How to control the guestlist before it controls you

by WeddingReadyCo

Your quick guide to stress free guestlist planning!

By Teagan Dole

The wedding guestlist can be a daunting task for any couple. A long guestlist could blow the budget and that’s not fun for any soon to be newly weds. Unlike most things, it’s easy to get started but difficult to stop. Your venue often rules the guestlist, allowing a maximum number of heads. So budget aside, it’s essential to take control of the guestlist early. Wedding Ready Co is all about enjoying the wedding journey. So to keep it positive and stress free, take note of these guestlist taming tips…

1. Include those that make you happy now

Who is it that brings joy to your lives now? Perhaps these are the people worthy of a gig on the guestlist, no matter how long they’ve been around. Been working with Jill from accounts for 6 months but feel like you’ve found your soul sister? Give her a seat at the table. You gals will spend months chatting about your wedding day, both in the lead up and in the aftermath. You won’t regret seeing her face beaming back at you from behind a vino. So gather those that bring joy to you on the daily to be part of the entire wedding journey.

2. Don’t be afraid to cut plus ones

This is a tricky one. When you’re strapped for space, those plus ones are tough to justify on the seating chart, especially if they’re practically a stranger. Often the plus ones play the part of an expensive ‘peace keeper’. However, it’s your day and if you’d like to do it without the strangers, then power to you! When excluding certain partners from the guestlist, and this includes everyone from a spring fling to a super serious boyfriend/girlfriend, the key to doing so is communication. Have a conversation with those affected a few months before invites are even sent out. The last thing you want is for your mate’s gf to find out she’s not invited, when a gorgeous invite arrives without her name on it… Like we said, this can be a tricky one!

3. Do the Sober test

Many of us are married in our mid to late 20’s and this is a high energy but can be a somewhat.. ahem.. ‘intoxicating’ time of our lives…! Nights out end in dm’s and new best friends. So, when jotting down the guestlist after a particularly boozy weekend, ask yourselves this question; Do you spend more time together sober or not-so-sober? If most of your communication involves a jagerbomb, then they may not be worth the custom bonbonniere.

4. Kids or no kids?

Kids bring a light to our lives and can be the life of a party. But when numbers are getting tight on the guestlist, they’re often the first to go. A quick heads up to the parents is all that’s needed here to avoid drama. But let me tell you, most parents are doing a little mum and dad jig when they have a valid excuse to call a babysitter! That said, try to be accepting of little newborns. They don’t drink much wine but often need to be close to mum and dad.

5. Mum and Dad will invite their mates

As you get deeper into the wedding planning maze, you may find mum and dad suddenly becoming more and more involved. They’ve waited a long time for this day and some may even have contributed financially. So, just when you’ve perfected the guestlist, the folks love to add a few of their mates, suddenly tipping you over the guest limit.

Despite them insisting to pay for their meal, this may mean the deletion of your old school friend or worse; Jill from accounts (seriously you need her there, she does the worm when the DJ plays ‘Get Low’ by Lil John).

So, the key to avoiding a family drama here is, again; communication – are you picking up the trend here? The moment you and your partner realise the guestlist has zero room to move, tell the ‘rents just that!

Tell them that even if the venue suddenly cut their head price in half (this has never happened by the way!) then you still couldn’t extend the guestlist because there just isn’t enough space.

This should avoid any last minute mum and dad additions. If they still go rouge, stay calm and chat through the implications together.

About the Author:

Teagan Dole is a modern, fun loving Marriage Celebrant (Panache & Co.) based in Melbourne, Australia.

Teagan is a wife, mother, avid listener and absolute lover of LOVE. She values quick wit and exercises her ability to make people giggle. She rates a G&T, adores homewares and is completely obsessed with weddings. She waved goodbye to the corporate world to invest all her energy into creating memorable ceremonies for couples just like you!

You can check out Teagan’s Celebrant Services right here: Panache & Co.

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