Lets face it, the most stressful part of planning a wedding is the guest list. If you aren’t careful you can easily go from a 150 guest list to a over 400 guest list, trust me its happened to some of our brides! A jump like this could pretty much slaughter your budget and forcing you to compromise on the wedding of your dreams so that your moms friend, whom you can’t remember her name can come. Here are some ways to ensure that everyone that you love and want present to celebrate you and your fiancé becoming husband and wife is invited.
Be realistic about the number of guests to avoid stress later on.
Crunching the numbers isn’t the most glamorous part of wedding planning, but there is a figure you really can’t avoid: your guest list count. Your budget and the venue size are the main factors that should play into this decision. Each guest adds to the number of plates your caterer will prepare, favors, chair rentals and how much cake you’ll need. Choose a number that’s larger than your venue’s capacity and you’ll be holding your breath every time you open an RSVP. It’s much better to keep your number on the conservative side. If there’s room in the budget or you end up having more space than you thought you would, add later on.
Make some cutting rules (and actually follow them).
The easiest way to cut the list is to come up with rules and actually stick to them.
Rule 1: If neither of you has spoken to or met them or heard their name before, don’t invite them.
Rule 2: Not crazy about inviting children to your party? Don’t feel bad about having an adults-only wedding.
Rule 3: If neither of you has spoken to them in a year and they’re not related to you, don’t invite them.
Rule 4: If they aren’t married they shouldn’t have a plus one. to avoid this awkward conversation after the fact, consider pre filling in their guest count on their RSVP to one, or having the invited guests name pre-printed on the response card.
Make an A list and a B list of guest.
Here’s how it works: Your A-list consists of the must-have invites 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 made up of guests you still really want to be there, so don’t put just anyone on it. If you start getting RSVPs and it turns out you have enough “regrets,” then you’ll start sending invites to your B-list (in order of importance). Send your A-list invites 10 weeks in advance (a little earlier than usual), which will give you time to send invites to your B-list six to eight weeks before your wedding. Don’t forget to print a second set of reply cards with a later RSVP date (sending RSVPs with a date that has passed is a dead giveaway that the recipients were on your B-list).
Planning Tips by Simone Hill on The Knot | Photo by The Hendricks