The Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Guest List / by Kristen Bradley

Adding and subtracting from your guest list can be a pain and stress point in the wedding planning process, especially if you and your fiancé are sticking to a strict budget!  You may be a very social couple, but of course realize that bottom line, the more guests you invite, the more you will ultimately spend.  Additionally, the size of your guest list will dictate other details, such as the size of venue, and the approximate size of your bridal party, to name a couple.  However, if you follow some of these tried and true guidelines for creating, (and trimming!) your list, you'll be breezing through this part of the planning process.

Photo by Andrew Jade Photography

Photo by Andrew Jade Photography

Make an A-List and a B-List

Start with writing your A-list, and focus on including people who you absolutely cannot imagine not by your side come your big day, like your family members and close friends.  Next, create your B-list, which is perfect for your cousin’s new boyfriend, or even colleagues you may not see yourself keeping in close touch with five years down the road.  Leave yourself enough time to send invitations in two rounds—first your A-list and then your B-list.  Once you start to receive “regrets”, you can then start sending out invitations from your B-list, in order of priority. You can always send an invitation to someone that you are on the fence about at a later date, but it does make for an extremely awkward conversation to have to rescind a previously sent invitation. 

Invite Adults Only

Kids can certainly add to your total count quickly, and your wedding atmosphere will change with and without them.  Talk with your partner about whether or not it makes sense to have an adults-only wedding based off of your personal preferences and your family relationships.  By the way, it’s perfectly appropriate to have children in your wedding party, and still have an adults only wedding.  It is, however, best to avoid inviting certain children and not others, otherwise some guests may be offended about why their kids weren’t invited.  If you know some family members or other friends might assume that their kids are welcome, make sure that you are specific to whom your address your invitation.

Photo by Andrew Jade Photography

Photo by Andrew Jade Photography

Exclude Your Coworkers

Of course there are some exceptions to excluding your coworkers—those who you socialize with regularly outside of work, or people you text frequently, but don’t feel pressured to invite the person who you eat lunch with a couple times a week.  If you are a part of a small team, and want the large majority there, consider inviting everyone at that point or you may have to skip them altogether.  If you are a part of a large company and want a few of your closest colleagues there, best to keep wedding talk to a minimum.  On the point of your boss, invite him or her if you have a friendly relationship, and make sure to give them a plus-one.  If you aren’t close, it’s certainly ok to leave them off of your guest list.   

Now, About Plus-Ones…

When it comes to plus-ones, couples can feel a little lost about who exactly gets a plus-one and who doesn’t.  Our rules of thumb are, those who are married, engaged, common-law (living together), or in a long-term relationship should be offered a plus-one.  It’s also courteous to offer your bridal party a plus-one, (they may decline anyway), since they have been by your side from the start.  If you need to trim your list down, guests who are single, casually dating, or are coworkers can be invited solo.  

Photo by Andrew Jade Photography

Photo by Andrew Jade Photography

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