For some, creating a guest list is a walk in the park. For others, they have to rack their brains and ponder over it for weeks. Both scenarios are entirely normal, as the decision of who to invite depends on a lot of factors.

Here are our wedding guest list top tips:

Decide on how the list will be split up

Usually, each person in the couple will get half the guest list each, which ensures a fair representation of both sets of family and friends. If any parents are contributing to the wedding financially, then it’s also tradition to offer them a portion of the guest list. Be sure to discuss this with everyone involved before deciding on whom to invite.

Create the perfect list and then whittle it down

Start off by creating a list of everyone you would ever consider inviting. Once you’ve got that, you can mull over it and start whittling down the list gradually. This protects you from accidentally missing anyone out, and gives you more time to look at the bigger picture.

Figure out the numbers

In the vast majority of cases, the budget will play a key role in the final guest list. Catering is usually one of the largest wedding expenses, and with a cost-per-head commonly ranging from £20 to £80+, even a small handful of extra guests can rack up the cost. Plus, this doesn’t even include additional expenses like chair rentals and the size of the cake and venue.

Be sure to plan out the budget and expenditure in detail, so you have a solid idea of exactly how many guests you can invite.

Don’t discuss your wedding with everyone

Whilst you’ll naturally want to chat about your wedding with people you know, this can come with one unwelcome side-effect: creating an awkward situation where someone assumes they’ll be attending even if you didn’t intend to invite them.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with discussing your wedding at-length with must-have guests, but it can be best to avoid the topic of conversation around people you aren’t so close with.

Prioritise guests into groups

If you’re having trouble whittling down your guestlist, try grouping potential invitees by order of priority. For example, group A can be the closest family members who are guaranteed to receive an invite. Group B can be close friends, group C can be acquaintances, and group D can be everyone else. This allows you to filter down the list of guests who might not make the cut.

Put names on the RSVP cards

Avoid leaving the response cards open to interpretation, where a guest feels as though they can bring along anyone they wish. It’s usually best to print definitive names on the cards, so there’s no room for manoeuvring when it comes to who the guest brings with them.

This also gives you more control over the guests to ensure that they don’t bring along someone you would rather not have in attendance. Another alternative is to mention a specific number of guests on the card. For example “Jane plus 1 guest”.

Profile certain guests

If you want your wedding to go without a hitch, pay close attention to the characters of some of the guests you are considering. For example, if you know someone is prone to getting drunk and overly boisterous at a party, think twice about whether they’re a good guest to invite.

Be firm

Don’t be afraid of being firm when it comes to your guest list. At the end of the day, it’s your wedding and your money. The cost of even accommodating for one extra guest is not to be sniffed at, especially if they’re someone you barely know.

Always make sure both of you are happy

There’s nothing worse than having a guest who one of you would prefer not to be there. It creates unwanted tension on a day which should be nothing short of perfect. Be prepared to compromise to ensure that you finalise a wedding list where you’re both happy with the result.

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