Think the table plan is the most daunting part of wedding planning? Think again! Before that, you have to decide on your wedding guest list. Who makes the final cut? These top tips will help you decide…
Decide your budget
First things first, decide on your wedding budget. More guests equal more money, so how much have you got to spend? Work out a rough price per head and divide it by your wedding budget. Many wedding venues have a set price so check out their websites first. We would suggest a traditional sit-down meal would come in at around £50-£80 per head.
So, you’ve decided you can afford to feed 50 people in the day time. The next thing to do is to decide how to split that wedding guest list between your two families. 25 each, right? Not necessarily. Really consider who you want to spend this special day with you, and don’t just add people to make up numbers. Take the must-have and could-have approach. Invite the people you can still see being in your life in 20 years to come.
One of the most common guest list dilemmas: do you invite plus-ones? On one hand, you don’t want your single friends to be lonely but then again do you really want the new-on-the-scene boyfriend you’ve never met to be in your wedding photos for the rest of your life, when he may well be gone in six months? Why not have a singles table? Who knows, some of your friends might find love on your big day, too!
Some won’t come
Always remember, some wedding guests might not be able to attend your ceremony, reception or both, so keep on top of this! For example, summer is the peak time for weddings, but also for holidays. A fab tip is to send out a ‘secondary batch’ of save the dates or wedding invites to replace anyone that couldn’t make the date for whatever reason – but remember, don’t leave this until the last minute and encourage the original guest list to send their RSVPs back by the deadline.
Stand your ground!
It’s your day after all. Don’t let the mother-in-law convince you that her second cousin three-times removed should be attending, when neither yourself or your h2b has never, and will never, meet this woman. Stick to your guns. Perhaps suggest both sets of parents can invite 3 couples each to the evening do? That way, your parents can share the joy of your happy day in front of some of their friends, too. After all, your wedding day is a major moment in their lives, too.
The children question
What about children? At the end of the day, this depends on the kind of wedding you want to have. Do you want it to be a family and close friend affair? Do you want complete silence during the ceremony? Always make sure you let those with kids know well in advance if you’re deciding against children guests on your big day so they can sort out childcare. Either way, make sure you keep on top of numbers!
So what next? Have you seen our wedding checklists? They’ll keep you organised and they’re free, so what are you waiting for?