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3 min read

How to Navigate Your Guest List

How to Navigate Your Guest List

Embark on the joyous journey of crafting your wedding guest list! Picture the smiles, the laughter, and the cherished moments as you're surrounded by your nearest and dearest on your special day. Let's make this adventure feel like a breeze as we guide you through each step, ensuring your guest list reflects the love and joy that will fill your celebration. We'll be your trusted guide every step of the way, transforming what might feel overwhelming into an enjoyable adventure. Rest assured, with our simple steps, you'll be well-prepared to send out those invitations smoothly!

Ken Caryl Vista by Wedgewood Events Happy Guests


Who do you want to Invite?

Let's start by jotting down a list of everyone you'd love to have by your side on your special day. This can include:

  • Family and friends of both the bride and groom
  • Friends of the bride and groom's parents
  • Children of anyone mentioned above
  • "Plus ones" are those special guests invited by family or close friends to accompany them on a date.

Let's refine our list to ensure it includes only those who are truly essential. As we create and pare down a second list, let's focus on the following:

  • Close family and friends who you couldn't imagine celebrating without.
  • Those who have played significant roles in your lives and relationships.
  • People who bring joy and positivity to your life regularly.
  • Those whose presence will make your wedding day even more memorable and unique.


Let's discuss whether you'd like to have children at your wedding. 

Would you prefer an "adult-only reception," or are you open to accommodating children? This decision will influence the number of children on your guest list, if any.

Many guests have appreciated being invited to an "adult reception" only. It can provide an excellent opportunity for a date night or a well-deserved break for parents. There are various ways to arrange an adult-only reception. Couples can also hire babysitters in a separate area of the venue with a dedicated space, or they may arrange childcare at a family member's home.

Remember that regardless of whether children are invited, those eager and able to attend your special day will do so. Most importantly, your wedding reflects your preferences and creates a memorable experience for everyone involved.


Wedding Guest List Advice From Wedgewood Weddings



"Should everyone get a plus one?" can be a hot topic. Ultimately, it's your call as a couple. Plus, ones can significantly increase your guest list, sometimes almost doubling it!

As a wedding expert, I suggest discussing with your partner whether you're comfortable with potentially having strangers at your wedding or if you're all for "the more, the merrier!" Plus ones can be tricky, but it's usually best to specifically name the person on the invitation if you both agree to include them, rather than leaving it open for guests to bring anyone.



This day is about you and your partner uniting, surrounded by love and celebration, as you start this exciting journey together. As you go through your guest list, consider these questions about those you're unsure about:

  • Would you treat them to a fancy dinner and cover the bill?
  • Are they truly there to celebrate you, or are they just looking for a good time?
  • Do you genuinely want them to be there, or are you inviting them to fill the list?
  • Have both you and your partner met them? How do you each feel about inviting extended family members you're not particularly close with?


the famous "a" and "b" list

Now that you've got your A/B list sorted let's create one more list: the expected list. This list is about estimating who will be there on your big day. Several factors can influence this, including:

  • Travel: Are they coming from afar? Is there convenient accommodation and transportation near the venue? Is their health conducive to travel?
  • Timing: Is your wedding date close to any holidays or busy periods when a few guests might struggle to get time off work?
  • Finances: Are your guests financially able to make the trip?

Considering these factors and jotting down this list gives you a more realistic idea of your guest count. Remember that unexpected things can come up, and approximately 80% of guests on the list typically attend the wedding.




Budget, Budget, Budget

Budgeting is crucial to wedding planning, and the guest count plays a significant role. Sit down with your partner and determine how much you're comfortable spending. This will be one of the first things you do as you start planning your big day. It's essential to be on the same page about finances, whether you're getting help from others or not.

Once you have your budget and have visited a few venues, you can get pricing for different guest counts to see what works best for you. With Wedgewood Weddings & Events, you're not locked into your guest count until ten days before your wedding, allowing you to adjust based on RSVPs.

To help stay within your budget, consider using a guest list manager on a wedding website. Platforms like The Knot or WeddingWire offer free tools to organize and track all your RSVPs. Instead of dealing with mailed-in or lost RSVPs, guests can RSVP online, making the process quick, efficient, and organized.


Be Okay with your Guest list not being perfect

Stay confident in your choices!

Your guest list is personal and sometimes can be political. There will be people who may expect an invitation and might feel offended if they're not included. Be prepared to explain your reasons for not inviting specific individuals and stand firm in your decision. This could be due to venue capacity limitations or budget constraints. Be ready to discuss these matters with anyone involved in the financial decisions and anyone who questions your choices.

Just remember, your guest list belongs to you and your partner. No one else should dictate it. Keep that in mind, and you'll navigate this process with ease!


Your wedding should be all about you!


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