Creating a wedding guest list is one of the more challenging parts of planning a wedding.
Although it’s not as fun as tasting cake flavours, drafting and finalising your wedding guest list it is extremely important and should be done as early as possible. After all, the amount of people you choose to invite will have a direct influence on both your venue and your budget.
If you have a system in place from the get go, it should be relatively smooth sailing.
Here are our top five essential tips for creating a wedding guest list.
Create your dream list and work from there
There’s a short period of time in the early planning phase when you’re blissfully unaware of the nitty-gritty details of wedding planning. This is the time when you can imagine inviting anyone you like with no concern for how much it will cost or the size of venue you’ll need.
For many of us, reality sets in pretty quickly once we realise we’d need to hire a small island to host our wedding.
As much as we’d all love to include everyone from our parents to our brother’s friend’s cousin’s wife, chances are our dream guest list will need to be pulled back a few pegs.
The reason it’s a good idea to create a dream guest list is that you’ll be able to see at a glance who is worthy of an invitation and who isn’t.
It also allows you to use the names of those who didn’t make the guest list for your ‘B-list’ (those who’ll be bumped up if someone on the A-list can’t make it).
Set ‘cutting’ rules and stick to them
It’s good to know before you begin that things may get brutal. There’ll be people you will have to cut from the list purely due to budget constraints. When you’re having an attack of the guilts, remember that most people are very aware of what it means to organise a wedding and to be invited is a privilege, not a right.
It’s not easy to take people off the guest list so make some ‘cutting’ rules before you begin.
Here are a few tips for ensuring the most important people make the list.
- If neither of you have spoken to them in the last three years, move them to the B-list.
- If you’re only inviting them because you feel like you have to (maybe you attended their wedding), move them to the B-list.
- If neither of you can remember when you last saw them, move them to the B-list.
Make as many ‘cutting’ rules as you like and be sure to stick to them when the going gets tough.
Have fair guest numbers on both sides
You and your bride or husband-to-be are going to need to divvy up the numbers to create a wedding guest list that has a fair representation from both sides.
As you are bound to have many mutual friends, it’s not as easy as just splitting the guest list number down the middle and saying “here you go”.
Firstly, come up with a list of guests you’d both like to invite as see what number is left over. Split this number in half and go from there.
Base your guest numbers on budget, not venue capacity
So your venue allows for 120 people. Does your budget allow for the same?
Most wedding couples work out their total guest list number based on the cost-per-head for each guest. When you take into account what you can afford to spend on your wedding, you can allocate part of it to your guest list. Once you’ve done this, divide the allocated amount by the number of people on your guest list.
If this amount per person is too low to provide adequate food and beverage, you may need to cull a few more to increase the cost-per-head allowance.
Remember, you are creating a wedding guest list for you, not for your parents
During the process of creating a wedding guest list, it’s easy to forget that this is all about you and your bride or husband-to-be. It’s not about your parents or in-laws.
We can feel like we owe it to our parents to invite their friends, especially if they’ve had an influence on us at some point in our lives. You’ll know which ones are truly important to you. Chances are, those family friends who had to be left off the list wouldn’t have expected to be invited.
It’s also really important to realise that some of your parent’s friends may be special to your siblings but not so much to you. We all have different relationships and when creating a wedding guest list, we need to focus on our own relationships, not those around us.
This day is all about the two of you and who you would most like to share it with.
Above all, make sure you’re creating a wedding guest list that is true to you.
Here at Markovina, most of our wedding parties are approximately 120 people, however we have the capacity to host up to 300 people. We also host only one wedding per day to ensure you have the full venue comprising 10 acre grounds to enjoy all to yourself.
We understand the need for budget considerations which is why we incorporate all costs into a per-person price. This includes a delicious menu made by our on-site chefs as well as beer, wine and non-alcoholic drinks. Our handy pricing schedule is broken down by seasons to show on-peak and off-peak prices per guest. Check it out here.
Weddings at Markovina are all about creating beautiful, lasting memories with the people you love.
If our testimonials are anything to go by, we think we have it down pat.
Call us to arrange a time to pop up to the Estate and check out what we have to offer. We can’t wait to meet you.