Writing Your Wedding Guest List
Writing your wedding guest list should be one of your first wedding planning tasks, as it will have a huge effect on your budget and venue choice. Once you’ve worked out how many wedding guests you want to invite, you can tweak your wedding plans accordingly! Here’s how to start writing your guest list…
You need to sit down with your groom and make sure you are singing from the same song sheet. Are you both planning on having the small intimate wedding or does one of you have the vision of a huge bash? Once you have established this, it will be easier to select your wedding guests.
It can be slightly overwhelming deciding who to invite but we recommend listing every person you might want to invite, and then splitting them into three categories to determine who should take priority. Your categories should be:
A-list – these are people who you can’t imagine your day without. Parents, children and best friends.
B-list – people who you would love to attend, but it wouldn’t ruin the day if they had to cancel at the last minute. Family and friends.
C-list – these are people who it would be awkward not to invite, or who it would be nice to have there but you wouldn’t mind if they couldn’t come. Distant relatives, friends you’ve lost contact with, work friends and plus ones.
Once you have listed these categories, you can work out exactly how many people you can afford to invite based on venue restrictions and catering quotes – if you want to invite more people, you may have to look for a larger venue or a cheaper caterer to ensure that you don’t go over budget.
This can be a tough process, but it’s crucial to get it sorted early, as it will inform most of your wedding decisions. Set aside an afternoon to hash it out. You’ll need to talk to your groom about how you are going to invite difficult relatives and friends, whether you want children at the wedding, and how many work friends you’re going to include. If your parents have contributed significantly to the wedding budget, then they may want some say in the list, or to invite some close friends of theirs. Traditionally, the guest list would be made up of a third the groom’s parents’ guests, a third the bride parents’ guests, and a third the couple’s guests, but this has mostly changed for modern weddings.
Once you’ve split your wedding guest into day and evening categories, it’s time to plan your invitation strategy. We recommend sending save the dates to just your day guests. If you send them to evening guests, they may get the wrong idea and keep the entire day free (particularly if it’s a week day). One clever trick to send your day invitations slightly earlier than your evening ones – that way, if a day guest RSVPs no, you can upgrade an evening guest with them being none the wiser!
Sign up for your free Guides for Brides wedding planner to get access to a free guest list tracker!
- Our Latest Blog Posts
- Most Popular
- Start Planning
- Wedding Venues
- Bridal Wear
- Mother of the Bride
- Beauty, Hair and Makeup
- Cakes, Fountains and Sweet Treats
- Caterers and Catering Equipment
- Celebrants and Toastmasters
- Church Weddings
- Discos and DJ's
- Health, Fitness and Weight Loss
- Flowers and Florists
- Gift Ideas
- Gift Lists
- Guest Accommodation
- Hen and Stag Do
- Legal, Financial and Insurance
- Photography and Photographers
- Planners and Co-ordinators
- Spas and Treatments
- Stationery and Invites
- Transport – Cars to Carriages
- Venue Decor and Furniture
- Videography and Videographers
- Weddings Abroad
- Wedding Fairs
- Planning a Wedding
- Wedding Party Advice
- Other Articles