Seven Tips to Making Your Guest List

Next to the seating chart, the guest list is a little detail most brides wish they could just snap their fingers and create out of thin air. Unfortunately, the guest list is something that you and your fiance will pour over, double check at least six times, and spend hours compiling addresses and head counts just to make sure that it's exactly right. You don't want to offend your great-aunt Sophie because she didn't get an invite, and with such limited space, you really don't feel obligated to invite your fiance's kindergarten teacher, but how do you accomplish creating the perfect guest list without offending anyone or leaving anyone out? Let these seven tips be your guide!

1.) Decide on the size of wedding you want to have. You will have to take into consideration the size of your venue for your ceremony and for your reception, as well as, how much you want to spend on food for your guests. If your unsure of how much of your budget will be going to food, perhaps you should book your caterer and select a cake to get an idea of the cost before you create your guest list. You should always have a number in mind before creating your guest list.

2.) After you get a number, feel free to start compiling a guest list. Don't be afraid to divvy up the responsibility either with your fiance or perhaps his mother if she is looking for a way to help.

3.) Remember family and close friends should come first, because these are the people who have shared in so much of you and your fiance's life and you want them to feel included on your special day! Choosing not to invite out of state family, because you really want the girls at the office to come, may end up being a decision you really regret. If out of state family declines your invite, then you should feel free to pass the invitation on to someone else.

4.) Be fair! You don't want to have three hundred people attend your wedding and only five percent of those people mean anything to your fiance. Even if your husband and his family don't know that many people, you should still give them the opportunity to invite at least half of the people on your guest list.

5.) Another great way to do your guest list is to write down all of your close relatives, your fiance's close relatives, and your mutual friends. After you have that list, see how many spots you have available. You can either choose the remaining spots together or split them, however works best for you.

6.) Addresses are key! After you have a complete guest list, plan separate lunch dates with your mom and your future mother-in-law to pour through their address books. If they don't have an up to date address for a certain guest, you should have them call other guests that might know it. You shouldn't feel like you can't invite someone because you don't have an up-to-date address. If you do your homework, someone will have it.

7.) After you have your guest list and addresses you should store them in two forms on your computer: As an MS Excel spreadsheet and in label form on your MS Word program. A MS Excel worksheet will allow you to easily keep track of accepted and declined invitations when you start receiving your response cards back and having them in label form on your computer will allow you to easily print them to use them when sending out your invitations and your thank-you cards.

By using these easy tips, getting your guest list together will be a breeze! While compiling the guest list is often a tedious job, the sooner you get it done, the sooner you can move onto other things like actually picking your wedding invitations!

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