GET YOUR GUEST LIST SORTED!
Updated: Mar 21, 2019
One of the most daunting tasks when planning a wedding is writing the guest list. From long lost cousins to that friend of a friend you kind of get along with, where do you draw the line? If you're not careful, you will end up spending twice as much as you want to simply because you can't say no and you want to please everybody! Here at Pea-Green Boat Events Co. we have put together some tips to help you negotiate the minefield that is the guest list!
This is one of the biggest factors for guests. If your venue is located close to home, then it is likely that more people will be able to attend. However, if your venue is on the other side of the country (or another country altogether!) then you’ll more than likely have a smaller guest list. Will your guests be able to afford to travel, and will elderly family members be able to make it? Consider this before you invite the masses and then get let down. If your wedding venue is far away then we would suggest only inviting close friends and immediate family. You can always have a party or reception closer to home with everybody else to celebrate.
We all have family or friends with children, so make sure you decide quickly whether you want to invite them or not. It’s okay if you don’t want kids at your wedding, but remember to politely mention it to the parents well in advance so that they can get a babysitter. If you decide to have a child-friendly wedding, make sure you work out where they’ll sit (will there be a kid’s table?) and whether there will be a kids menu. There are plenty of options to keep them entertained throughout the day and bear in mind that some venues will offer children at a cheaper price, make sure you ask this before you book your venue so that you can factor it in to your decision.
You may want everybody you ever met to be invited to your wedding, but you must think about your wedding budget. More guests means more food, more drinks, more extras like chair covers and more people to entertain. Keep to your budget! If you know you can only afford to invite 100 people, stick to it.
Find boundaries for plus ones – for example, if a couple have been dating for over a year, the plus one is invited. It’s quite obvious that if you have a close family member that is part of the wedding party and they have a significant other, then you welcome them to your wedding – but what about that friend who has a new partner you haven’t met? Or that cousin who always brings a different date to every event? If you're not too sure then save that space for someone else that you have known for longer.
The size of your venue is a massive factor in deciding how many people you want to invite. Ask what the capacity of the space is, then reduce it by about 10%. If the venue say that you can fit up to 200 people in one area, then think about what else you’ll need (e.g. space for a band, or your table layout) and take that into account when inviting guests. You want to find the balance between a ram-packed crowd and a room that's too big for the small amount of guests.
Assume Everyone Will Come
There’s nothing more stressful than having too many people on your guest list and having to un-invite people. By assuming everyone invited will attend, you leave it open for them to decide – they might be able to make it even if you thought they wouldn’t. This way, you’re not over-inviting, and you can always have a backup guest list if your numbers unexpectedly drop.
Most family members will automatically expect an invitation. If you have a close family then this isn't an issue, however if you have a large spread out family that you don't see often then you might not want to invite everybody. And that's okay. Don't feel compelled to invite every second cousin twice removed or that great aunt that you can never remember her name. Invite family members who are important to you and a big part of your life, don;t just invite people because you have the same last name!
Good luck with your guest list, don't forget the day is about YOU and nobody else. Do what makes you happy!