children is you either invite them all or don’t invite any. You don’t want to offend a certain guest because their child wasn’t invited and another was.

Ultimately, it is your wedding. The guests that attend should be people that are in your life the most and those that mean the most to you. If you don’t want someone at your wedding, then don’t invite him or her. The day is about you and you need to be happy and able to enjoy yourself.