• The Hoboken Bride: 9 Tips for Creating a {Wedding} Guest List

    There are so many fun parts about wedding planning, even with some of the “stress.” Celebrating with your fiancé, taking engagement photos, planning, finding a dress…it can be fun if you keep it all in check. However, there is one part of the beginning stages of planning that is annoying, no matter how organized, thoughtful, and prepared you are: the guest list. Here are some must-know tips for creating the perfect wedding guest list {sans tears}.

    9 Tips for Creating a Wedding Guest List:

     

    1. Make a bare bones guest list before you start looking at venues.

    It’s helpful to put together a guest list relatively early on in planning stages — that way you don’t have to worry about overcrowding into the reception hall of your choosing, and also so you can get a sense of how things break down when it comes to who is inviting whom. If you already have a venue you want, make sure you know about their minimum number of guests {aka the amount you’ll have to pay for even if less than that show up} and their maximum {you don’t want it to get too crowded}. Then make a list of everyone you think you want to invite, and see how it matches up.

     

    2. Make an excel sheet in a very precise way.

    The easiest way I’ve found to do it is put an excel sheet together with 4-5 columns titled: Bride’s Family, Husband’s Family, Bride Friends, Husband’s Friends, and then extras that may not fall under any of those categories. Count up each column {don’t forget their guests!} and then see how you’re doing in regards to your total # of guests.  Sit down with your fiancé and put this list together. You’d be surprised how you never knew he was so close with friends in his intramural basketball league 😉 .

     

    3. Before getting input from your parents/in-laws, make sure your list is some-what solidified.

    Make sure you have everyone you and your husband-to-be want to invite before you send over your excel sheet to your in-laws and parents. This helps them see how many people you have invited so they can add their peeps without overcrowding.

     

    4. Be specific and set limits as to how many friends your parents/in-laws can bring.

    I think it is very courteous to ask your parents and in-laws if there is anyone that they would like to add to your lists and invite {especially their close friends}, but give them a max number to adhere to. Just like you have to work with the venue to fit everyone and have a specific set number, so should they. This is trickier if your parents/in-laws are paying for the venue, but still, it’s your day — and you should have some {if not most} of the say in who is coming. A good rule: if I’ve never heard you talk about them or have met them, then they probably shouldn’t be invited. {Ask me if I stuck to this rule after my parents/in-laws looked over our guest list…oops! Sometimes it is hard to say no}. 

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    5. Factor in cost when thinking about extra people.

    Yes, the lady who knows your order and name by heart at the local coffee shop is super sweet, but do you really want to pay $200 for her dinner at your wedding? Just sayin.  

     

    6. When inviting singles, make sure you give them a date if they want one.

    I know this may not be the majority of popular opinion, but personally, I think it’s rude not to give your very close single friends a plus one {if they want it}. Make sure you ask them about it before solidifying numbers. If anything, they’ll appreciate the gesture and tell you not to worry because they’re going to have a great time flirting with the bartender after they catch your bouquet. Another great rule to follow: if you’re not 21, you can’t bring a significant other {aka I am not paying another $200 for your date who can’t drink alcohol to come to my wedding}! 

     

    7. Decide early on if you want children at your reception.

    This can add up majorly if you have a lot of siblings or cousins with children. For us, we decided that the no-children-under-15 route was the best option. Totally up to you, but if you don’t have them there, it definitely saves some space if needed.

    8. Don’t make a B-List.

    Again, just my personal preference, but I think it’s rude. Enough said.

     

    9. Think about who you want to watch you declare your love to your significant other.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to invite some friends from work {even though my fiancé and I are only inviting our immediate bosses due to lack of space} — but if they don’t know your family or anything about you besides that you drink black coffee with one sugar cube before sitting down at your desk or what your husband-to-be’s name is, then you may not want them or care to have them there. You want people there that in 10 years you could never imagine not having there — best advice I’ve gotten about guest lists from my wedding planner. 

     

    These are just a few of the things when solidifying a guest list to keep in mind. What else would you add?

    PS: Save the Dates and Address Gathering Tips coming soon to The Hoboken Bride!


    Written by:

    Jen is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of HobokenGirl.com. She started the site to discover the wealth of fun things happening in Hoboken and Jersey City and surrounding Hudson County areas. When not planning the next Hoboken Girl event or #HobokenGirlHelps volunteer project, she can usually be found shopping at local boutiques, eating an Insta-worthy meal, walking her French bulldog Pierre + rescue pup Finn, or watching some really bad {but oh-so-good} reality TV and ordering takeout with her husband.


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