7 Crucial Tips For Making Your Wedding Guest List

Wedding planning is no easy task. There is a seemingly endless things to take care of; each of which require a lot of thinking and pondering over. From the theme to the décor to the dress to the cake to the venue to the catering; planning a wedding is no joke, though it can be fun!

One of the most important aspects of wedding planning though is deciding on the wedding guest list. If you think dealing with the above mentioned issues is a challenge, get ready for the worst of them all (according to research I did online).

wedding party avoiding rain at Lake Como wedding


The number of guests that you decide to share your special day with directly affects everything from the venue to the arrangement to the numbers; everything. Therefore, getting this out of the way should be one of your top priorities. Inviting everyone you know and care for is nothing short of a dream and a luxury that very few amongst us can ever imagine to delve in. For others, lists are the way to go. 

To pick and choose favourites for your big day is not something anyone would enjoy unless they are hosting a private and intimate wedding. Considering the fact that there is already a lot going on for you, this is the last thing you need on your plate.

After asking within the wedding communities all over the world, one of the most popular problems was making your wedding guest list. So here are 7 tips I’ve put together after some research that will help you curate your wedding guest list. Let’s get started.

Make a Dream List

Everyone has some idea about the number of people they want to invite for their wedding. Depending on your desire to host either a small intimate wedding with only close friends and family or a big party with everyone you know, you need to have a figure in mind. Prioritize so you can move on to the next step that is budgeting, planning, etc. The trick is to list the names of the people who you know must be present at the event. Once that is sorted, move on to those who are not that close to you and so on and so forth. Make it simple for everyone. 

Set a Realistic Maximum Number

This number is important because when selecting a venue, you always have to take note of its maximum capacity for accommodation. In addition to space, catering is the other place where you need to be careful because if there are extra guests, you must ensure that there is enough food for everyone. 

Make sure the number of guests you finalize on doesn’t exceed your venue’s maximum capacity. It is best to keep room in your budget. Keeping all factors in mind, know how you want to host your guests. Try to not book for the maximum number. In fact, if you have the budget, try finding a venue that is slightly bigger and can accommodate more guest so you have the luxury to invite extra guests over. 

Beautiful Ceremonies

Know How to Divide the List

Since both parties are involved, you’ll have to decide how to divide the guest list i.e. the number of guests from both the bride’s and the groom’s sides. The best way to decide is to get the family together and decide collectively so there is no confusion or mess. The best bet is to play it safe and divide equally amongst guests with half from the bride’s side and half from the groom’s side. Parents normally get a quarter of the share so they can invite whoever they want. Though this is extremely subjective and will dramatically change from couple to couple.

guests having fun at stamford wedding

Make a Priority List

By this we mean that you simply have to pick favorites. Make 2 lists: an A-list and a B-list. The A-list will contain the names of those who are the closest to you i.e. those whose presence is crucial for your big celebration like family members and close friends. The first round of invites goes out to them at least a couple of months in advance. 

The B-list has the names of those who you care for and would want to be present at your celebration but then again their presence isn’t absolutely crucial such as colleagues, distant family, etc. Send them your invites after you start receiving RSVPs from you’re A-list guests. That way you will not exceed your maximum count or budget. 

wedding guests enjoy the stamford weather

Set Some Rules

Set a criteria to make it to the list; it’s as simple as that. Sounds cruel but it is what it is. For example, if you don’t want kids at the party or if you have never met or spoken before or if you haven’t spoken to the person in a long time or simply because they are on the lost because you felt bad leaving them out; cut them all out. Harsh, yes, but it is effective. This may be extreme but again its subjective and hopefully might give you an idea for some of your own strict rules!

Set Boundaries

There is no need to be generous with invites if you can’t afford them. That means learning to say no to friends and family over plus ones and additional extra guest add-ons. This is your wedding and you get to decide who is important and who isn’t set your boundaries.

Get Organized

The key to not completely losing it in this process is to stay focused and keeping track of everything. A lot of couples really found it helpful getting a planner with spreadsheets so you can jot down pointers and tick off things as you go. Try to keep track of RSVPs as well so you know who to consider next on the list in the case of cancellation.

wedding guest list


This rather long and tedious journey goes through its ups and downs but the thing that often gets to almost everyone is how despite ticking things of your list, more and more things continue to get added and the next thing you know, you have twenty other things to take care of. It’s challenging to say the least. To make sure you don’t lose it before the big day, follow these crucial tips to keep everything running smoothly.

Thank you for reading this article and I hope it has helped you in some way! If you would like to find out some more helpful information about weddings and wedding planning check out my blog.

If you would like to see more of my award winning wedding photos please visit my portfolio. Here is also some information about how I approach a wedding as a UK wide and destination wedding photographer.