Trying to work out how to put together a wedding guest list that will please everyone, may seem like a daunting and impossible task. It’s a little more complicated than simply making a list of everyone you’d like to celebrate with. From immediate family members to casual friends and associates, the list goes on and on. Our quick guide will ensure everyone you love is where they need to be on your big day.
In theory, creating a wedding list should be as easy as writing down those you want to attend and discarding the rest. Unfortunately, in practice, things are never that simple.
The very first thing you need to do is communicate with your partner. It’s their wedding just as much as it is yours so it’s essential they have an equal amount of input.
Work together to form a list of every person who you would invite if you had an infinite budget. Work your way out from family members to friends, coworkers, school friends and the partners of all these people. This should leave you with a lengthy list, now you need to trim it.
One thing we like to recommend is forming a “non-negotiables” group. These should be close, immediate family or friends that are considered as such. This should be the most straightforward list to make as they all should immediately spring to mind.
It’s incredibly likely that this won’t be your entire guest list but you need to have a solid foundation upon which to build.
Based on your budget and the size of your wedding venue, you need to take into consideration what’s realistic for your day. If you’re planning to have a wedding in a cosy barn or a huge manor house the number of guests you can feasibly invite will change drastically. One step further than this would be a destination wedding abroad. If this is the case then maybe that short list of non-negotiables is all that’s attainable. This is perfectly fine if this is the case. After all, it’s your day and your decision.
At the end of your wedding day, the two families are going to be one. The last thing you want to do is disrupt the peace and make things awkward out of the gate.
Deciding upon extended family is a tricky thought to tackle, especially if you or your partner have a large family. You need to decide where the cut-off point for the extended family lies. If you invite one uncle, every uncle and aunt then needs an invite, the same goes for cousins and second cousins alike. This can take up the bulk of your guest list. Unfortunately, it is the only way to not risk making anyone feel left out.
Of course, we understand that everyone’s family circumstances are different. What’s important is that on the day you’re surrounded by those who love and support you.
Casual friends are great if you have any remaining venue space or budget. These could be childhood best friends or coworkers, with whom you have a relationship outside of the office.
Remember, you want to see familiar faces in the crowd so don’t feel obligated to invite anyone you don’t know or haven’t met before, just to please people. One rule we see couples stick to is if you’ve not seen them in person in the last 12-18 months, they don’t need an invite. Even if, according to your mother, they have known you since you were little and have loads of hilarious stories to tell.
Another good rule to follow is that if you feel like you’re inviting someone out of guilt, stand your ground. Don’t be afraid to say no if you feel pressured by opinions or emotions. It’s your day, not theirs. The last thing you want to have to worry about is organising extra people, just because you’ve been made to feel in the wrong.
When you’re both happy with the list of people currently attending, you should divide the remaining space and then speak to each of your parents. Allow them to decide who they want to invite with these. This allows them to reciprocate any invitations they might have received to their close friend’s children’s weddings.
Traditionally, the bride’s parents would pay for the wedding and reception. Nowadays, it is common for there to be financial assistance from both sides of the family. So, it’s important you give them the opportunity to have a say in who’s attending and air any concerns they might have.
The plus one is most definitely not mandatory. It’s important to note those who do and those who don’t need a plus one. For example, if you know that person is in a serious relationship you should offer them a plus one. If you’re unsure of their current relationship status due to distance or a lack of recent communication then question marks should be appearing over whether they should be invited at all!
It might sound harsh but if you have a tight budget or a venue with a limited capacity you might need to make reductions where possible.
You need to make a call on whether or not children are invited to your wedding. Remember, the decision is entirely up to the couple and you can’t make a wrong decision. If you decide upon an adult-only celebration then you need to stick to that. No matter how grown-up or mature the child is, making an exception for one will force your hand to make one for everybody. This will leave you in a much more difficult situation than if you had just stuck to what you said originally.
Ensure you take into account the cute pictures you could get, before you say no…
The biggest thing you should take from this is whatever “rules” you make for your wedding guest list you must stick to them. Making a blanket rule will not only make it easier for you during the planning stages but it won’t give anyone a reason to be upset if they are treated differently. You shouldn’t show any signs of special treatment or exceptions. This will only create conflict and could lead to some people feeling as though they are insignificant in comparison to others.
You and your partner’s comfort and happiness are what’s key on the day. This should be at the heart of every decision you make during the planning stage. Take into account whether you’d be happy doing first introductions throughout your wedding day. Also, note if a sea of familiar faces would settle some nerves as you stand at the altar.
Here at Blackstock Country Estate, we have a wonderfully charming Tudor Barn for your reception and a large, equally lovely Granary, which makes for the perfect location for your wedding breakfast. We are located deep in the midst of the great Sussex countryside. We have picturesque rolling hills and an abundance of wildlife, all on our doorstep! For more info about our venue feel free to get in touch, we look forward to hearing from you.
If you’re interested in speaking to our professional wedding coordinators about who should be on your wedding guest list, then don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat. We’re more than happy to help in any way possible and are always willing to answer any questions specific to our venue. If you would like to book a private viewing, our team would be more than welcome to walk you around our 85-acre Estate.
We look forward to hearing from you x