Tips for Making Your Guest List

Written by Decadent Details Events Assistant, Stephany LaCruz

Hello Our Beautiful Readers,

The guest list is one of the first things you should do when starting to plan your wedding. Although deciding who to invite or not to invite, isn't great fun, it's very important to the size venue you will need and your budget. Each guest adds to the amount of food your caterer will prepare, how many tables and chairs you will need to rent, and even how much cake you'll need to pay for. It's best to be conservative with your number and then if there's room left, you can add on to the list later.  Unfortunately, making the guest list can be hard especially if one or both sets of parents are involved in the planning or contributing to the budget. But fear not, for we have some great tips to share when it comes to narrowing your guest list!

According to The Knot, traditionally the couple chooses half of the guests and then each set of parents decides a quarter of the guests. (200=100+50+50) But it’s really up to the two of you on how to split the guests.

To get started build a dream list, jot down everyone you can imagine attending your wedding, from your best friend in kindergarten to the long lost cousin you met once. Just for this part, take your budget and venue out of the equation. You'll have to do some trimming later one but for now, think big. 

Tip: If you're tempted to invite even more people on a whim later on, go back to this list as a reality check. If they were never on your dream list, are they really crucial now?

The next step is to start trimming your dream list until you reach a realistic number based on your budget. Here are a few rules to help make the process of trimming smoother. 

  1. If one of you have not spoken, met, or heard of a person don’t invite them.

  2. Don’t feel bad about having an adults only wedding.

  3. If neither of you have spoken to them in at least three years and they’re not related, don’t invite them

  4. If there’s anyone on the list that you added because you felt guilty (your parents talked you into it, they invited you to their wedding, etc.), don’t invite them.

Tip: We've heard just about every guest list horror story, and through experience, we know the only way to make this process for smoothly is to be as fair as possible when you're making edits. It'll be difficult at first, but for each person you take off your in-laws' or parent's list, take one off you own also. 

We suggest keeping your list digital on Excel instead of paper because it makes for easy tracking as well as editing

Here’s an infographic that helps by asking some questions about each guest the two of you would like to invite.


We also suggest you stick to the number of guests the two of you have decided, if someone RSVPS “no”, then go to your backup list to invite someone else in their place.

Include names on the RSVP cards. Yours wouldn't be the first wedding where a guest added two (or three or four) names onto one line, even though the invitation was made out to one guest. Avoid this problem by printing the guests' names on the RSVP card. Do this, and there's almost no way anyone can force an invite on you. Tip: If someone does do an extra write-in, it could just be they don't know the protocol. Don't take the faux pas personally just call the guest and explain that you'd love to invite everyone, but budget and space make it not possible. 

We understand deciding who to invite to one of the biggest days of your lives can be hard and stressful. But with these tips, we hope the process goes smoothly.

Until Next Week Our Beautiful Readers!