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How To Keep The Wedding Guest List Under Control

February 3, 2015

Ahh, the much dreaded wedding guest list is on the agenda today. The wedding guest list doesn’t have to be another chore to do, but a chance to spend time with your fiancé. The guests should be people you want to spend time with on your wedding day because they will be there to share the celebration of your love with you and your fiancé. Life is too short to argue over a simple list, make it fun by staying organized with these wedding guest list tips.

How To Keep The Guest List Under ControlCreate The Master List

Who is most important to you?

Get out a notepad and start making a list of everyone that you would like to see at your wedding.

Don’t hold back, just start writing.

Once you have a master list of everyone you would like to invite, have your groom do the same thing.

Consider Your Venue

The easiest way to take control of your guest list is to choose the venue first.

You most likely already have your dream wedding venue in mind – park, a ballroom, a library, the forest, etc. That’s good.

The size of the venue will determine the guest capacity that you must adhere to.

If you have always dreamt of being married in a white marble ballroom, then you will be able to include that second cousin and friend of a friend. If you are getting married at a smaller venue, then there are going to be limitations.

Do your research before booking the venue.

Determine Your Budget

After you have chosen your venue and have the capacity limit for the space, you can focus on the cost per person. This part is definitely not fun, but a necessity to get you started in the right direction.

Each person will need to be factored into the catering budget. This can add up quickly depending on the food you choose.

Prepare to budget anywhere from $50 per person and up for food. If you decide to serve alcohol at the wedding, you will have to factor in the cost of the alcohol per person as well.

Split The Guest List

Break the master lists into percentages – half to you two and 25 percent to each set of parents. This is the most fair approach to the wedding guest list. However, if one or both sets of parents will be contributing financially, it can start to get tricky. That’s why it is best to set any expectations before accepting any financial help. Even if you’re paying for the wedding yourselves, it’s a good idea to sit down and figure out the wedding guest list percentages.

Plus One?

The discussion on whether or not to include children in the wedding, always instills passion. To keep the wedding guest list under control, do not include children, except those in the bridal party (we can hear the whaaaat?! coming from some of you already). Keep in mind, children will add expense to your catering budget, so be sure to include them in the cost if you decide children will be present at the wedding.

Lastly, determine if guests can bring plus one. Adding plus one can extend the wedding guest list pretty quickly. To get it under control, allow guests to bring a plus one only if you have met them, and they  are engaged or living together.

Make The Cuts

Organize both lists into categories : Bridal Party, bridal party children, immediate family, grandparents, and extended family. Then friends, co-wrokers, and other invites. Ask yourself these questions as you are crossing people off the list.

  • If you live in the same city and don’t see them outside events organized by mutual friends, then these are friends of friends, don’t invite them.
  • If you or your finance has had sexual relations with the person, then the other has the power to say no they are not invited.
  • Coworkers – think, if the company closed tomorrow would you still be friends? No? Then don’t invite them.
  • If your fiancé wants to invite someone you have never met, and doesn’t even know you, they aren’t invited.
  • Use the one year rule – have you seen or spoken to this person in the last year? No? Keep them of the list.
  • For any potential invites you’re not sure about, think 5 years down the line from now, do you still see yourself in association with them?

Stick To Your Guns

In the end, it is your wedding, and you don’t want to look back in your wedding photos and point out people you don’t know. You have to decide who you want to be there to celebrate with you. Don’t let people make you feel guilty for not inviting them. Prepare for awkward conversations by being polite but firm in response. Then, take the conversation in a completely different direction.


comments +

  1. This is a well thought out and organized process. As long as the couple and the families stay civil this should work great.

    I wish I had had this plan. :-)

  2. Champagne says:

    These pictures are soooo beautiful!!! You are the prettiest bride I have seen since your mom! You look so elegant! I wish you and your husband all the happiness and love a couple could have.You make a Beautiful couple!!

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