So, you’ve sorted out prospective dates for your wedding and the next step is deciding on your guest list. This can be a bit tricky to get right but stick with it, everything will work out as close to planned as possible!
Assuming that it is you and your fiancé paying for the wedding, you will both need to sit down and decide the type/style of wedding you want. Is it an intimate wedding reception for 50, a sit down wedding breakfast for 120 or a buffet style reception for 300?
Once you decide on the type of reception then think about who you’d both like to invite from your respective sides and prioritise in four broad categories:
- Close family (immediate circle)
- Extended family (uncles, aunts, cousins etc.)
- Work colleagues, business associates, church folk etc.
List them all out under these headings and, bearing your wedding style in mind, start whittling them down beginning with your acquaintances group first and work your way up until you both get to your desired number.
A good rule of thumb for whittling down your guest list is to assess the impact those guests have had on your lives (e.g. the friend who introduced you to each other versus the distant aunt who you only met once when you were 5, that your mum insists must attend) and whether they are making any substantial financial contributions to your wedding.
Remember, no one likes to attend a wedding alone (myself included) so account for any plus-ones, especially for your single guests, as you count up and whittle down the numbers.
Count kids separate from the adults and cater to them as a group.
If you’re inviting two different sets of guests to the same reception i.e. one set for a sit down meal and the other for the evening after-party, account for the two lists and make sure to separate them out (even though your earlier guests will still join the after party).
Do this exercise with just you and your beloved without the interference of family, no matter how well meaning they may be. It’s your wedding after all and it’s important that the people you want to celebrate with you are there.
After the whittling down process, you should have a good idea of your guest numbers. Now the hunt for your venue starts.
You’ve got two options when it comes to deciding your guest list: either let your favourite venue (that you know you MUST get married in!) determine your budget and guest numbers by their capacity, or first whittle down your numbers to your desired size and then let the venue hunt commence!