Planning the Guest List

December 7th, 20109:28 pm


Planning the Guest List

One of the most stressful parts of planning any wedding is trying to plan out the guest list.  You have the people who you know must come: the parents, family members, closest friends – but then there are those gray areas where, well, perhaps you or your groom may want them to come, but the other doesn’t.  Or maybe your parents really want to invite a good friend of theirs but you do not want to dig up the funds to pay for a perfect stranger at your wedding.  If you are stuck in one of these predicaments (which almost every bride and groom is) here are some things you can consider to solve them.

Who is Paying for this Wedding?

If it is just you and your husband-to-be who is putting down the cold hard cash for this wedding, then the guest list should really be entirely up to you.  People can make suggestions all they like, but if you’re the ones footing the bill, you have the final say.

But then here comes the gray area: what about parents who are contributing to your wedding?  Should they have a say?  If either the groom’s parents or your own parents are paying for any part of the wedding, then the nice gesture would be to allow them to invite some people who they would like to bring.  After all, they are contributing towards your big day.  There’s no better way to let them know you appreciate their financial support than allowing them to have some people come along who they also love and care about too.

The Venue Size

Most venues cannot accommodate any random number of people.  They all have a set number of people who they are legally allowed to be there, which also includes the caters and cooks and other vendors there.  Generally, most halls will hold up to 200 people, though there are some that will hold as little as 50 and as many as 300.  If you have the option to invite up to 300, then having who you would like at your reception shouldn’t be a problem.  If you are limited in your numbers however, do keep that in mind and think about who you really want to be there on your special day.

TIP:  Having a small venue is also a great excuse to forego inviting certain guests to your wedding.  There just isn’t enough room for your second cousin Timmy to come along – sorry mom!


The more guests you have, the more it’s going to cost – the end.  Food for a wedding is expensive.  A bride and groom would be lucky to get away with a meal that will cost them $30 per head (and that’s not even including the alcohol!).  Again, if it is just you and the groom footing the bill and no one else is contributing, you both have final say on who is coming, and who is not.

Dealing with Hurt Feelings

Hurt feelings will happen as one or two people realize that they have been excluded from your wedding invite list.  Be honest about not inviting them in as tactful a way as possible (you couldn’t afford it, the venue wasn’t big enough, you didn’t think they would be interested or remember who you were).  Follow up by inviting them over for a glass of champagne to celebrate privately together and to catch up.

Categories: Budget and Basics