Tips for a no Stress Guest List

Simplify your Guest list!

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Guest lists seem to be the bane of every couples existence, who to invite, who doesn’t get an invite, kids or no kids, your mom’s cousin or your dads boss. So I created some helpful tips to who gets the rose and who gets sent home!

At the end of the day your wedding whether traditional or breaking all the rules, the guest list can cause so much stress. But keep in mind it is your day and no one else’s not your parents, not your sisters, yours.

Likely someone will be sad/mad/irritated with the fact that they weren’t invited. But you are not responsible for how they feel, they are responsible for their emotions, only them! You are responsible for keeping your guest limit within the amount your venue allows, you signed a contract so let’s prioritize the one that can sue you if you violate it!

Personally I would give yourself base rules to try and follow, you will have exceptions but give yourself a few general rules to help narrow down your options!

Here are 10 helpful tips for how to make your wedding guest list your dream:

Here are some hopefully helpful tips

1. Determine your max amount of guests, determined by your budget or venue!

Every venue will be different and have guidelines you need to follow. Whoever you invite you will likely need to feed, and price per head will affect your final guest count! Calculate what is allowed and what can fit in your budget!

Big Sur Intimate Wedding Elopement Elopement Photography Elopement Ceremony with guests

2. Start with Family, determine who is for sure going to come and who won’t make the trip.

I am a big believer in sending invites to those you know for sure won’t make it, they may send gifts and won’t add to your guest list! But keep in mind you may have some surprise “yeses” in the group you fully expected to say no! IF you haven’t spoken to them in years don’t feel the need to send an invite!

3. Close friends, both proximity and figuratively close!

All or nothing, if you have a specific friend group invite the whole group, it would be hella awkward to be the one rando not invited when everyone else in the group was. If you have a particularly rowdy friend, there’s always one ( And How is their name always Chad) talk to them before the date and maybe give some ground rules to protect your peace and your wedding day!

4. People you have communicated with in the past 6 months.

This one is rule to broken, but a good guide. If someone barely knows you are engaged they may not need an invite. There’s no need to invite your best friend from first grade unless you have reconnected and/or stayed connected! But we are all adults, and friendships as adults often end up looking like not talking to each other for months on end and then getting in the same room (Finally) and starting right where you left off! So a rule to apply and break when necessary!

5. Get A list of vital people from your parents and future in-laws

Have them limit their lists to people you have met and know, feel free to give them a limit on the amount of “their” guests. I would suggest 25 – 40 depending on your limit! My mother seems to know literally everyone, but that doesn’t mean I need those people to attend my intimate wedding. So protect your peace and give them a limit of vital guests, and if there is room allow extras who could or could not be left off! Compare these to lists you already have and get rid of any duplicates!

6. Only give plus ones to friends who are in relationships

This one may seem harsh, but lets face it if he doesn’t have a date and tries to get someone last minute could be way more awkward then him hitting on your single bridesmaid (Ground rules could be helpful for these dudes) But honestly plus ones should only be given to a plus one you have met before your wedding day!

Bride hugging a guest Vineyard Wedding  Northern California Sierra Mountains Wedding Photography California Wedding Photos

7. Limit the list by making it a Child-Free event.

This one may be hard to enforce and may have exceptions, I would communicate that specific exceptions are family members and you may need to prioritize them over your cousins nieces 5 year old daughters

8. Keep work friends at work.

They don’t need to be included unless you hang out with them outside of work and after work drinks is not outside of work! Of course if you work with your best friend this may not apply!

9.IF you have been invited to a wedding in the past year its often expected to reciprocate

However, anything more than a year I would say that you don’t need to add those names unless you talk to them often, in which case they should be added!

10. Don’t invite someone who isn’t absolutely ecstatic about your wedding day!

You deserve to celebrate with only those who want to celebrate with you! If you have some potential guests who don’t fully accept you and your partner they don’t need to be included. protect your peace and remove them from the list!

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