Your Wedding Guest List: Who Makes the Cut?

You’re engaged… Congratulations!! It’s time to pop the champagne and celebrate with family and friends! 

Before the first bottle is even finished, the phone will likely start ringing and the questions will come. Don't be alarmed when friends and family start to immediately ask when and where. It's only human nature to be curious and most of the time people don't mean to pry but rather just want to celebrate the excitement with you. With so many upcoming questions, it’s helpful if you are prepared. Try not to get overwhelmed when your friends and family ask you about your wedding plans, and know that it is perfectly acceptable to say "we’re so caught up in the celebration right now, we haven't gotten to the details just yet."

There is a whole lot to consider before you shout your plans from the rooftops and accidentally say something to someone you may later choose to not include on the guest list.  Here are a few helpful hints to consider when creating your guest list: 


If you’ve always dreamed about having your wedding at your family’s county club in the spring, then you can call and inquire about available dates and the process for putting a date on hold.  Venues have maximum capacities for different types of meal service (i.e.: plated meal or buffet/ food stations) and don’t forget you’ll want to have room for a dance floor.  If you don't have a specific venue in mind, you should hold off in rushing into a decision as the venue can greatly affect the budget and the number of guests you can invite.  Here are a few more tips for choosing a venue. If you’re considering hiring a planner, it’s best to hire them before finalizing your venue selection (or other vendors) as they can help offer advice and guidance in the contract process.


The easiest way to control a wedding budget is to control the number of guests that are invited.  It really is true that each person can easily cost hundreds (or thousands) of dollars. The obvious cost per person comes from food and beverage.  It's easy to forget that each person also needs an invitation with a stamp and every 8-10 additional people means an extra table with linens, a floral arrangement, paper details such as menu cards and/or place cards, china, glassware and flatware.  For more advice and tips of all the things to include in a budget, check out this blog post.

We guide our clients to thoughtfully consider guest list selection by asking themselves the following question about any particular guest they're unsure about, before confirming the list: 

"Would you call up this person on a Friday night and invite them to your home for dinner?"

Or better yet...

“Ten years from now, will you still know and care about this person enough to invite them to a  celebration that costs upwards of $500 per person?”

If the answer to either of those questions is no then why are you considering inviting them to your wedding?  Remember that your wedding day is a special occasion in which your closest family and friends get to witness you exchange your vows and promise to love and share your life with your future spouse.  Is there anything more intimate or special? The invitation to this celebration should be extended to the most special people in your life.

Rylee Hitchner Photography

Rylee Hitchner Photography

Take your time in creating your guest list and be sure to consider your budget and venue.  Once you’ve decided who to include you should start writing down the list with names and addresses.  You can find helpful guidelines here.

Most importantly: Don’t forget to take the time to finish your champagne and celebrate your engagement!