Compiling your wedding guest list is probably one of the first things you’ll do when you start Planning your wedding. It will affect your choice of venue, and how you allocate your budget. For some couples this is a fun easy process, but for others it’s not so easy. There is no simple way to list out your nearest and dearest, but it is always important to write down three different guest lists so you can work together on who you both really want there and who you can think about later if your venue allows for the space. We have put together a small guide which may help you put your lists together.
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 Red (maybe change Red to Orange!)’. Of course, who you invite to your wedding is personal and everyone’s network of friends and family are completely different. You may have a large family but a small friendship group, your aunties may feel like second mums and your cousins like siblings so creating some structure to your lists may really help.
Green List: The Guests you need to invite to your wedding.
These are the people you can’t imagine getting married without or even the people you must invite – your desert island disc of wedding guests. This might be a handful of people, for some it might be 50! The best way to tackle this is to sit down with your other half and ask yourselves, “if I was to get married tomorrow, who would you want there”?
- Your own children
- Closest friends
Yellow List: The guests you really want to invite to your wedding.
This list is normally an extension of list 1. These people are the special people you would like to invite, but if they can’t make it last minuet it wouldn’t ruin your day.
- Nieces and Nephews
- Closest Aunties and Uncles
- Your wider circle of pals
Orange List: The guests you want invite to your wedding if your venue and budget allows.
This is where it can get difficult. These are guests you’d really like to have along at your wedding or would be difficult not to invite. But when it comes down to the number of bums on seats you are allowed at your venue and your budgetary restraints or even if you’re looking for a small intimate occasion then at some point the list has to come to an end.
- Your wider circle of Aunties and Uncles
- All your Cousins
- New relationships you have developed
- Your closest work pals
- School friends or old friends you haven’t seen in ages
- Travel buddies
Bonus List: The guests you might feel obliged to invite to your wedding.
Depending on the kind of wedding you are having, or even who is paying for it! This selection of guests may make the cut or not. Sometimes, if your parents are paying for the wedding, they may like to have a number of guests they would like to ask along. But 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.
- The neighbours
- Friends of your parents
- Children of guests
- People who invited you to their wedding
- All your work colleagues
- Everyone at the gym or golf club
Top tips to making your wedding guest list:
- The Knot have designed an alternative wedding guest list manager which is hassle free. This online spreadsheet helps you easily export your guest list to create a seating chart and track any rsvp’s or dietary requirements and one you can easily access on your mobile.
- It is important to remember that the more guests you take on, the more organising you have to do. So it’s important to remember, less guests less work for you.
- When inviting people who you spend time with (such as your football team mates or book club friends) It’s important to give them a plus one on their invite as they will not know anyone else at the wedding.
- Having children at your wedding will be lovely and bring lots of fun to the day, it is important to remember what they may need if you are going to include them. Early tea organised for them on a kids table and area where they can play freely and safely. If you are not going to include children then give lots of notice to the parents so they can arrange alternative childcare. The exception to the rule is for guests with newborns and breastfeeding babies, it is important to invite the mother and the baby even if you are not having children at your wedding.
- Always include the names of the people invited on the invite and the response cards so there is no confusion to who is included on the wedding day. It’s a common problem where the whole household thinks they are invited and then you have to try and squeeze more in without planned.
- Any guests which you couldn’t include on the day, you can always try and include in the evening. The afters are a magical escape clause that allows you to have every cousin, old school pal or great great aunt along for a boogie and a slice of cake.
Reference: One Fab Day