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How to compile that all important wedding guest list

Wedding Guests at Stationers Hall, London / Photo; Douglas Fry

It can certainly be a bit of a catch 22 situation – the number of guests that you would like to invite to your wedding either determines your choice of wedding venue or your choice of venue dictates how many guests you will be able to invite.

You therefore need to think carefully about who you wish to invite to your wedding.

There are so many options to consider and it will certainly have an impact on the overall feel for your wedding. In a previous blog post Setting Your Wedding Budget I suggested that you thought about one word that you would use to describe your wedding, it could be anything and show your personalities; classic, elegant, traditional, rustic, vintage, fun, etc., this should now help you with this next but equally important task.

One factor to decide fairly early on is whether you are going to have two guest lists; those who you wish to invite for the entire day and those who you are happy to invite for the evening celebrations.  Guest lists are hugely personal, but you may have to be ruthless.

Invitation Writing / Photo by Weddings By MaryThe simplest way to start is by both of you sitting down and writing your own separate guest lists. Don’t look and be honest with yourselves too, do you really want to invite Great Aunt Flo who you haven’t seen for over 10 years? However, do be conscious that certain family members may also wish to add a few additional guests of their own so you will need to be diplomatic about this, especially if they are making a financial contribution.

Once you have both compiled your separate lists you can then begin to combine and formalise your guest list. If you have both chosen the same person then they are on the A list, the definitely invited list. Next you will need to chat through those who don’t appear on both of your lists. Talk through how important it is to you for them to attend. You may have decided to have additional evening guests; you could therefore agree to add those that don’t appear on both lists to create the evening list.

Your guest numbers will have the greatest impact on your wedding budget as everyone comes with a price tag. If you decide to invite for example another 10 guests to the entire day, that’s not just the food and drink you will need to provide and pay for but also an additional table which then requires chairs, table linen, crockery, china, glassware, a centre piece, name place cards, favours as well as additional invitations.

When it comes to plus ones, generally anyone who’s married, engaged, or in a long-term relationship gets a plus one. However, this may not be the case if you’re inviting a group of friends, say your work colleagues, who would possibly enjoy themselves more without their partners, some of whom you may have possibly not even met!Little Guests / Photo by: Leah Van Zyl

Whether or not to invite children to your wedding is another tricky area but remember having lots of children present may significantly alter the feel of the day, so be sure to think about it carefully. Either way ensure to give the parents plenty of notice if their little ones aren’t invited so they can organise child care. Some may love the prospect of having a child free, grown up day! Alternatively, you may wish to invite children in which case you will need to consider keeping them entertained.

The only rule that you should follow is that all the people you want there, are there. Remember, it’s your wedding so invite who you want, who you connect with and who will bring warmth, love and happiness to your special day.

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