Ah, the guest list. Why is this must-do task plagued with such drama? Because, in most cases, your budget doesn’t match your wish list, which means you can’t invite everyone or one of your parents insists you include relatives you never see or don’t like. Or maybe you want a small wedding but your fiancé has dreams of inviting everyone including his dormmate from university. Trimming your wedding guest list can be challenging so I put together a list that everyone can happily live with.
Preparing a wedding guest list that matches your wedding budget can be a challenge. The more guests you invite the more you will have to pay for virtually everything associated with your big day. The number of guests affects everything from your budget to your venue choice, so it’s important to have an estimated headcount before you get too far into the planning process.
If you set your budget first, you can figure out the per-guest cost, which gives you your guest list limit. For example, your reception budget is $2,500, and the cost per person at the site you want is $40 for food. That limits your guest list to about 60 people (60 x $40 = $2,400).
Haven’t sat down to figure out your budget yet? Go here to learn for on how to easily create your wedding budget.
2. Discuss Parents’ Friends
If your parents are contributing financially to your wedding; their say in the guest list should be taken seriously. They are helping to throw your biggest and best celebration and they want to enjoy it with the company of their friends just as much as you.
If your parents are not contributing to your wedding budget but have requested several friends that you do not have a personal connection with, sit down with them and have an open discussion. Explain your concerns over budget and be prepared with an estimated cost per guest and ask them to contribute that cost for each of their friends if there is no way they can eliminate them from the list.
3. Make Rules
To help take emotions out of your guest list, make hard and fast rules to determine who makes the list. Make rules that work for YOU. Once you have your rules in place it will make it easier for you to explain to guests or your family the reasoning behind your decision.
To give you some help here are a couple examples:
- No second cousins
- No plus one if the guest is single
- No kids under the age of 12
- Only co-workers that you hang out with outside of work
4. Reflect On Friendships
This is the time to think about each friendship if your “friends” list is getting out of hand. How long has it really been since you had a significant interaction? Have you seen them in the last year? Have you hung out since you exchanged crayons in the fifth grade? A good rule to go by is if you haven’t talked to them in the last year, and you don’t see yourself hanging out with them in next five years, then you probably can leave them off of your wedding guest list. Remember, just because they invited you to their wedding doesn’t mean you have to invite them to yours.
5. Do What Feels Right
Above all, do what feels right for you as a couple and stick to your guns because this is your opportunity to celebrate with all of YOUR favorite people. Someone is bound to be hurt if he or she wasn’t invited to your wedding but you can’t worry about how everyone is going to feel about your decision. If you feel like you can leave someone off of your guest list, then you are probably making the right decision. Now that you have trimmed your guest list you are ready to choose your wedding theme.
Now that you have your guest list out of the way it’s time to choose your wedding theme. A wedding theme is something that every wedding has, something that defines and describes a wedding’s look and feel. Click here to learn more!
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