The size of the wedding guest list influences a great percentage of the wedding budget. And with the average wedding running upwards of $25,000+, establishing your wedding guest list right away can determine what type of wedding you can afford. Take a look at our 5 tips for managing your guest list!
1. Prior to compiling the wedding guest list, review the wedding reception prices to develop a budget. Make note of the per person rate, along with any extras prices such as chair covers, service charges, and so forth. Most wedding destinations and resorts offer a strolling reception, sit down dinner, and buffet style dinner reception to choose from.
Since the bridesmaids and groomsmen play a definite role in the head count, start with the wedding party. Next, on the wedding guest list, factor immediate family members of both the bride and groom. This includes parents, step-parents, siblings, and grandparents.
2. To deter parents from expanding the wedding guest list, allot each parent a specified number of guests. If you have a large family, discourage parents from inviting distant relatives that you have not been seen in a longtime.
3. On the wedding invitation, be clear about inviting additional guests. Be sure to include spouses and significant others’ names to alleviate confusion on the envelope and wedding invitation.
Mr. and Ms. Bob Wilson
Ms. Goodsby and Guest
Some wedding planners advise brides and grooms to extend the plus one on the wedding invitation to close acquaintances only.
4. To alleviate the stress involved in finalizing the wedding budget and wedding guest list, set the RSVP deadline to give yourself plenty of time to finalize all of your arrangements. According to The Knot, your RSVP date should be two to three weeks before your wedding date. But, be sure check with your reception venue first before deciding on your RSVP deadline. Different vendors have different requirements for final head count, usually somewhere between one to three weeks prior to your event.
5. Need an easy way to manage your guest list? Download this free guest list spreadsheet from Microsoft Office to track each guest’s name, address, relationship, shower, ceremony and reception RSVPs, food choice, gifts received, and thank you notes.