Putting together your guest list can be one of the most stressful parts of planning any wedding. Not only do the bride and the groom both have opinions on who to invite, but also both sets of parents often insist on being involved in this process. Leaving someone special off of the guest list to your wedding can be an insult that will not soon be forgotten, but inviting too many people can be a financial burden that will stay with you long after the wedding is over. So what do you do? Are there some guidelines that can help make compiling a wedding guest list to be a more manageable process?
Well, back around the middle of the last century, the typical guest list formula was to divide the guest slots among his parents, her parents, and the young couple in a 40:40:20 ratio. But times have changed. Today the couple being married typically has more control. But most parents still want to have at least some input. The following are some tips that should help you as you go through this process…..
#1) Decide how big you want the wedding to be. Not everyone has enough money to be able to invite 500 people to their wedding. Decide what your upper limit is and stick to it.
#2) Gather input from both sets of parents. If you ask both sets of parents who they want invited and you put those names with the names of the people that the couple wants to invite, then that will help make sure that everyone has their voice heard and no important guests get left out.
#3) Whoever pays for the wedding should have input into the guest list. If one or both sets of parents are paying for the wedding, then they rightly should have input into the guest list. If the couple is paying for the wedding themselves, then the parents should not expect to have much input.
Generally there are three classes of people you will be inviting to your wedding…..
#1) Relatives – This includes your grandparents and your extended family. Even though you may not see your aunts, uncles and cousins often, it is still important to invite them.
#2) Friends – His friends, her friends and even the close friends of both sets of parents should be invited. This is one of the most important days of your lives, so you will want your close friends there.
#3) Co-workers, Business Contacts and Other Obligations – In certain situations you will want to, or even be expected, to invite co-workers and business contacts. These people are often less “important” than family and friends, but in certain social circles these kinds of people will be expecting an invite.
In order to make sure that nobody gets offended, it is important to keep this process as open and inclusive as possible. In particular, mothers tend to really want to be involved in developing the guest list. If you let them participate it will likely make things go more smoothly in the long run.