The Guest List

The guest list can be one of the most frustrating parts of wedding planning. No family has ever completely agreed on who will be present to bear witness to the big event. Certainly there are 'fairy-tale' weddings where money isn't an object, but even they have their limits. Frequently some prospective guests never make it onto the final list. As devastating as this may seem, it really isn't the end of the world for the uninvited.

An approximate number of guests will be needed in even the early stages of wedding planning (wedding planning timeline). The number of guests invited will have a considerable impact on the wedding budget. Remember accommodations must be made for all the guests. The number of people invited will determine the venue, amount of food, number of invitations, and possibly even hotel accommodations. The catering expense for just 4 guests can easily add up to $100.00.

All weddings need guests (unless the couple is eloping,) so consideration must be made about whom will attend. It is important to count the happy couple as members of the guest list. The next addition will be immediate family which includes: parents, grandparents, step-parents, brothers, sisters. These people should all be included unless personal situations make it impossible. Taking into account the above estimates will show that the food cost could total as much as $300.00 for this group alone. Any grand illusion of 250 guests should be reconsidered.

Attendants should be added to the guest list next. The minimum is a maid or matron of honor and the best man. From this point the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen is a personal decision. It is important to remember that even though the attendants will purchase their own attire, the number of this group will impact the wedding budget. Things like rehearsal dinner expense, wedding favors for the attendants, and transportation costs should be considered when choosing the number of attendants.

After the basics are in place, it is time to start building the entire guest list. This should include friends, co-workers, extended family, parents' friends and business associates and any other people that the couple feels should be included. Put nearly everyone that comes to mind on the list and see what the total is. If the guest list is too long, take a red pen and start removing people until a figure is found that will fit into the wedding budget.


Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning (index)
Wedding Planning Timeline
Wedding Planning Budget

Ceremony Location
Guest List
Official Business
Planning the Honeymoon
Pre-Wedding Parties
Wedding Attire
Wedding Favors
Wedding Flowers
Wedding Food
Wedding Invitations
Wedding Music
Wedding Photography
Wedding Receptions
Wedding Rings
Wedding Transportation

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