Posted on by Bliss

An important consideration for every wedding is the guest list. Do you make it big or small? Do you invite everyone you and your spouse-to-be can think of? How far do you extend invitations to friends of the family and distant relatives? Do you invite every one of your 875 Facebook friends? These are just a few of the questions that will help you give size and shape to the list of guests. Here are a five steps to help you plan:

  • Dollars and Sense:
    How many guests you invite will have a direct impact on where you’ll host the wedding and reception, and overall costs for food, beverages and more. Have a frank discussion with the people who are paying for your wedding. Learn how much they are comfortable contributing and this will help guide the guest list.
  • Talk Numbers Informally:
    Gather with your spouse-to-be and close family to work up an informal list from all sides. With this in hand, consider the numbers and see if the totals match with what you had in mind. Give yourself ample time to generate this list, as it’s not usually complete in one session. Often, names will be added or subtracted based on further thinking and brainstorming. You might consider dividing the list into Gold, Silver and Bronze categories. The Golds and Silvers are the must-haves while those on the Bronze list would be the first to be cut.
  • Home or Away:
    Remember that a wedding nearby will generate more attendees that a destination wedding. Because of the expense of travel and accommodations some invited guests will automatically elect to not attend. Meanwhile, a wedding right in town is easy to get to and the only hurdle might be potential calendar conflicts.
  • On the Quest for Balance:
    Some wedding planners suggest that you and your spouse-to-be set firm numbers for each of you to invite and designated numbers for each side. As an example, you can top out at 50, he can top out at 50 and families can invite 30 per side. We do not recommend such an approach. Rather, build your list with a sense of what feels right, without regard to totals for each side or each other. Planning for what feels right is the best approach as compared with trying to adhere to an arbitrary number that means nothing.
  • Look to the Past and to the Future:
    Your friends from camp, scouts or the swim team might have counted back then, but do they today? Consider your relationships with friends from the past: while you may have been best buds in 5th grade, maybe you aren’t today. Look to the future, too. For guests who might be on the cusp of being cut, imagine viewing your wedding album a decade from now. If you think you might be asking yourself, “Goodness, why did we invite them?”, they probably shouldn’t make the list.
  • Our experience says that for most weddings, 15-20% of guests won’t attend.
    The trouble is, you don’t know for certain who those no-shows will be. However, with sensible planning, and a consistent approach, you should have a list you, and everyone, can live with.

The post The Guest List. Choose Wisely and Well. appeared first on Bliss Paper Boutique.