How To Write Your Wedding Guest List

Writing the guest list for your wedding is not always the easiest of tasks, especially if you are trying to keep everyone happy and not cause any family dramas. Here at Briar House Barns we’re experts at wedding planning and we’ve helped lots of brides plan their perfect wedding day. One of the first things that you need to do when wedding planning is decide on the number of guests, as this will determine what size wedding venue you will require and how much money you will need to budget for. Deciding on who to invite and who you shouldn’t invite can become overwhelming, but don’t panic as we have some handy tips to help you.

Firstly, you need to get a list of everyone that you and your partner would like to invite if money and space were not an issue. To do this systematically, it best to start with your bridal party, close family and friends and then keep going until you get to acquaintances, their partners and their children. Don’t forget to include any work colleagues and their partners too. You should now have a huge list of potential guests which you can start to reduce. Next you need to highlight on your master guest list who are the most important people that you absolutely must have at your wedding.

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Whilst compiling your master guest list, you need to be mindful of how many guests your wedding venue can comfortably accommodate. Even if you have not confirmed your venue yet, you will probably have any idea of what sort of wedding you would like and what budget you are realistically working with. So, once you have included your core list of must have guests, how many other guests can you comfortably invite? Could some of these additional guests be invited for the evening celebrations, rather than for the whole day? Keep in mind that for every guest you invite to the ceremony and wedding breakfast, that is an extra meal, chair, drinks, favour and slice of cake that you will need to pay for.

You may need to consider the input from one or both of your families too when it comes to compiling your guest list, particularly if they are contributing to the cost of your wedding. If this is the case, it is advisable to involve them early on and be firm as to how many guests you would like. You can ask them if there are any must have guests that they feel should be invited, but make it clear that you will have the final decision. Ultimately it is your wedding day and the choice is yours, but if your parents feel involved from the start it may help to avoid discrepancies later down the line.

Once you have a final list of guests to invite it is important to remember that some of those guests may not be able to attend your wedding and will politely decline your invitation. It is always worth staggering the sending out of some of your invites, because if some of your invited guests are not able to come that will open up the opportunity to invite a few more friends or family to fill those empty spaces. Be sure to send out the second wave of invitations in good time though, to allow your guests plenty of time to RSVP by the required date.

If you do need to limit your guest list to keep the numbers within a certain range it is always possible to limit any plus-ones, particularly if you have a large group of friends or lots of cousins who you would like to attend but you don’t really know their partners. Another alternative is to politely request that no children are invited. You may find that this is a popular choice as it gives your friends and family some time to celebrate whilst not having to be responsible for their little ones. If you are very limited on your guest numbers, you could always keep those invited to close family and friends only. That way you won’t run the risk of upsetting your wider group of friends and you could also use it as a good excuse to all get together either before or after your big day to celebrate separately with them.

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Remember that this is your wedding day and you get to decide who is invited and who isn’t, so make sure that you stick to your original guest list and budget and only invite the people that you really want to share your day with.

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