Making A Wedding Guest List

Following wedding etiquette will help to keep the peace and to make sure that no one was forgotten when planning the wedding guest list.

Wedding invitations are sent out about two months before the wedding. About six months before the wedding, the guest list should be finalized and agreed upon by both the bride and groom.

Making the Wedding Guest List

In general, the immediate families of the bride and groom are always invited. This includes parents, siblings, step-relatives, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Other people to consider including are close friends and coworkers. For both the friend and work colleague categories, the guest should be well-known to the bride or groom and not just a new acquaintance.

If parents have a few close friends that they would like to invite, the bride and groom should consider including these friends. Some parents pay for part or all of the wedding. While this does not mean that they get to decide the whole wedding guest list, the bride and groom should allow them some say in the final count.

Wedding Planning – How Many Guests

Make a guest list that includes close family and friends. While compiling the list, and debating whether or not to invite additional guests, such as coworkers, family friends, or neighbors, consider several factors, including:

1. Family dynamic - Some families keep close ties with extended families. Some are close with just their immediate relatives, like parents, siblings, and grandparents. Some families will tend to include children in the celebrations, while other families will hire babysitters and celebrate at an all-adult reception.
2. Personal preferences - While it is important to consider the wishes of parents and grandparents, the final invite list depends on the preference of the bride and groom.
3. Wedding style - Depending on the location of the wedding and reception, the guest list will be affected by variables such as travel time and expense for the guests and the budget limitations of the bride and groom. A destination wedding will likely mean a much smaller wedding guest list than a reception at a large rented hall.

When Kids are not Invited to the wedding

Whether or not children should be invited to a wedding can be a touchy subject and should be handled delicately. To address the issue of not inviting kids to the reception, the wedding invitation could read “adult reception to follow.” To host an entire wedding that includes just adults, write something like: “we have reserved X seats for you.”

If kids are not invited, write the name of the couple or individual on the envelope. When the envelope reads “and family,” this implies that children are invited. If guests respond and have clearly misunderstood the directions, call each of these guests to explain the situation.

Other Wedding Guest List Tips

There are many other etiquette questions to consider. For instance, the RSVP card must include return postage. Also, when waiting for reply cards, give guests an extra week to return the cards before calling to inquire about their status.

When the final list is settled, remember to choose formal or informal wedding invitations to set the tone for guests. The style of the invitations offers a clue to guests of the style of the wedding.