Stephen K Lee Photography

Creating a guest list is one of the toughest parts of planning, and it's one of the first things you have to do. If the stress of it is already getting to you, take a look at our list of things to consider before making it. We promise it will make things a whole lot easier. 

Budget

When it comes to weddings more people = more money, it's as simple as that. This is because venues and caterers typically charge you a certain amount per person. Each person's plate of food costs a certain amount, so you'll want to make sure you can afford to feed the number of people you plan on inviting. The cost of transportation and will also increase based on your guest count. Before you even begin making a list, set a budget. 

Destination

Are you getting hitched close to home or are you flying to a far-off destination to exchange vows? Keep in mind that if you go somewhere far away, you'll likely have a smaller guest list. Most people won't be able to fly halfway around the world to watch you get married, so if you want a big wedding you may want to pick a venue that's a little more accessible for guests. 

Venue

Don't pick a venue that has a capacity that's less than your guest list. If you want to invite 250 people but your desired venue has a limit of 200 people, you may want to consider getting married elsewhere. Another important thing to remember? You can't assume people won't come. 73% of guests RSVP yes to a wedding according to a recent WeddingWire survey. It's not a good idea to assume 50 people won't come and you'll be able to fit in a venue that holds 200 people, because if everyone does show up, you're in trouble. Be sure to find a venue where all of your potential guests can fit comfortably. 

Plus-ones

This is always a tricky situation. We recommend that you and your S.O. come up with some kind of rule regarding plus-ones and stick to it. The rule you make is completely up to you. For example, you could say if the guest has been in a relationship for more than six months, they can bring a guest or if you've met the guest's significant other, they can come. Whatever you decide, make sure you adhere to the rule with every guest or things could get messy. 

Kids

It is totally fine to have an adults-only wedding. While it's not proper etiquette to directly say so on your invitation, make sure you're specific on your invitation about who from the family is invited to the wedding. If your friends have young children be sure to only put the adult's names on the outside. If you do decide you want to have kids at the wedding you need to think about where they wil sit, if you'll have kids-only activities prepared, or if you'd offer a babysitting service. 

Coworkers

Since you see the people you work with every day, chances are the topic of your wedding has come up, but try your best not to talk about it too much if you're not planning on inviting them. Unless you're good friends with them outside of work, you don't need to invite them, even if they throw you a wedding shower in the office. 

Financial contributors get a say

If you have family members contributing financially to the wedding, they have a say in the guest list. While what they say isn't necessarily the final call, it's important to take their suggestions and guest list additions into consideration. After all, they are helping fund your big day, so it's proper etiquette to let them give their two cents.