Your Guest List

March 12, 2019

Your Guest List

This is one area of wedding planning where couples can become really unstuck. You can become overwhelmed and often overshadowed by supposedly well meaning loved ones’ suggestions.

Your Guest List

Think about your venue

Sometimes the venue’s capacity pretty much dictates how many guests you can invite. Make sure you know this number first.

Your Guest List

Wish list to reality

Most of us cannot invite everyone we’ve ever met to our wedding. Most of us wouldn’t want to.

Start with your long wish list. Work through it carefully. Decide who is really important and who you’re considering inviting ‘just in case someone else at work mentions it to them’.  Choose your guest list pretty early in your overall timeline.

Family and who’s paying?

Asking a particular set of cousins because you are inviting the equivalent ‘layer’ from the other side often doesn’t work. Not all families are equally close. Remember, that second cousin might not want to come if you’ve not seen each other since childhood. It works both ways.

If parents are paying they perhaps understandably expect to have quite some say in the guest list. Communication is key, so once you have a total number, agree allocations between the two families and you and your other half.


Ideally make this a blanket yes or no. This appears fair to all guests. If you cannot, come up with a rule which is easily explicable. Perhaps only immediate siblings’ children.

Remember also that some couples welcome the opportunity to leave their children with grandparents and have a bit of grown up time.

‘Plus one’s’

Again, aim to have a blanket rule such as:

  • If you’ve met the person they can come
  • If they’ve been together a certain length of time, yes, otherwise no

People can be a little thoughtless, expecting couples to pay substantial sums to host a brand new girlfriend etc. Sometimes their attending in the evening is a nice compromise.

Evening Guests

Having evening guests gives you scope to invite more people without it costing you as much per head.

If you cut your cake or have a fun cocktail hour as evening guests arrive they can still feel very much a part of your celebrations.

Don’t feel guilty

Wedding planning can be stressful in so many way. The guest list is a classic.

It is your wedding. However much you choose to spend on your day, weddings are never cheap.

So once the two of you are on the same page, be open and honest with family members about why you want, or don’t want, to invite certain people.

Get more help

How would you like all the tools and techniques to overcome overwhelm? A professional planner and coach there for you along with other brides?

If you’d like to join other brides on The Emboldened Bride Training & Coaching Programme click the link or email me to ask questions.

It’s my online programme packed full of workbooks, templates, spreadsheets and checklists for you to tailor to your big day and plan like a pro.

I’d love to help you more.


Photo credits: Max Burnett Adam Hollier & Dasa Wharton

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