When I first sit down with a client, one of the first questions I ask is, “How many people you are inviting?” Typically, I get a shy chuckle and a ball park range followed by, “But we’re hoping for this many…”
It’s not always easy to figure out who you should or should not invite, but your guest count is going to determine how much you spend and how far that money goes. If you haven’t already, you should read this post on why your wedding costs so much.
When it comes to the wedding guest list, it can be hard to determine who you should include and who you should not. Generally speaking we have a few tips:
First, you should decide if this will be an adult only affair or if you’ll include children. If you know a lot of people will be travelling in for your wedding or most of your guests have kids, you could opt to also have a sitter service if you prefer to make it an adult event.
Second, you should sit down and come up with your top number. From there, we suggest that you think about the amount of mutual friends you two have; count those then subtract from the overall number. From here, each of you should get an equal half.
When it comes to family and friends, it can often be difficult to decide who makes the cut, so to speak. For some, immediate family would suffice, where for others, who are used to celebrating major events with extended family, that would not work.
One way to help narrow it down is by using the “dining rule”. If you haven’t shared a meal with this friend in over two years, it can be safe to say that you don’t need to invite this person unless you want to.
Another way to control the guest list is by determining who will get a plus-one. First, not everyone needs a plus one, and just because you give one to one person, doesn’t mean you need to give one to everyone. We suggest that the bridal party, guests who are married, engaged or in long term relationships get a plus-one. For friends or family who are not any of those, and will know quite a few other guests, it’s safe to only invite that person. As a general rule of thumb, we think it’s a nice gesture to give a plus-one to guests who are single and don’t know a lot of the other wedding guests.
How did you determine who you would invite? Any special tips or tricks?