One day you’re in and the next day you’re out….

Many of our clients and a TON of the brides we meet at Bridal Events all have drama with the guest lists…

So I thought I’d finally tackle it here on the blog and offer some observations, tips and suggestions.

First and foremost – unless you have unlimited space and unlimited financial resources someone will be left off the list…

I suggest that before you start the planning process you talk to the people involved in the finances {that will vary for each couple} and come up with a ‘soft’ budget number….

That’s the number {A} you’d like to work within when planning the wedding…. And divide that number in half {B}….

NOW work on a preliminary guest list – tell everyone it’s their ‘wish list’… the ‘all things being equal I’d have them at the wedding if I could’….

Take that number of guests and that into {B}….that will give you a cost per person for the reception…
– If that number only puts you into reception space below your vision
o Raise your budget
o Reevaluate the size of your guest list
o Look at your standards for the reception venue

Unfortunately- that’s the easy part!

In dealing with the family dynamics of the planning a good rule is to split the list EVENLY into ¼ – one quarter each: Bride, Groom, Bride’s Family, and Groom’s Family.

{Those of you with divorced parents will have to split it up accordingly}

You’ll find that bride and parents and bride and groom will share some guests; freeing up space for others and this applies to the groom and family….

People with bigger families have their own drama and issues so you might need an intervention…

Keep in mind that there are a few general rules for working with guest lists:
– Put it on paper (it becomes real then)
– Don’t take the decision PERSONALLY – someone’s gotta get cut or you’d have a wedding of 1000 guests.
– Approximately 12-15% of guest will send regrets so you can go a little higher than you final number {there are issues and variable around that but we can chat}

I had one couple who put it all in perspective – they looked at their list and asked “who would we take out to a really nice dinner ANY OTHER night of the year and pick up the check- no questions asked?”

Bottom line is … we all have limitations in planning a wedding …. We all have people around us who we would love to have at the wedding…

A wedding guest list will be the first of many exercises in working together and compromise you’ll experience not only in wedding planning but in marriage….