Compiling a Guest List

Making that All-Important List

Sitting down and compiling a guest list for your wedding is a difficult task. It may require many revisions, but your final wedding guest list should be one you, the groom and your families are happy with. Your guest list should include all of the people you, your groom and both sets of parents want to share your wedding day with. There are always more people that can be added to the list, but money and space will determine the size of your guest list in the end.

The best way to compile a guest list is start writing out your fantasy list - one where money and space are not an issue. Include everyone you want to invite off the top of your head. The next step will be to get out the red pen and start crossing off names until you're within the limits of your budget and space.

If you run into conflicts with either set of parents, you need to consider who is paying for the wedding. Traditionally, the bride's parents paid for the wedding and they determined the total number of guests and informed the couple and grooms parents how many people they could invite. Today, many couples are paying for their own wedding which means they get to set the final count and inform their parents how many people they can invite aside from invited family members. A couple paying for their own wedding reserves the right to first invite everyone they want to and take parental guest suggestions into consideration afterwards, if there is money left over in the budget and room to accommodate the extra seating.

Many couples, in the excitement of finding the perfect location, mistakenly choose the venue before finalizing their guest list. If the venue is too small to accommodate the guests you want at your wedding, you may have to do some unhappy revising of your guest list or look for another venue late in the game. When deciding on a wedding site and reception venue, it's best to start looking after you've finalized your guest list. If you find the location of your dreams before you determine your guest list, you may find yourself willing to sacrifice the enormous wedding for something a little more intimate and a little more you.

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