You’re getting married and you want everyone there to celebrate your love with you. But before you start creating a guest list, you need to consider two things. First, your budget will strongly dictate how large your guest list can be. The more guests you invite, the more money you will have to spend. Second, your venue’s size also will also affect the number of people you can invite. If you are set on having a wedding at a venue that can only accommodate 50 people for the reception, then you’ll need to narrow it down to 50 people. Once you have figured out an estimate of how many guests to invite, it’s time to start putting together a list of names. Between you and your partner, you most likely have dozens of names to include right off the bat. How do you choose who gets an invite and who doesn’t? Follow these simple steps to decide who you should and should not invite to your wedding.
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As you start compiling a list of all the people that you would potentially want to witness you tie the knot, you’ll start to notice that you will absolutely need certain people there on your big day while you’ll feel more indifferently towards others. Ranking the priority of each person on your list, from those who you absolutely cannot get married without to those that you may have fallen out of touch with recently, will help you sort through the names to find the ones that need invites. Although ranking the people in your life in order of priority may not sound very nice, it’s necessary when you need to trim down your guest list to those who are most important to you. Once you have compiled the full list of all the potential guests, you can work your way backwards through the rankings to decide who will receive an invitation and who will not. Remember that while your wedding guest list may be confined to a certain number, you can always throw a party on a later date to accommodate everyone.
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Parents’ Guest Lists
Although this is your wedding and your big day, your parents will certainly want to have a say in the guest list. They’ll want to invite their friends and extended family members, possibly people that you’ve never even met! How do you keep your parents from expanding your guest list out of control? It’s important to set clear ground rules with your parents from the beginning. You and your partner can discuss what the parameters are for who your parents are each allowed to invite, and inform your parents early on so that they know who they’re allowed to invite. For example, you may want to decide that people you haven’t seen in the past six months won’t get an invite, or anyone in the family more than once removed won’t get invited. You may also want to divide the guest list count into thirds: one third for your parents, one third for his parents and one third for you and your partner. Of course this rule can be adjusted according to your situation, but it’s a good general rule of thumb from which to start.
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Who Gets A Plus One?
One of the most complicated parts of planning a wedding guest list is deciding who gets a plus one. There are people who will definitely come with a partner, such as married friends or engaged friends. These guests should all receive invitations with their names on them, even for those with spouses or fiances that you don’t know very well. As for all your single friends, you’ll want to handle those on a case-by-case basis. For example, you might have a friend who has been with the same boyfriend for years, so she would receive a plus one on her invitation. Or maybe you have a friend who is on her third boyfriend of the year. If you cannot accommodate a plus one for her, you can invite just her and let her know that due to your budget and venue size you aren’t able to include a guest for her. Then, when you are working on seating arrangements, you can seat all your “single” guests together so that they won’t feel awkward sitting with only couples.
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Keep in mind that if there are any guests in long term relationships, it would be much kinder to write their boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s name on the invitation instead of “plus one” or “and guest.” If possible, try to include people’s names on the invitations if you know for certain that they’ll be the guest attending.
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When it comes to establishing a guest list, you’ll need to remember that your budget and venue are two important deciding factors on the size. If your budget and venue space allow for more guests, feel free to invite anyone that you think warrants an invite. There is also the possibility that you know of a few people who would not be able to attend at all, but would be very disappointed if they did not receive an invite. Use your best judgment when cultivating your guest list to determine who you can afford to cut. If there are simply too many people that you cannot remove from the list, consider having an intimate wedding ceremony and reception and hosting a larger party for everyone else at a later time.