How to manage your wedding guest list

What number of guests attend a wedding? Are you required to invite your entire family? These practical tips will help you to answer all these questions.

Select the best tool.

Which one are you more comfortable with: an app for wedding guest lists or a spreadsheet for wedding guest lists? Maybe you prefer to do it manually. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons for each option. These highly-recommended free apps will help you get started with your wedding planning.

Identify decision-makers.

It’s ultimately up to you and your fiance. If there are any other people who will be paying for the celebration (parents or grandparents, close friends), it is polite to include them. How do you divide your guest list? Traditional gatherings should be attended by the couple and their parents. Your fiance and you will each get one-third the space on the guest list. One set of parents will get a third, while the other gets the last third.

Discuss your wedding day goals.

As a couple, what kind of wedding do both of you envision? Imagine a intimate event with your closest and dearest? Imagine dancing the night away with a few hundred of your closest friends. You might have always loved the idea that you could throw the party of a lifetime with your friends, family, or even close friends. Keep this in mind as you think about the size of your wedding that is most fulfilling for you both.

Find your VIPs

Ask yourself: Who are your “must-haves?” Who do you see as being there for you during this crucial time in your life? These are your “must-haves”, your absolute essentials. While it is likely that there will be some cuts at the end of the guest-list management process, your VIPs won’t be cut.

Brainstorm a master list.

Once you have established who is on your VIP list, create a master list with all the people you would like to invite to your wedding. There are no limits to what you can do! It’s like a brainstorming session for guest lists. Experts suggest that couples create separate master lists and then work together to identify areas where they overlap. This is a great way for couples to start a conversation about who should be where.

Manage your parents’ expectations.

Parents can have strong opinions about guest lists, especially if they are paying the bill. Respecting your parents is important, especially if they contribute financially to your wedding. However, it’s equally important to set boundaries. It’s your big day, and if you allow them to stray from the lines, they will continue asking for changes.

Find out if “plus one” is allowed.

It’s been tradition to give wedding guests a plus one. However, couples are increasingly breaking with this tried-and-true rule. Are you afraid to challenge convention? Remember that you can only open the doors for a plus one once. It’s considered rude to pick who brings whom. Your brother may bring his 10 year-old wife, and your friend may bring their favorite week fling. Ask yourself this question: Would you want to see your wedding photos and see a room full strangers?

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