On your wedding day, two become one. But it’s not just the joining of two lives –each of you brings your family, your friends, and all those that have supported and celebrated you along your journey together. On your wedding day, many people are joining together and you want to have them present on your special day!
If I had to guess, your guest list is growing rather than shrinking. Don’t worry – that’s not uncommon and you can quickly feel in over your head when you first begin developing the guest list. For many couples, narrowing down the guest list comes to a matter of cost. When you include the cost of the chair, the table setting, their meal, alcohol (and more!) – the average cost per guest can get pretty pricey, pretty quick. Viewed through this lens, you are assigning a monetary value to every person on your guest list. In my previous post, Creating a Wedding Budget, I offered some advice on prioritizing what it is important to you and your partner when it comes to the wedding budget, and today I want to offer you some other ways to approach narrowing down your guest list.
Forget the obligations
Tell me if this sounds familiar to you, “Well, if I invite so-and-so, I have to invite so-and-so because so-and-so.” We do this to be inclusive, to be polite, and we do this with the best of intentions! If you apply this same mentality to your guest list, before you know it your entire sorority or book club will be there. This may sound harsh – but invite whom you want, and not whom you feel obligated to invite.
Be willing to say no
Between the time that your guests receive the “save the date” to the day of your actual wedding, chances are some of your guests have entered into a new relationship. Of course they want to spend the evening wining, dining, and dancing the night away with their new beau (hey- who wouldn’t!), but last minute plus-ones can add up quickly.
Even among wedding planners, we have tried to come up with the magic guestimation to apply to guest lists. Often, there is a mentality that you can over invite because not everyone will RSVP with a “yes.” But the truth is, there is a risk in this approach. To avoid overspending or overfilling your venue, only send out as many invitations as you would feel comfortable showing up.
What does it mean to you?
I saved the best for last y’all - hear me when I say that this is the most important part of developing your guest list. Your wedding is the first day of your new life together as husband and wife – as one – and your wedding guests are there to usher in this new chapter with you! Before tackling your guest list, I would encourage you and your fiancé to answer the question of what it means to you, to have that person there. How have they supported you in your love story? Are you excited for them to be a part of your future? What have they meant to you as you’ve grown into the person that you are today?
As you and your fiancé stand before your guests, you are vowing to support each other for life. As your guests witness this public pledge, they are vowing to support you in this new chapter of life.
We are still booking brides for the fast approaching wedding season! If you are looking for a wedding planner to help make your day run smoothly, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your consultation! I would love to hear from you!