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How to Build Your Wedding Guest List

Filed in Planning Your Wedding — November 2, 2023

The Guest List is one of the trickiest parts of planning a wedding. If you’re like me, you don’t want to hurt any feelings and you want everyone to be included. However, sometimes the wallet won’t allow it! Let me help you walk through crafting the perfect guest list.

First, you are going to want to decide the general number of people that you want in attendance. That way, you can work from the inside out. Generally speaking, most weddings are about 100-300 people. Keep in mind that as you add more people, catering (which is normally about 40-50 dollars a person) and other costs will continue to rise. (Think furniture rentals, programs, alcohol, etc) It would be a disaster if you didn’t account for everyone in attendance, and they didn’t have a seat at the table or a plate of food! This is why it’s important to plan ahead.

Remember, an intimate wedding is NOT a bad thing

When crafting the list, organize everyone into different categories. For example, begin with an immediate family/must invite list. This number looks different for everyone, but it is a good place to start. From my experience, the “must” invites will take up anywhere from one-third to one-half of the guest list. You can then work through both your and your partner’s extended family lists, and friends you both wish to invite. When I got married, we split our guest list into thirds. My family had 50 people, my fiance’s family had 50 people, and we had 50 of our friends.

In my opinion, picking what friends you want to invite is the most difficult part. If you’re similar to me, you probably a have lot! The golden rule of guest list crafting is this:

You have to put you and your partners wishes first.

I know that is probably not what you expected to hear, but in this situation, it is so true! A good rule of thumb is that if you or your partner have not spoken to them in over a year, don’t invite them. I promise you, they will not be offended and your wedding day won’t be ruined!

It all comes down to this, you want people at your wedding that have walked through your relationship with you. When you are surrounded by friends and family that have supported you through every step of the day, your wedding just means more. Choose people that have invested in you. Not necessarily financially, but in spirit. You can’t invite everyone, and your peers understand that! Take peace in knowing that you will be surrounded by people that will be happier for you than anyone else in the world! You deserve it!



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