One part of wedding planning that can be fun but can also be a bit overwhelming is figuring out your wedding guest list! You will want all of your close friends and family to attend any maybe even some co-workers and family friends but your venue can hold so many people so have to narrow down your list. Choosing you guest list can be hard but grab a pen and some paper and I'll try to help you with your list below!
How Many Guests Will Your Venue Hold
Before you do anything, you need to determine how many guests your venue will hold. Your venue will be able to give you this number easily! The number they give you won't include your vendors so you don't need to factor them in. However, that number will, usually, include you and your wedding party members so once you have the number subtract yourself and your wedding party members from the number. This number will be the max amount of guests that you can invite.
Now that you know how many guests your venue holds, you now need to consider your budget. For every guests you invite, you will have a cost per head for food, drinks, favors, etc. Your caterer and bar services will be able to give you a cost per head to help you calculate. TIP: Remember your vendors in your food count! Your vendors won't count towards your guest count but they will need a meal so you will need to factor them into that count/budget.
Immediate Family Members
The first place you want to start with your guests list is with your immediate family. These are your closest family members and people who will, more than likely, have a special part in your wedding. Besides yourself and your wedding party, these will be the first people on your list.
Wedding Party Plus Ones
Your wedding party is some of your closest friends and you are probably friends with their spouses, significant others, and children. If you are planning on giving your wedding party a plus one then you will want to factor that into your guests list. You don't have to give your wedding party a plus one but it's always nice for them to have someone to socialize with during the reception, if you have room on your list.
Extended Family Members
Your immediate family members aren't the only family that you are close with, you probably have extended family that you love and would like to have at your wedding. The goal of this part of the list is to include in your extended family who you really want present. If your mom really wants her 3rd cousin twice removed at the wedding but you've never met them or aren't close, don't add them to this list yet, we will get to those family members soon!
Now that your closest family and wedding party are taken care of, now it's time to include your friends! Any mutual friends that you and your fiancé have is a great place to start first! These are people you both love and enjoy to spend time with and are a great addition to your wedding guest list.
Close Friends To You And Your Fiancé
These are friends that may not be mutual to you and your fiancé but who you both love and spend time with. These are the friends that you couldn't imagine not being at your wedding.
Count Your Guest List
Everyone who you have on your list at this point are your closest friends and family members and the people who you would miss if they weren't at your wedding. Go ahead and count up this list and compare it with how many people your venue will hold and with your budget constraints. Hopefully at this point, you have less guests than your venue can hold! If that's the case, keep reading to keep adding to your guest list. If you are already over your guest count, go through the list again and see if there is anyone you can remove.
Now that you have your special people on the guest list, it's now time to add in any other special people who you would like to have at your wedding. This can be co-workers to friends that maybe didn't make the cut before. If your parent's have any family members or family friends that they think should be invited (like the 3rd cousin removed example above) then this is a great time to add them in.
You don't have to invite everyone! People know that weddings only hold so many people and they won't be offended if they're not invited. Make sure the people you invite are people are you love and really want at your wedding.