5 Steps: How To Create Your Guest List

Before starting to organise your wedding, you need to plan the number of people you will invite. Follow these tips to create the perfect guest list.

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After you’ve said ‘yes’ to your loved one, your guest list should be a matter of special importance that you need to sort out as soon as possible. Once you have sorted the list, you will get to know a concrete number that will determine your venue, the catering, and the whole organisation and budget of your wedding.


Here are the five steps that you will need to take in order to successfully complete your guest list…

1. Consider an approximate figure

You don’t have to prepare the final list one year before the celebration, but it would be good if you had a rough idea of the number of guests with enough time to start managing the rest of the wedding details.

First, your approximate figure can be determined in round numbers such as multiples of 50. This way, you’ll know what kind of celebration you should be planning and what spaces are capable of hosting it. It will be easy to find out online which venues have a minimum or a maximum number of people allowed before you start viewing places.

To do this, calculate the maximum amount of people who could possibly attend, even those who you may end up eliminating, and start planning everything else. For example, deciding on the approximate number of guests will allow you to determine the type of celebration.

Photo: The Great Romance

2. Establish a budget

A wedding is a very special moment that most couples want to share with as many people as possible. Although some couples prefer not to complicate things and only invite their nearest and dearest, the majority decide “the more, the merrier”. However, it’s important not to go crazy, since the number of guests is intrinsically linked to the budget.

Your chosen venue will be influenced by the number of guests, so try and be flexible, because that will change the price. Your guest list also influences the price of canapés, the dining, the wedding favours and the open bar.

When setting that budget, find out first if your parents are going to contribute to your wedding fund. This practice belongs to other generations, but there are families who continue to provide financial support, especially nowadays since the millennial generation is the first to live worse off than their parents.

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Photo: Gavilá Fotografía

3. Choose the guests

One of the most fun and exasperating moments is the making of the list.

To face this complicated decision, start by creating a series of groups such as immediate family members, extended family members, close friends, colleagues or friends from the past.

From here, each couple should decide who is the most necessary on their guest list. There are family members that your parents are sure to ask you to invite, but if the budget issue is a problem, or you just don’t want the presence of unknown family friends, then maybe they should be left off the list.

As for the work colleagues, your bosses should be invited only if you have a certain relationship or work directly with them, but you don’t have to invite them just because they are above you.

Next, there are always those friends who you have lost touch with. With these, consider your budget and the rest of the guests, since it’s not fun to be on your own at such an event, so only invite them if you think they will really enjoy it.

Some couples organise weddings without children to reduce responsibilities and to create a more adult environment. So consider this option if you are tight on budget and numbers.

Photo: Cambria Grace Photography

4. Prepare a draft

The time has come to finalise your all-important guest list. Make two lists, one for the people you definitely want to invite, and a second list, ordered by preferences, with other people who aren’t as close friends or family members. With this technique, you can fill in the gaps when you receive the RSVPs from the first batch of invitations. Therefore, invitations must be sent with enough time in advance to be able to do a second batch.

Photo: Adonye

5. Remember these tips from Zankyou

If you’re having doubts about certain people for your guest list, think about your friendship and whether it will last – if they make the effort with you, then don’t hesitate to celebrate your day with them!

When you’re writing invitations, be sure to follow a few rules. If you’re writing to a whole family, it is fine to put your closest friend or family member followed by ‘& family’. For couples who are not yet married, include both of their names on the invitation. If you don’t know the name of a guest’s companion, then add the famous +1.

We wish you luck as you embark on this lengthy process – so just remember, it’s your choice who you celebrate your wedding with, as your day is all about you!


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