Bride and groom outside with guests throwing confetti

How To Create A Wedding Guest List  That You’ll Stick To

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_May 20

Considering who should be on your wedding guest list can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. But once it's sorted the extra bit of planning is worth it!

We have put together a small guide that will help you plan out a guest list you can stick to.

So, who should be on your wedding guest list?

Your wedding guest list will ultimately affect your choice of venue and how you allocate your budget – so it’s important to figure this bit out first.

For some, it can be quite difficult to categorise guests into separate lists. After all, it’s your big day and you want to experience it with as many people as possible.

The simplest way of separating your nearest and dearest into different guest lists is to ask yourself: who do I want to be there? and, who can I consider if the venue allows the space? This way, you can invite your wider list of guests to your reception and not feel guilty that they couldn’t attend the ceremony.

We don’t like the idea of the A, B, and C lists, so we would suggest keeping it simple with ‘list 1, 2 and 3’ or even ‘Green, Yellow and Orange (maybe change Red to Orange!)’.

Bride and woman stepping out of farm house door

Photo thanks to Alex Tenters.

Green list: The guests you need to invite

Your green list will consist of people you cannot imagine getting married without or even the people you must invite – your desert island disc of wedding guests. This could be your maid of honour who knows you inside out or your brother planning a heartfelt speech.

It could end up being a handful of people or for some, it might be 50! The best way to tackle this is to sit down with your other half and ask yourself, “If I were to get married tomorrow, who would I want to be there?” The people on this list could include:

Yellow list: The guests you really want to invite

This list is normally an extension of the green list. They tend to be the special people you would like to invite, but if they were to cancel last minute it would not urge you to call off or reschedule your big day. A few examples are:

  • Grandparents
  • Nieces and nephews
  • Closest aunties and uncles
  • Your wider circle of friends
Group of people outside celebrating wedding day

Photo thanks to Big Day Productions.

Orange list: The guests you want to invite (if your venue and budget allows)

The orange list consists of guests you’d like to have at your wedding or would find it difficult not to invite.

However, you’ll need to consider the number of bums on seats you’re allowed at the venue, your budgetary restraints, and whether you’re having a small vs. large occasion. Unfortunately, as much as you’d like to invite everyone, the list can’t factor in everyone.

These types of guests could be:

  • Your wider circle of aunties and uncles
  • All of your cousins
  • New relationships you have developed
  • Your closest work pals
  • School friends/old friends you haven’t seen in ages
  • Travel buddies
Group of women smiling outside at wedding

Photo thanks to Debbie McGregor.

Bonus List: The guests you might feel obliged to invite to your wedding

This selection of guests may not make the cut. Again, it depends on what kind of wedding you are having. Sometimes, if your parents are paying/contributing towards the wedding, they may have several guests they would like to ask.

When it comes to feeling obliged to invite your PT, boss, or a friend of a friend who you met at a dinner party – that’s when it’s time to hit the brakes. Reconsider these types of guests if your list is becoming too long:

  • Your neighbours
  • Friends of your parents
  • Children of guests
  • People who invited you to their wedding
  • All your work colleagues
  • Gym or golf club buddies
Bride and groom stood next to vintage bus on their wedding day

Photo thanks to Sam Bennett Photography.

Ready to start planning your wedding day?

We hope that this list has helped you organise who will be attending your wedding day. Once you have finalised your guest list, it’s time to start exploring your venue options. At Huntsmill we love to guide our couples around the farm grounds so they can envision what a barn wedding would feel and look like. Get in touch to book your viewing with us.