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The Wedding Guest List: 7 Tips To Help You Decide Who To Invite

  |  By Jennifer Gartner

Making a guest list can be difficult, especially when you’re working with a budget. But don’t let this daunting wedding task get you down. Follow these seven simple rules for guidance and kiss your guest stress goodbye.

1. Divide and conquer. Divide your list between both sides of the family and mutual friends. Act diplomatically and be prepared to make certain concessions: your list shouldn’t be based on how much each family is spending on the wedding.

Tip: With the cost of today’s weddings you can assume that you’ll spend about $100 on each guest – a fact you should consider when compiling your guest list and planning your reception.

2. Don’t obsess about obligation. Don’t worry about inviting business associates and family acquaintances because you feel obligated. This is your special day, and you deserve to be surrounded by people who mean something to you.

Tip: Set a firm date when you need to receive the guest lists from both sets of parents. This deadline will keep them organized and prevent the option of adding stragglers after the list has been completed.

3. Set ground rules. If your guest list is oversized, set restrictions you and your fiancé agree to and discuss them with both sets of parents. Make sure to do this in person so the conclusion is mutual and no one feels left out.

4. Address the children. Consider whether or not you want children at your wedding. You may need a playroom, babysitter and a special children’s menu depending on how many attend.

5. The plus one rule. The spouses, fiancés and significant others of those you invite should always be invited as well. You also need to determine whether or not single guests can bring a date with them.

Tip: If you’re concerned about the size of your guest list, you can always opt for a less expensive reception. Finger foods such as hors d’oeuvres and desserts are economical fare, and brunch is an excellent way to cut costs – neither will break the bank and both retain an element of simplicity and elegance.

6. Be consistent with your party people. Guests that attend your engagement parties and showers must be invited to the wedding.

7. Consider your invitation options. You can have ceremony-only invitations, but consider this option carefully. This could cause hurt feelings among those who were not invited to the reception.


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