Wedding Guest List Template and Etiquette Tips for Addressing Envelopes

Need help organizing your wedding guest list?

Feathered Heart Prints is here to help you organize your wedding guest list with a free spreadsheet template that also includes tips and a few commonly asked etiquette questions when it comes to addressing envelopes. 

So by now you might have started collecting the addresses of all the people you want to invite to your wedding. If you're a weirdo like me, then you love spreadsheets. If you're not a weirdo like me, then spreadsheets might cause you to break out in a cold sweat. Don't worry, I've create a spreadsheet template that not only helps your organize your guest list, but it is formatted perfectly for when your wedding stationer or calligrapher needs the addresses for printing your envelopes. 

Another *BONUS* to this spreadsheet, is that I have included some pointers on formatting your addresses as well as common etiquette tips straight from the expert, Emily Post, herself. So grab your template today and start organizing that guest list!

Guest-List-Template-Spreadsheet-free formatting tips and etiquette tips

A few pointers regarding address format and etiquette

Abbreviations - In general, abbreviations should be avoided on formal event invitations and envelopes. it is best to spell out all words, such as road, avenue, apartment, etc. As with everything, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

  • Titles - Abbreviations may be used in titles, such as Mr., Mrs., Dr. etc. 
  • States - According to Emily Post, abbreviating states is acceptable
  • Space - For calligraphers especially, sometimes words might need to be abbreviated to accommodate for the space needed to fit the entire address. 

Formatting and Order of Names- This is a big one, and there are different schools of thought on this one. I am coming from a traditional etiquette here with Emily Post as my guide. There are a lot of misconceptions about how to order and format the names on invitation envelopes. I will outline a few tips below. 

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  • Always address both members of a married couple - regardless of whether or not you know both members socially, both members should be addressed. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Jones. Also acceptable is Mr. and Mrs. James Jones.
  • If you plan to include both members first names, list the woman's name first. So if you want to make sure to include first names it would look like Mrs. Amy and Mr. James Jones. The traditional reason for this is that a man should never be separated from his last name. A more modern approach is to drop the formal titles, so it could just simply read Amy and James Jones. This is more of a semi-formal or casual approach.
  • Listing children - Children's names are listed underneath the parents names. So for example it might say Mr. and Mrs. Jones on the first line and then Becky Jones on the second line. If there are a lot of children or a big family all residing at the same address, you can address the invitation to "The Jones Family". 
  • Invitations to unmarried couples - The woman's name is always listed first. For example Ms. Janet Randall and Mr. Joseph Hall. 
  • Familiar titles - You can use familiar titles instead of formal titles if you prefer. Example: Aunt Donna, Uncle Larry. This might be best in an inner envelope. 

For formal invitations it's a good idea to consider inner and outer envelopes. For outer envelopes you have the main address and invitee information. And on the inner envelope you would list everyone's individual names who are invited. So for example you might have "The Jones Family" on the outside envelope, and then "Amy Jones, James Jones, Becky Jones" all listed on the inner envelope. This also helps take away any miscommunication about who exactly is invited. 

For more in depth tips and pointers about all things etiquette, consult Emily Post. 

The template shared in this post is for personal use only and cannot be redistributed for commercial use.

The dreaded guest list. Who's in and who's out?

Okay, so before you break out in a cold sweat, mounds of crumpled paper at your feet, tears streaming down your cheeks as you cry out in distress shaking your fist in the air at the ghosts of wedding etiquette past, let's talk a little bit about who the HECK to invite to your wedding. 

A basic rule of thumb, as far as traditional etiquette goes, is that you and your partner's immediate family and close friends are automatically IN, while distant, twice removed relatives, or old neighbors that you haven't spoken to in 15 years are OUT. (I can hear you saying "duh!" through the computer screen.) 

We all know that crafting the perfect guest list that satisfies all the important people in our lives can be a much more complicated experience. So fear not, my friend, I have created a handy dandy flowchart to help walk you through creating your perfect guest list. Before we get into that, let's talk about where to start. 

Making Your Wedding Guest List

Who-do-i-invite to my wedding - a flowchart to help narrow your guest list

My best advice is to write down everyone that you want at your wedding and everyone you feel like you *should* invite to your wedding. Go through and put a star next to everyone in that list that you 100% want at the wedding and have no doubts about what-so-ever. 

Then go back through the list and put another shape or colored star next to the people who you really want to be there but might be more on the fence about. Leaving the people who maybe feel more like a "I should invite this person but don't know if I really want to" without any marks by their names.

Discuss with your fiancé (or family depending on if you will be getting help) what your desired budget is for your wedding and determine what is doable for you guys and what your ideal guest number would be. Then go back through your lists and see how far off you guys are from the desired number of guests and the number of guests you have written down. 

If the numbers are close then you are good to go, because remember that not every single person you invite will be able to attend your wedding. But if the numbers are very far off then sit down with your fiancé and start to ask yourselves the tough questions of who's in and who's out.  If you have hired a wedding planner (which I very much encourage you to do so!) this would be a great time to get their advice as well. They can help you plan your wedding according to the number of people you want to invite and the budget that you have in mind. It might just mean looking for the perfect location that can accommodate your list and not break the bank. Or it might mean some compromises somewhere else.

Click on the button below the image to download your FREE handy dandy flowchart to help you decide who is in and who is out. *Spoiler Alert- Trust your gut and invite who matters to you guys the most*

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*free for personal use only, may not be duplicated, sold or used in any commercial purpose.