“Gosh, I really just cannot WAIT to create my wedding guest list,” said absolutely no bride or groom ever.
Deciding who’s in or who’s out it not the sexiest part of wedding planning. It’s not picking a venue and it is definitely not dress shopping. But it is an internal part of knowing your budget, so it is something that should be done relatively early in the process. Know who and how many will answer many questions as you plan and pay for other parts of your day.
So how do you even being this process? By forming three lists:
1.) FAMILY FIRST
The best way to start any quest list is to begin together and list out all family that you want to invite. These should be the non-negotiable names, so it is important to start with these folks to be sure no kinsman (or woman) gets left behind. Be sure to account for those that are in the wedding party as well—and don’t forget their spouses and minor children if you aren’t having an adults-only reception.
2.) INDIVIDUAL FRIENDS LIST
The family list should be considered set—these are the individuals that there is no negotiation about. The number generated from that first list should be considered set. Now that you have an idea on how many family members you can expect, it is time to generate the friends list. Individually, write down the names of all the friends that you know you want there for your big day. Don’t feel as if you have to limit yourself, but if you find the name of your second grade BFF that you haven’t seen since middle school…maybe you have done too far.
3.) COMPARE AND CREATE A MUTUAL FRIENDS LIST
After you each have written your respective friends list, the time has come to compare! Depending on how long you two have been an item, there might be a few duplicates on there. Take those names and begin a third list of the friends you share. This list should tank right up there with the family list, as these are clearly people who are important to both of you; these are the ones you will want to bear witness to your love.
After compiling these three lists, you should find yourselves in a great position to really understand who you want there with you on your wedding day. This is not where the work ends; this is just the beginning—but it should be easier now that you know this much.
Do you have a tip for forming guest lists? Leave it in the comments below!
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Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer. She provides services to elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullest! See more about the KLP Wedding Experience!