Streamlining Your Wedding Guest List

3 min read

Streamlining Your Wedding Guest List

The wedding guest list is just as hard to put together as the seating chart. In a perfect world, everyone you love would be in your big day and you wouldn’t have to invite people you would rather not see. What to do then in a not-so-perfect world?

Here, you’ll find a technique of building a wedding guest list that will save you time. There’s also an infographic simplifying the decision-making process in choosing your guests. We’ll dish out a few insights on handling pressures of inviting people who are not part of your original guest list.

Alternative Wedding Guest List Method

Most people build their wedding guest list by gradually adding people. Why not try a different approach?

Effective writers “write in white heat” and “edit in cold blood”. This means writing without fear of mistakes and restraint. Afterwards, the writer mercilessly edits for mistakes and makes big improvements on the piece.

wedding guest list

Deciding who to include in the guest list is not that easy but it must be done.
Photo via Wedding Forward

Adopt the same principle in making your guest list. Give yourself and your partner a few days to come up with your individual lists and write down all the guests you would like to invite, even those you’re unsure of. Avoid filtering the list!

When you have finalized your lists, sit down together and go through each of the names and decide if the two of you will agree to invite that person.

By making a list in “white heat”, you can account for all the guests you can possibly think of in one process. By “editing in cold blood” with your partner, you can ensure that you’ll come up with a judicious decision on each of the names on your list. You can effectively filter your guest list this way.

This method is easier than building up your guest list over time and losing control when you add more names last-minute. These things happen more often than you think!

Holy Grail of Wedding Guest List Planning

Now that you’ve learned how to make a guest list, how do you decide who to include?

wedding guest list

Photo via Wedding Forward

There are lots of wedding guest list infographic guides out there but this one is by far the simplest and most straightforward. Because really, the last thing you want to do is to complicate an already tedious task. It all boils down to how often you talk and if they’ll make your wedding more fun and memorable.

Dealing with Social Pressures

“It’s my wedding and I’ll invite whoever I want” is easier said than done, especially when you want to keep the wedding small and intimate.

If you come from a closely-knit family and your parents insist on inviting certain relatives from the extended family, agree with them on a certain number of guests they’re allowed to invite and let them know that they can’t go beyond that number. Of course, you must agree with your partner on this number.

wedding guest list

A post-wedding celebration isn’t a bad idea at all.

You can take a proactive approach to family and friends who aren’t invited to the wedding. Let them know that as much as they mean a lot to you, you need to keep the wedding intimate and small. Propose a post-wedding get-together as an alternative. Schedule this when you and your partner have recovered from the wedding preparations.

Don’t Lose Sleep Over the Guest List

Just as with any aspect of wedding planning, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t come up with the ideal wedding guest list. It doesn’t exist!

In the end, it’s the presence of the people who make the occasion special that’s important. And if you can’t accommodate all your loved ones in that occasion, they will understand if they truly care for you.

Don’t forget to have the guests sign the wedding guest book! It’s fun to look back days, months, or years after the wedding and check out who made it to your big day.