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

February 25, 2018

How to decide who to include on your wedding guest list

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 include on your wedding guest list. 

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 wedding guest list. Before we get into that, let’s talk about where to start. 

How to decide who to invite to your wedding

Making your wedding guest list

My best advice is to first write down everyone that you want at your wedding. Then write down everyone you feel like you *should* invite to your wedding. Go through and put a star next to everyone on that list that you 100% want at the wedding. AKA the people you 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 partner (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 both and what your ideal guest number would be. Then go back through your lists and see how far off you are from the desired number of guests and the number of guests you have written down. 

Okay, now what?

If the numbers are close then you are good to go. Remember that not every single person you include on your guest list will be able to attend your wedding. But if the numbers are very far off you have some work to do. Sit down with your partner and start to ask yourselves the tough questions of who’s in and who’s out.  

It’s okay to ask for help!

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. You can find some great wedding planners at The Every Last Detail.

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 the most*

Wedding guest list flow chart

Download your free flowchart now

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

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