Updated: Mar 12
Drafting our guestlist for our big day was one of the first steps we did after getting engaged. The number of guests you plan on having will affect everything, from your budget to your venue choice. This is why it is so important to have an approximate headcount before you get too far into the planning process.
Who should be invited?
Deciding who makes the cut can be very difficult and a little stressful. In an ideal world, everyone would be invited, but, of course, that is not possible. Guests can add up faster than you can imagine.
We decided early on that we wanted a small, intimate wedding. To help shape our guest list, we followed these two tips when creating our invite list. If you too are seeking a smaller size wedding or working with a limited budget, we hope these tips help ease your stress.
Our Guest List Rules
My mom gave us this advice that we absolutely loved:
if you have to be introduced to this person on your wedding day, they shouldn't be invited.
By the time our wedding day rolled around, it would mark six years that Joe and I have been together. If we have yet to meet the person after a little over half of a decade, they certainly do not belong at the wedding. On your wedding day, you should be surrounded by close family and friends who have experienced and cheered on nearly every step of your relationship. That was the group of people we decided we wanted to witness when we say "I do".
However, my mom's advice may not pertain to everyone. Therefore, this rule may be more up your alley:
if you haven't sat down and had a meal together in the past two years, they probably shouldn't be invited to your wedding.
This will help you separate the people you are close with and the people with who you have lost touch. In terms of a budget, this is a pretty fair rule.
The Plus-One Rule:
It is also important to come up with a guideline for determining who gets a plus-one. A plus-one is a MUST for anyone who is married, engaged, or in a long-term relationship. There are no exceptions there!
A plus-one can also be acceptable for anyone who is single AND won't have any other friends attending.
However, if someone is single, but will be amongst friends and/or family, giving them a plus-one is not necessary, especially when you are trying to keep your guest list small and/or working with a limited budget.
Once you finalize your list, that is when the real fun begins! For more wedding planning advice, visit our wedding planning tab!