Creating the guest list for your wedding may not seem like a must when beginning plans for the day, but it is actually what will determine many other factors including venue, cost, and the atmosphere of the day. To share further insight, here are 6 easy tips to creating your guest list I'd like to share to make your wedding planning life that much simpler!
Step #1 Invite Everyone You Can Imagine
This is the first step for one obvious reason: you can't truly invite everyone you know. So you start by thinking of everyone you can and go from there. There are no worries of budget or space in this step, it is only considering who you have to invite.
Step #2 Follow these simple rules to narrow down the impossibly long list and cross off what you need to.
1. If neither of you have spoken to, met or heard their name before.
2. If neither of you has spoken to them in three years and they're not related to you.
3. Anyone who's on the list because you feel guilty about leaving them off, maybe because you were invited to their wedding or they're friends with lots of people who are invited.
Step #3 Establish an A-List and B-List
Your A-list is made up of the must-invites who you couldn't imagine not having at your wedding, like your family and close friends. They'll receive your first round of invitations. Your B-list is still guests you really want to be there, so don't put just anyone on it. If you start getting RSVPs back and it turns out you have enough "regrets," then you'll start sending invites to your B-list (in order of importance).
Bonus Tip: Don't send out the invites within a week or two of the wedding, otherwise you might as well tell those guests they're second-best. Send your A-list invites three months before, and then there's still time to send your B-list invites six to eight weeks before your wedding.
Print a second set of reply cards with a later RSVP date too (sending RSVPs with a date that's passed is a dead giveaway).
Step #4 Stay Organized, You'll Thank Yourself Later
Tools like Google docs, where you can easily convert your list into a seating chart and track your RSVPs, make it easy to keep your guest list organized. Beyond your wedding day, it's great to have everyone's contact info all in one place, so that later on, you have a list for holiday cards, baby announcements and anniversary party invitations.
Step #5 Don't Let Family Members Bully You
This is your wedding after all. When it comes to talking, have boundaries and stick to them. Most importantly, have any hard conversations face-to-face. You want to make sure you're sending the right signals, and when there are a lot of emotions involved, you want your point of view to actually be heard and understood.
Step #6 Avoid Last Minute Add-Ons... and headaches.
Prepare yourself for potentially awkward conversations by coming up with a polite, but firm, response that can't be misinterpreted. Something along the lines of, "Of course we'd love to invite everyone, but unfortunately with the venue space and our budget, we aren't able to." Then, take the conversation in a totally different direction.
Doing this will make you feel most relieved. Don't let yourself go back to the indecisive mindset and stress over what you've already put work into completing.
Keep these tips in mind while finishing that guest list and you'll soon be on to planning the more exciting aspects of the day!
Happy wedding planning!