Writing a wedding guest list will take some time. First, make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page. Have you always dreamed of a small intimate wedding, or a huge bash? Do you envision a guest list of 20 or 200?
Traditionally, the couple gets half the guest list and each set of parents get a quarter of the guest list. So if you’re planning to invite 200 people, you’d get 100 guests, your parents would get 50 and your fiancé’s parents would also get 50. The most drama-free approach is to play fair, and split the list evenly three ways. It also depends that who is helping you add financially. For example if the bride’s parents are paying for the wedding they are titled to invite a few extra people.
Keep in mind that 20% of the people on the list usually won’t attend so it is good to have a back up list. Try to have an A-list (Family and close friends) and a B- list (coworkers, other friends and distant relatives). If you get a few negative RSVP’s you can send out invitations to the B-list guests with a different RSVP date.
The budget will then help you remove some guests from the list or add to it. The venue will also determine the maximum amount of guests you are allowed to have.
Here are some cutting rules:
- Rule #1If neither of you have spoken to, met or heard their name before.
- Rule #2 If neither of you has spoken to them in two years and they’re not related to you.
- Rule #3 Anyone who’s on the list because you feel guilty about leaving them off, maybe because you were invited to their wedding or they’re friends with lots of people who are invited.
- Rule #4 If you cut one out from the parent’s side you should balance it out by cutting one form everyone’s list.
- Rules#5 Filter out the +1’s that have been dating for less than a year.
- Rule#6 Children under 12.
- Rule#7 Facebook friends that you don’t really know but they like all your posts and pictures.
- Rule#8 People you don’t really care for that verbally invited themselves and you feel obligated.
- Rule#8 People who drink too much and create a negative vibe.
- Rule#10 Friend’s parents, unless they are close family friends.
If for some reason you still get an extra write in, it could be that guests just don’t know the protocol. Just politely call and tell them the real deal: You’d love to have everyone, but budget and space means it’s just not possible.
Theknot.com and weddingwire.com have useful Guest list tools. You can add the details like address, RSVP, food choice and more on it. It really helps keep track of everything for the wedding and even where to mail your Thank You cards after you receive your gifts.
Here is a link to a printable wedding guest list : http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/wedding-guest-list-TC010130853.aspx
There are always people that will be upset that they weren’t invited. It’s unavoidable, so try not to stress about it and do what you gotta do!