Strategies for Creating Your Wedding Guest List

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The wedding guest list is one of the first logistical hurdles in wedding planning. You and your new fiancé are thrilled to be planning your wedding. You have likely thought of the many ways in which you can honor your bond and celebrate a new step in your relationship. You will have plenty of opportunities to create a magical day that sets the right tone for you to begin your marriage together.

However, it’s time to begin choosing those special people that will join you on your big day, and the possibilities are massive. Both you and your partner have family, whether it is a large or small family, extended family, co-workers, childhood friends, acquaintances, or shared friends. There are plenty of people who would be happy to join you as you celebrate your nuptials, but it all comes down to who you want present for such an intimate event.

Here at Contagious Events, we believe that the wedding guest list you create can influence the planning experience and ultimately, your big day. That’s why we have put together a few strategies for creating your own wedding guest list.

Here are our tips for developing your wedding guest list:

Who You Should Invite, and Who You Don’t Have To.
There are some people who are a must on your invite list, while others you can do without. For example, those who should receive an invite are pretty obvious; parents, siblings, wedding party, close family members and friends. But, there are quite a few people that you may be thinking of inviting, that don’t actually need to attend.

  • There are people that you see in your life on a daily basis, or close to it, but don’t actually share a deep connection, such as co-workers, neighbors, friends that you haven’t heard from in years, or someone who invited you to their wedding years ago; these people don’t need to attend.
  • In addition, if you are looking for a way to cut costs on your big day, you also have the option of making your big day “adults only”. You won’t have to worry about keeping your wedding “kid friendly”.

What to Do When People Invite Themselves or Bring Uninvited Plus Ones.
Your wedding is likely big news among your social circle, and has likely spread to your more distant circles as well. If you get messages from those in your distant circles, such as acquaintances or co-workers, you can avoid being rude or having to uninvite them by keeping the specifics on the down low. You can also avoid those pesky uninvited plus ones by printing your invited guest’s name on the RSVP line, so that they can’t write in multiple names. Another option is to print a line on the RSVP that reads “we have reserved ___ seat(s) in your honor.” 

If you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to tell someone they can’t actually invite their own guests to your wedding (yes… it happens!), we suggest this script: “Hi [name], we’re so excited you’re able to make it to our wedding. My apologies if there was a misunderstanding, but the invitation was only for you. We hope you can still make it, we can’t wait to celebrate with you!”  – doing this makes the point clear without opening the topic up for discussion. By starting with the positive (“we’re happy you can make it”) and ending with a positive (“can’t wait to celebrate with you”), and keeping the focus on who is included and not on who isn’t (“the invitation was only for you”), you keep the discussion positive and focused on what matters – celebrating with those you intend to celebrate with. What’s important here is that you don’t ask the person any questions or open the subject up for discussion. There is one caveat here – if a guest brings a +1 that is not on your wedding guest list, but they are engaged or married to the uninvited guest, they technically should be invited to the wedding as a couple. 

How to Deal With Parents Who Want To Add Their Friends to the Wedding Guest List.
You are likely to run into the dilemma of your parents and your in-laws wanting to invite their own friends. This can be frustrating, but it’s important to stay calm. Be sure to set your boundaries early, and stick to them. Face to face conversations will allow you to be heard and understood, but will also avoid hurt feelings.

Your wedding guest list can be one of the most frustrating wedding details to plan. But, with these tips, you can feel at ease as you create the list of people that will be happy to attend your big day. Here at Contagious Events, as a wedding planner in Boston, Massachusetts, we can assist you with planning your special day. Contact us today to begin working with your Boston wedding planner.

Photo Credit: Benedicte Verley Photography

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