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7 Essential Tips for Making Your Guest List

Now you’ll start creating your Excel doc of the people you and your groom, your parents, and your future in-laws want on this wedding guest list. 

Drafting and cutting your guest list might not be quite as fun as tasting cake flavors and add to that the fact that each of these special guests will cost you $84, on average. Do you still want to have all 400? Okay, I know that.

7 Essential Tips for Making Your Guest Listphoto credits: Jonathan Borba

With these 7 essential tips for making your guest list:

1. Start by setting your total guest count, then divvy it up among you, your parents, and your future in-laws.

Lizzie Post, president of the Emily Post Institute, suggests splitting it in one of two ways: one, give equal thirds to you and your groom, your parents, and his parents. Or, two, keep 50 percent as a couple and assign 25 percent to each set of parents (with multiple sets, each side gets 25 percent total).

If you’re footing the bill, you may want to increase your stake, and that’s okay. Just remember: you must offer the same allotment to his parents as yours, regardless of who is paying for what.

2. Your friends are in various stages of relationships, so where do you draw the line?

If you want to include the couple, you can add a note in the rsvp card that you reserved “2” seats in their honor, for example.

3. Let your guests know if you will include kids or not at your wedding.

If you don’t want to write in the cards, read here 26 Ways how to say no kids at the wedding.

4. Limit Co-Workers

It’s polite to invite your boss and assistant if numbers allow. Beyond that, ask just the people you socialize with outside of the office.

5. Cut Carefully

Try to trim in groups (all second cousins, spin buddies, et cetera) to avoid hurt feelings. And if someone does have the nerve to ask about her non-invite, simply explain that you had to make tough decisions (you did!), but you’d love to celebrate with her another time.

7. Set a Deadline

If you don’t hear back from someone by the date indicated on your invitation, call. Your caterer needs to know and you need to know!

8. Include names on the response cards.

Yours wouldn’t be the first wedding where a guest crams two (or three or four) names onto one line, even though the invitation was made out to one person. The way to avoid this problem is to print the guests’ names onto the RSVP card.

7 Essential Tips for Making Your Guest List

If you are still struggling with how to reduce your guest list, let me help you with that. Write in the comments.


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