Wedding guest lists are often the first thing that causes stress between families in what is otherwise a really exciting time. Headcounts either determine what is realistic within a certain budget or perhaps they dictate what a budget has to be in order to invite everyone. There is so much to consider when deciding who makes the final invitation list so without further to do, here are some tips and tricks I offer to my clients so they feel like they can manage this daunting wedding planning task
· Will you know this particular guest 3 years from now, 5, 10?
· In relation to those on parents’ lists, if you saw them in the grocery store, would you stop and say hello, hurry your way out of small talk, invest in conversation?
· Do you have margin for new friends you will make over the course of the next year?
· Have an A list and a B list, perhaps send the Save the Dates to only the A list.
· Send invitations to the A list first (10-12 weeks) and then as you get no's, send to some B listers (8 weeks) in order of preference. In my opinion, it’s important to have final RSVPs by 4 weeks in advance so you can create table assignments and finalize orders.
· Some get really excited and send Save the Dates 10 or so months in advance. Perhaps wait until the 6 month countdown. Maybe send Save the Dates to a select few that are really important to you and have to travel. Just be mindful that anyone you invite to a shower or party (prior to a save the date) is likely suspecting they are on the wedding invite list. Anything that suggests a gift, suggests invite.
· Have a list for announcements only.
· Maybe you have a 'no gift' party with your parents friends and one with his parents friends and that is a way for them to meet the two of you together and celebrate.
· Cut children, except family members.
· Only "and guest" people that are in a serious relationship or don't know others.
· Don't feel obligated. Here's the thing. Either they've been through it OR they will go through it and unless they're just drama, they get it.
Some of these may not be a good fit for the dynamics your families have, so take them or leave them.
I certainly don't keep in touch with a lot of people that were at our wedding. In fact, that was the last time I saw a lot of them.
And for the younger couples, I realize it’s harder to narrow things down. The closer to college years a couple happens to be, the larger the wedding we typically see. The younger the couple, the harder to narrow down. Whether you just graduated or it’s only been a couple of years, you are still at an age where college friends haven’t totally gone their own ways yet. Especially with social media tying you together. Just really think through the ones that are forever friends, worth a few hundred per head. If they are flakes and RSVP one way but land another, how will that settle with you?
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