Top tips for your wedding guest list from the Zankyou Real Bride
So now we have our venue booked we know how many guests we can invite for both the Ceremony and the Wedding Breakfast. Spains Hall can accommodate 120 guests in the Elizabethan Hall and 130 for the sit down meal.
So how to go about choosing your guests?
We began with listing who we simply could not get married without. For us this was our immediate families and closest friends. Think about the people that you would most like to share your special day with, as well as people that would honestly be disappointed if they could not watch us become man and wife. It is very easy to get caught up in the drama and whirlwind of planning a wedding and this exercise really helped us to evaluate what and who was important to us.
On the other side of this was the “who not to invite list”. Every couple has a few guests that will not be welcome and now is the time to say. Ex-partners seem to cause the biggest debate, if you are uncomfortable with them being at the ceremony it is perfectly acceptable to say so. At this point we made the decision not to invite children to the wedding as a rule, but the agreed on a few exceptions. Other people that may not be welcome can include estranged members of the family (although a wedding is a great opportunity to reconnect), people who drink too much and + 1s. This can really bump up your costs and for us is important that we personally know all of our guests.
Next is to fill in the gaps. Make a list of anyone and everyone else that you might want to invite. You now have your dream list. If the number of people on your list is less than the number dictated to you by your venue then you are finished! If, like us, you have invited everyone from grandparents to the postman, it’s time to cut down the list. We started by removing people that we have not seen for a long time (without good reason), people that didn’t appear to make much effort to socialise with us or attend birthdays, special occasions. The chances are if you have a friend that is flaky, they will not turn up anyway. We also had to remove people that would have upset other family members, if they had come along and people who, when we really thought about it, weren’t that close to us after all.
Once that necessary evil was over, we had to divide the list into our day and evening guests. The day guests tend to be family and extremely close friends, as well as the bridal party. These guests will cost you more than anything else in the whole process so choose carefully. Will your friends from uni really appreciate the gourmet meal above your granny? Remember, nothing is set in stone, if you really can’t bear those 2 extra people being at the ceremony, speak to your venue. Sometimes a few extra chairs can be squeezed in.
What is left is your evening list. If you have done this right it should be mainly your friends and younger guests that will appreciate the evening entertainment. You can also use this space to invite any friends that you become progressively close to in the lead up to your big day.
Remember to stand your ground when it comes to guest list. We are paying for our wedding ourselves so with us the decision ultimately lies with us, but even if you are receiving financial help, this is still your big day. Don’t sacrifice your two best friends so that your mother can invite her friends from work. Everyone that is present on your wedding day should hold a special place in your heart, and should be there because you actually want to share your day with them.
The same rule applies to + 1s. David and I have decided that if we have not met a guest’s other half or if they are still relatively new on the scene they won’t be invited. If you can’t be as ruthless as that still ask yourself what you or that person will gain from being invited. If you cannot think of anything, give the place to someone else. As I have said before, nothing is set in stone and if you become close to your guests’ +1s over the course of your engagement you can always make a special exception. I would personally find this more touching than an invite simply out of duty.
So now the list is complete it is time to start inviting your guests! I have been collecting some gorgeous stationary samples….watch this space!