Time to start the guest list! You will spend a lot of time thinking about this — there’s no way around it. It can get a bit chaotic, especially if one or both sets of parents are helping plan and contribute financially. It’s important for you and your fiancé to be upfront with both families about your expectations in terms of invitees – give them guidelines and stick to them.
- Use a collective document: the easiest way to do this is create a Google Doc that everyone has access to and divvy it up how you see fit – for example: a tab for the bride’s family, a tab for the groom’s family, a tab for friends [this can be broken down into the couple’s’ friends and family friends]. This later can become your living guest list document that houses everything from addresses to RSVPs.
- The one-year rule: have you or your fiancé spent time with this person in the last year? Granted, if they live hundreds of miles away, or in a different country for that matter that may be tricky, think – have we had an in-depth meaningful conversation in the last year? Chances are if you haven’t done this in the past 1+ year, you won’t be in the next year.
- Make rules and stick to them – deciding who gets a plus one, who gets the cut are just a few of the rules you may need to enforce. Ensure that all contributors know the rules and that everyone sticks to them, it could cause more drama down the line if there are exceptions being made for certain people.
- Don’t let parents and in-laws wear you down: this can be a tricky one, especially when mom says you need to invite great aunt Linda who you haven’t seen since you were 5. If it comes down to budget constraints, be upfront and tell whoever is requesting that they are more than welcome to invite this person, but they will need to chip in for the overflow.
- Your wedding day is about you and your fiancé, having your closest family and friends celebrate the union between the two of you, your new life you’re about to embark on – you want your attendees to have a vested interest in your life, your relationship, and your happiness. This is about the two of you, invite only those who are positive influences on your life and your relationship.
real talk with meli: After we got engaged and started thinking numbers – 120 popped into my head and sounded like a good number of people. In reality, I had no idea what 120 looked like – it wasn’t until after we started creating our list I got a sense of what certain numbers looked like in relation to our guests. Flash forward to today: we have way over that.