The Guest List

You have reached a milestone in life with our wedding day.

You have lovingly labored for many months with your time and energy to create your beautiful wedding.

You have booked a lovely venue, chosen which flowers would be just right and considered the many shades of ink for the invitations.

You have selected a delicious menu, and hired professionals to attend to the many other details of the wedding and have spent time in collaboration over your wedding vows so that they may be meaningful, inspiring, and touch your hearts.

But most importantly, you have given great thought over your “Guest List”. Just who would be present at this very special moment in time? Who would stand witness to this sacred event?

Who is “in” and who is “out”?

Tough decisions filled many times with emotions of “one more guest will break the bank” to “we have to invite her because she’s my mom’s great whatever three times removed and will never speak to the family again. Never mind youhave never met her”!


Here’s my best advice about your “Guest List” and PLEASE don’t start inviting guest verbally only to later have to un-invite them. That is an embarrassment you don’t want to experience.

  • Before you start, make sure you and your Fiance are on the same page. Does your bride want a “grand over” the top wedding and your thinking a “small and intimate” event? Get it figured out now. It will save heated arguments later.

  • Create your budget and stay on the budget keeping in mind your budget will determine everything from the food, bar tab to the flowers and miscellaneous items. Waking up the day after your wedding in debt is no way to start your marriage. Accept the fact that we all…even the rich…have a budget and need to stay on the budget.

  • Your “A” list. Intimate family members come first. Make sure your wedding date is flexible at this stage to ensure those that “must” be at the wedding are available.

  • Your “B” list. Make it and then set it aside. This list is to be reviewed once your “A” list is complete and mailed. Once you have the RSVP’s from the “A” list and know who isn’t coming, send out the “B” list.

  • Your single guest should be counted as “two” in your head count. They should be allowed to bring a date.

  • Children…who has them and how many will there be. Usually children are billed at a nominal fee, but even that can add up. If you have strong feelings about a “no children” rule, let it be known well in advance so those with kids can book their sitters.

Realize and accept that not everyone should be invited.

The whole office staff at work does not need an invite but maybe those you socialize with on occasion and depending on your relationship with your boss, send him or her an invite. No ex’s! If the word “ex” is at the beginning of the name…skip them. Besides, no matter what any one tells you it is in bad taste. Those who are contributing financially to your wedding…must be invited. If your going to hold your hand out and accept money from them you must invite them.

Steer clear of inviting the heavy drinker. Your bar tab will thank you as well as your other guest. Weddings can bring out…hum…rowdy behaviors in some of your guest. Compound that with alcohol and you could have an embarrassing situation.

And lastly…have someone at the door checking the “absolutely no admittance” list. Wedding crasher do exist.

The “unknown” crasher are guest neither one of you know! They show up dressed up, partake in your food and bar, and then walk off with a gift or two off your Gift table. No one catches them due to the low lights, an empty chair at one of the many tables, and the many activities of a wedding. The “known” crashers are the feared “disgruntled” ex. No place for them at your wedding. They are hostile and have nothing good to bring to your wedding day. Having a gatekeeper at the door is a very smart insurance policy to keep your wedding a safe and happy event.

Any guest on the “do not invite” list who may be expecting an invite, must be told well in advance that your wedding budget has caused a limit on how many can be invited. If you don’t, you’ll just be dealing with it later. It won’t go away on it’s own.

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