Creating the Guest List
One of the first things that you will need to do after getting engaged is the all important guests list. The number of people you wish to have at your wedding will have quite an influence on your venue as well as your budget! Many couples find that agreeing on the initial guest list can be one of the hardest tasks. Every family seems to have complications between feuding relatives and it can also be difficult to draw a line as to when to stop inviting distant family. So the best thing to do is to think through the list in stages and consider these top tips.
Start at the beginning, those closest to you - the immediate family. Parents, step parents, grandparents, siblings and their partners too; the names that you write down here are the people that your big day would not be complete without. For some couples this would also be the end of the list, a truly intimate and family orientated wedding day. For others however, this is merely the top table of the wedding breakfast covered!
Next to consider is the more extended family. Do you want to invite all of your aunts, uncles and cousins? That cousin who you haven't spoken to in years who now has children that you haven't met - do you want them there? What about the great aunt who always sends a Christmas card but you only met once as a child? A wedding is a great way to initiate getting back in touch with people - but don't feel that you have to invite everyone. Think about whether them being there will truly add something to your special day.
Then you've got your friends, some of which will be more like family to you. Add them to the list in order of who you are closest to. If the list starts getting rather long, then think about whether you would really like all of them there throughout the day - could any be just evening guests? Within this category you may also want to think about the friends of your parents. If your parents are contributing financially towards your wedding, then they may expect to invite some of their own friends too. Make sure that you have this conversation with them and if they really feel they need to invite their own friends, perhaps suggest that they are friends that you also know.
Work colleagues are then where it can sometimes become a little more complicated. There are some who you would class as friends, others not so much - but there is the possibility of causing an office rift is some are invited and others aren't. Depending on the circumstances, you may wish to have a clear line of ho is invited and who isn't - perhaps those who work in your department are invited to the day whilst others could come for the evening reception.
You will also want to decide where you stand on plus ones - are they really needed? If you are trying to keep a cap on numbers then think about now allowing plus ones. Keep in mind, if the people you are inviting are already part of a group, whether that's family, friends or colleagues, do they really also need to bring their partner who you don't know? Remember, whatever you decide you will need to stick to it. It will either be no plus ones for anyone, or plus ones for everyone!
The final sticking point for the guest list can often be whether or not to invite children. For some couples this isn't even a question that needs to be asked - if children are a large part of your family network then you will probably tailor your wedding day towards being kid friendly. For other couples however, it may not be that simple. Perhaps you would like your niece there but you don't particularly want all of your guests to bring their kids too - and that's fine! Say in your invite that you would like to give parents the night off, to relax and party, generally they will be pretty happy to find a babysitter.
Creating your guest list can seem like a daunting task, but just think through it carefully and keep these top tips in mind -
1. If you haven't met them, do they need to be at your wedding?
Do you really want the first time that you introduce yourself to someone to be after your wedding ceremony? Either arrange to meet them prior to the wedding, or cur them from the list.
2. Include guest names on RSVP cards.
This way it's clear if you are not inviting their children or partner. It also means that guests won't just add more names to the response and expect you to pay for them all to come.
3. Write your list as a couple.
Work it out together and talk through the different sticking points - you need to know that you agree!