« Bridal Bliss

5 Things You Need to Know When Creating Your Guest List

by Christy Taylor

Wedding invitations in the mail! Under 11 weeks until our BIG DAY!! Of all the planning and decision making, the invitations and guest lists have been, by far, the most stressful part.

I can't tell you how relieved I am to have this step DONE. Here's some things I wish I knew from the beginning!

Here's 5 things you need to know when planning your Wedding Guest List!

1. EVERYTHING Revolves around WHO you invite!!
Good luck having any productive meetings with your reception venue, caterer, florist...etc until you have an idea of how many guests you'll be expecting. It's nearly impossible to know what to budget for anything until you have a number in mind.  

If you're planning on an epic day with EVERYONE you know, you'll want to consider that before selecting your venues. (remember you'll have to FEED all these people, be prepared to budget accordingly) If you're dead set on the WHERES, find out how many guests the venues can hold comfortably and use that as a guide for your guest list. If it's going to be a small, intimate affair, make sure you are in agreement on who that small group will include

2.  Who do you invite?
It sounds like such an easy question!! It's not. At all. 
You'll realize the lists for 'yes' and 'maybe' start to blur together. It's extremely hard to decide if you invite the co worker you chat with every day, or your old college friend who's never even met your fiance. Or what about your mom's best friends or your dad's golfing buddy? And, do you invite your cousin who's wedding you skipped out on knowing she's probably still upset you didn't show?! 
Talk about stress! 

I found these charts to be quite helpful:

from weddingbycolor.com 

And this one from simplybridal.com

3. Stay Organized
I realized the hard way you want to keep an OFFICIAL list easy to read and edit. I suggest using an Excel document so you can alphabetize and keep a running tab of your guest count. That way you can keep going back to it to add or subtract names and addresses easily.  I think I started with a bunch of sticky notes and scratch paper when collecting addresses. I had a heck of a time later figuring out what addresses I still needed, if we remembered so and so or so and so. Ugh. Just start from the beginning with a plan and you'll be glad that you did. (It will then be super easy to send the same folks 'Save the Dates', invites and later, the 'Thank You' notes!)

4. Grammar and wording are kind of a big deal
Or would it be 'is' kind of a big deal? Anyway, many modern couples have strayed away from the traditional invites--so if that's you, carry on my creative friend!
For me, a little guidance was SUPER nice to have. I found this website to be very helpful!

5. Addressing your Invites
Yay! The final step of this tedious process! If you're printing your own labels, I recommend designing them in the same font and style as you used on the invitations. 

As far as the NAMES go, I personally addressed each of mine based on our relationship. It would have been weird calling my friends and derby team mates with a Miss or Mrs. However, my grandma and pastor are much different situations. Here's yes, ANOTHER chart that works as a great guide!  this one is from weddingprocourses.com