Deciding who gets to attend your wedding day may not seem as exciting as sampling the reception menu, but it’s an important step in planning your big event. Listing out potential attendees and then shrinking the list down to your ideal headcount can become stressful because you don’t want to offend anyone while sticking to a budget. Still, there are some common rules for a wedding guest list. So, here are some helpful tips and suggestions to streamline your guest planning efforts.

Be Careful About Sharing the Guest List Responsibilities

It’s not uncommon for the wedding couple to allow both sets of parents to contribute to the guest list, but this can complicate things immensely. Trying to control who attends your wedding after accepting financial help from one or both sets of parents may put you in a position of compromised authority. To avoid this stress, make it clear what you will or won’t allow them to influence before accepting any monetary support from them.

Keep Your Guest List Open to Suggestions

Try to use a list method that allows you to collaborate with others. Make sure you keep a format that others can easily view in real time to eliminate any possible confusion. There are plenty of software programs designed specifically for this process. They offer additional features to help you organize by color code and by spreadsheet to track contact information in one place.

Think of Everyone – At First

When you start creating your wedding guest list, write down the names of everyone you could ever imagine attending your wedding. Don’t worry about your budget, just jot down everyone you can think of that would make your day more special. Worry about trimming down the list later, but for now, make sure you think of everyone so that you don’t forget someone later on.

Decide Early How Many Guests Will Attend

The guest list count is crucial to focus on once you start creating it. There are factors like the venue size and your operating budget that you can’t lose sight of when doing your planning. You have to think of how many mouths you’ll be feeding, party favors, and the size of your cake. Work conservatively early on and increase your wedding guest list later if you find your budget allows you to accommodate additional guests.

Set Standards for Your List

When you’re ready to start shortening your guest list, keep a few standards in mind while doing it, such as these tips:

  • If you don’t know them at all, don’t invite them to your wedding event.
  • If you want a marriage ceremony and reception where you don’t have to worry about children, then make it an adults-only wedding. It’s your wedding day, and this is about your desires and wants.
  • If more than a few years have passed since seeing or speaking to someone on your guest list, don’t send them an invitation.
  • Don’t invite people out of guilt or feelings of obligation.

Your big day is a once in a lifetime event, and you shouldn’t feel any obligations about who to invite.

Create Multiple Guest Lists

If you have a large list with a mix of preferred or secondary wedding attendees, it may help to create two lists instead. Have one list for your preferred guests and a backup list with those you would like to invite if there are future opportunities to include them. You can send out your invites earlier than usual to your preferred list, and once you have your RSVP confirmations completed, send out invites to those on your secondary list.

Specify Who is Invited to Avoid Uninvited Guests

Uninvited guests are always an unwelcome surprise at weddings, but there are ways to prevent this from happening on your special day. When sending out your RSVP cards, clearly have the name of the invitee on the invitation instead of a space to write in other names. If someone still tries to add on additional guests, contact them right away, offering a quick and polite explanation that while you’d enjoy meeting their guests, your budget doesn’t allow for it. That should smooth things over.

Maintain Healthy Boundaries with Relatives

Remember that this is your special event and adhere to any boundaries that you set. This reduces the already hectic experience of wedding planning, venue choices, cake tasting, and more. Always try to find compromises in situations that arise, but put your desires, budget, and venue limitations first.

No Last-Minute Guests

Once your wedding announcements have been sent out to your friends, family, and coworkers, you might have those not invited assume they’re still welcome to attend. With your budget on the line, your venue having a cap on the number of people permitted, and initial RSVPs still coming in, it’s vital to not cave in, and instead to politely correct their mistaken assumption.

Windows on the Water Planners Can Help

Couples who choose Windows on the Water for their wedding location get more than a premier venue with breathtaking lakefront backdrops. Our team of senior wedding planners assists you every step of the way. From menu creation to carefully planning use of our event space, we can offer you seating recommendations and insight into how to best utilize our facilities for your most special day. Contact us today at (609) 795-5852 to receive our Windows Wedding Packet that contains menus, pricing, photos and additional amenities and services which are available.