Etiquette: Managing the Guest List

So, your shindig planning is underway and you need to think of who to invite?! There are so many factors to consider to answer this question.  Let us guide you along the road of 'The Invitation List'.  

  • Start by making a list.  Write *literally* everyone that you want at your wedding down. Think, if it was your absolute, perfect day, who would you want to be there for you?  Who's smile will help you stay happy? Who's killer dance moves do you want to be showcased? Who do you want to scream-sing 'Party Rock Anthem!' with? etc.
  • Next, how many people can your venue hold? (Ideally, you will decided on your guest list before your venue.  While it doesn't need to be exact, it is good to have an idea of your number). Sometimes, you find the perfect venue but it can't fit all 700 of your Facebook friends. This is ok, no problem... you just have to go through and cut down the 'extras' This may sound really difficult and mean (ranking all my relationships?!) but stick to the following tried and true questions and it won't be so bad: 

1. Have I made a personal connection with this person in the past year (have we talked, gotten coffee, gone on vacation together)? 

2. Will I be sad if they aren't there?

3. Do I see my future containing them (do I want my future children to know them, do I want my future self to hang out with them)?

If the answer is no to any of these questions, you can probably let them go.  After all, life is about keeping quality, not quantity!

  • Now, the awkward question: Where is the money coming from for your wedding? If your parents, grandparents, aunt and uncle, famous brother, wall-street cousin or any one else are contributing to the wedding funds, it is only fair to hear them out on who they want to invite.  We have to hope that our family will be understanding to our requests if we can't justify a certain person coming, however, if your 2nd cousin that you never met is really important to your mom and she is helping you front the bill... go ahead and invite her.  You may get lucky and get a decline (and a wedding gift in the mail! #tellitlikeitis) If you and your significant other are solely responsible for the funds, it is completely your call with who will be invited, you can always listen to your family for their opinion, but at the end of the day the decision is yours to make.  
  • If you have limited space at your venue, you may find your 'final list' is still too long.  The good thing for you is that not everyone will be able to come.  Separate that list into tier one and tier two.  On average, 10% of your attendees won't be able to make it, so when someone declines from the tier one list, you can send out your tier two invites. Make sure you send those second invites out as soon as possible in order to hear back by your RSVP deadline.  

Remember, ultimately, this is YOUR day.  Don't let anyone make you feel bad for not inviting them, in fact, if you are made to feel guilty, that is the exact reason they aren't invited... so there!

Happy list making!

Emma + Kaitlynn