How to Create a Wedding Guest List

It’s officially wedding planning season! Here at Swoozie’s, we are big fans of this time of the year because it gives us all something to celebrate. And what is better to celebrate than true, undying love? 

Below is another entry from one of our own, Sarah. She will be tuning in weekly to blog about her own experience, providing tips and advice as she learns along the way. She will even solicit the advice of others and create an online dialog for all of our other recently engaged readers. 

How to Create a Wedding Guest List 

I have to be honest – creating a guest list was one of the most difficult things I have done while planning my wedding. Don’t get me wrong, we had zero issues with writing down the name of every person we would love to have in attendance. What we had a problem with was deciding who Kevin and I could actually afford to attend.

The reality is that every wedding has a budget, and it’s important that your wedding guest list keeps this in mind. Most people can’t afford to have 300 people in attendance, so below I share with you some of the tips I acquired while trying to keep everything within budget.

Understanding Your Budget

On average, a reception will cost you about 50% of your total wedding budget. While per person costs vary drastically, it seems like a solid average is around $65 a person. Yes, $65! So, let’s say you had a $20,000 total wedding budget – that would mean you could afford to have around 150 guests.

I think it’s important to break down the numbers this way, because it helps you decide how many people you can actually invite, rather than how many you want to invite.

Divide Seats Equally

This seems to be the only thing that is fair. Instead of fighting over whose guest is more important, lay down strict ground rules. If you are inviting 200 people to your wedding, the bride gets 100 and the groom gets 100. How you decide to split those invites amongst your parents is up to you. For example, I have a small family so my parents had fewer people they wanted to invite, requesting 25 of my 100 invites. Kevin, on the other hand, gave his parents 50 of the 100 invites because he has a larger family.

Create and A and B List

This has been my savior! It was inevitable that we hoped to invite more people than we could afford. So, we created an A and a B list. Those who were on the A list received the first round of invitations. If somebody from the A list replies with regrets, then we will send an invite to those on the B list in order of importance.

We hope that these tips helped you in your planning efforts. What advice have you found to be helpful? 

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