Wedding Budget: The Guest ListJanuary 18, 2016 by The Marquardt Ranch
Few items when planning your wedding will cause more stress than The Guest List. Who gets invited? Who gets left off? How do you plan a day that’s supposed to be about you—without offending anyone?
Take a deep breath and consider these tips when planning your guest list.
First, know your budget.
The number one way to cut expense is to cut guests, so start with the numbers in mind. Everyone has an amount they are comfortable spending, and that will dictate your type of wedding from big party to intimate affair.
Second, know your wants.
If you want a formal, sit down reception with elaborate dinner entrees, but you want to stay in budget, then you will need a smaller guest list. If you want guests to just have a good time, or you have a large family and lots of friends you can’t imagine your day without, desiring a casual, buffet-style reception will enable you to lengthen your list.
Third, divide and decide.
Begin with absolutes, and work your way down the list from those. Who do you have to invite, who would you like to invite, and who will you not miss? Could you consider only people you both know? Will you let your guests bring children?
Finally, trim the excess.
If your parents are paying, it might be hard to get them not to invite all of their friends as well as all of yours. But if you’re footing the bill, use that as a reason to limit every neighbor you’ve ever had and all the members of your mom’s book club.
Co-workers often pose a tricky situation, but ask yourself—do I consider this person a friend outside of work? If not, don’t invite.
What about all those second, third, and twice removed cousins? If you haven’t seen them since the last big family reunion a decade ago, take them off your list.
The Overwhelmed Bride features a 30-second guest list chart to help you make final decisions:
- Have I talked to this person in a year?
- Do we spend time together outside of work?
- Has my fiancée met them?
- Did they/would they invite me to their wedding?
- Can I imagine my day without this person?
If you’re still overwhelmed by the list, you can always consider a destination wedding. Would-have-been guests are often relieved not to incur travel expenses.
At the end of the day, you want to know you’ve been surrounded by family and friends who will share your life for years to come. Those are the ones who make the cut.