Guest List 101

We touched a lot on guest list in our budget themed Facebook Live video and recap blog. Your guest list can be a major budget buster, and on the flip side, the most important component to your planning process! Without your wonderful guest there would be no big wedding and no need for food, seating, entertainment, and almost every other aspect to your big day. A wedding without a guest list is as much to plan as an elopement, but that’s not what you’re aiming for by planning an entire wedding! Trimming down a guest list can feel painful, but there are many reasons why a big guest list will not only hurt your pockets, but do an injustice to those closest and most important to you.

Family Portrait at WeddingWait On Social Media

Announcing your engagement on social media may seem like the easiest and most fun way to let everyone know about your upcoming wedding. Wait! Posting on Facebook is a great way to hit a large audience, but think of¬†everyone you’re friends with. We see all the time excited brides posting their ring and then receiving a whole thread of comments from people excited for their invite. More often than not, many friends commenting on there you may have never intended to invite.. awkward, right. Your once intimate affair has now turned into a full blown high school reunion and that college roommate you tag in cat videos but never planned on seeing again expects to be a part of the bridal party.¬†Consider filters on a Facebook post that may limit the viewers to categories of close friends and family you can preset or create a “Friends List” through their explore option.

Facebook Friends List

Consider Importance

We’re not necessarily saying you need to rate your friends and family, but you should have a clear idea of who is most important to you. This means you may not be able to invite your elementary school best friend, but that’s ok! Keep in mind here, you’re going to have many photographs taken and eventually need to mingle with everyone at your wedding. You want to make sure the people attending will be in your lives as a couple 5, 10 years down the road when looking back on your wedding albums. Also consider what the cost of each person in relation to your budget will be. Inviting additional people means skimping on something that is important to you whether it be florals, decor, or even food. This is YOUR day. When creating your guest list, make sure each name is someone you will want to talk to, take a picture with, and afford. Having to let go of something on your priority list just to invite additional guests is not worth it.

Dinner at Wedding


The Who, What, Where

A big factor in the planning process when it comes to guest list is the logistics. Once you have your final head count, your options for seating, food, even your venue gets narrowed down. If you venue has a cap of 150 people, that includes vendors, you may need to rethink who you’re inviting. Likewise, if your catering budget is at a set amount but they add additional charges for staffing if the amount of people exceeds a certain number, you’ve broken your budget. Love the idea of long tables but invited too many guests? You could have to switch to round tables, and are sacrificing the aesthetic vision you had.

Bride & Groom with Guests

No need to let your guest list overwhelm you, and don’t feel bad about not inviting everyone you know! Your wedding is about those who know you on a deep level, and those who know you and your significant other as a couple. Your celebration should serve as a gathering of people who will truly wish love and happiness to your nuptials, and not just your entire Facebook guest list. We rank the guest list as the number 1 budget buster for these reasons, and can work with you on trimming down and compiling the perfect guest list for your big day. Having a wedding planner to be a neutral third party in this case will eliminate a lot of emotions and get you back on budget track and straight to the point: this is your wedding!


Until next time, happy planning!







Photo: 1, 3 & 4. Melani Lust Photography