The Guest List

Creating your wedding guest list is not exactly as easy as 1-2-3. It can be stressful and confusing. It can mean having to make some tough decisions. And of course, every bride would not want to forget any important guest, nor miss to record a positive reply from a couple of invitees and end up having more guests than the final head count you gave to the caterer two days ago.


Do not worry if you cannot come up with a final guest list overnight. Nobody does that, unless your wedding is tomorrow and you started planning today. The guest list often starts as a draft, with everyone you would like to share the special event with on it. As you gain a clearer vision of how you want your wedding to be, you get a better idea of how small or how large your final list ought to be.

You may also start planning with a specific budget in mind, which you will consider in determining the size of your guest list. While you would like to stick to this budget, it is also possible that in the next month or so, there might be changes in this budget, such as an additional donation from Uncle Joe, or on the opposite, a loss of one important source of funds. These possibilities are also factors in determining your guest list.

Even if you think you have finalized your list, there’s still the guests’ availability on your wedding date. You may have prepared a list of 100 guests, but when the invitations are out, you get 17 replies that they can’t make it. This is where you’ll need your B-list, where you invite some more people to make up for those who can’t attend and still keep the same intended number of guests of the wedding.

On the other hand, you should also be prepared to cut down your guest list if necessary. This is pretty tricky and if you are not careful, you might offend some dear ones. Often you might want to keep only “the dearest and nearest” in your list. Some of those you might need to consider getting off the list are:

~ People you haven’t spoken to in five years or more.

~ Boyfriends or girlfriends of your guests whom you haven’t even met or aren’t close to.

~ People you aren’t really close to but are in your list just because they also invited you to their weddings, or just because they sent you a gift in advance.

~ Co-workers whom you aren’t really close with or don’t socialize with after office hours.

~ Children, especially those who aren’t family. If most of your guests have lots of kids, this can cut down the list dramatically.

~ You don’t have to allow your single guests to bring a date. If you are worried that some singles might not know others or might feel alone & out of place at the event, the better option would be to invite a mutual friend, or to arrange them to be seated beside some of your friendliest guests.

~ Ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends, or ex-spouses, of you and your spouse-to-be are definitely not to be invited, even if you are still “friends”. All wedding planning experts highly discourage inviting them.

~ It is also wise to avoid inviting people who tend to drink too much. You wouldn’t want to run the risk of them getting drunk at the reception and ruining the party, nor would you want to have a large bill on alcohol.

~ Also avoid inviting people whom you think would “speak up” instead of “holding their peace” at the ceremony and people with whom you aren’t exactly in good terms. You want to be happy and relaxed on your big day, not worried about these people and their behavior.

Be sure that you and your fiance have a good communication about your final guest list. Bear in mind that you’ll need to prepare at least an invitation, a stamp for that invite, a copy of the wedding/reception program, a place card, a favor, a meal, a drink, and a slice of the wedding cake, to each name that you have on your final guest list. These are just some of the reasons why your guest list has definitely a lot to do in all your wedding planning.