JUMP TO: 13 Wedding Guest List Tips
Not sure where to start when creating your wedding guest list? Need some help with a downloadable template? We’ve got you covered.
Where can I get a wedding guest list template?
You can download our wedding guest list template spreadsheet right here.
The wedding spreadsheet template can be used in Excel or Google Spreadsheets, whatever you’re more comfortable with :)
Do I need a wedding list template?
Definitely, yes. You need a wedding list template. It will help you and your partner stay organized and it’s a very important part of your wedding day.
Should I create an invitation tracker too?
You don’t need to create a separate invitation tracker. You could check that you have columns for “address”, “invitation sent”, “RSVPD (yes/no)” to keep it all in one place.
13 Wedding Guest List Tips
So now that you’ve got your wedding guest list template let’s talk about some of the best ways to trim down your guest list. We know it can be overwhelming, so we recommend reading this article with your partner and then sitting down to discuss your wedding guest list.
1. Start with a realistic wedding budget.
If you’re working with a tight budget, you’ll need to be especially mindful of your guest list. The more guests you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be.
P.S. – We have a wedding budget calculator here. It accounts for everything, even things you may have forgotten (like your bridal shower). It will help you determine what you want to splurge on and what you don’t need.
To get started, sit down with your partner and devise a realistic wedding budget. Once you have a number in mind, you can trim your guest list accordingly.
You may have more leeway regarding guest count if money is no object. But even then, it’s essential to consider how many people you want to invite. An extensive guest list can make for a chaotic wedding day.
What is Considered a Large Wedding Guest List?
A large wedding guest list can be defined as any guest list that is over 200 people. This number can vary depending on the size of the venue, the budget, and the couple’s preference.
Some couples prefer to keep their guest list small to have a more intimate wedding, while others want to invite everyone they know to celebrate their big day. If you are planning a large wedding, it is important to start your guest list early and plan accordingly.
2. Consider your venue capacity.
When deciding on a venue, be sure to consider its capacity. You don’t want to book a space that’s too small or too large for your needs. Some venues are better suited for 350+ weddings, while others are great for smaller weddings like 50 guests.
Once you know how many people your venue can comfortably accommodate, you can start working on narrowing down your guest list.
3. Prioritize family and close friends.
Family and close friends should be at the top of your guest list. These people have been there for you through thick and thin and who you want to share your special day with.
If you’re having trouble cutting down your list, start by removing the people with who you’re not as close. For example, you may want to keep your cousins but ditch your second cousins. Or you may want to invite your college friends but not your high school friends.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to invite everyone you know. Your wedding is a day for you and your partner to celebrate your love with the people who mean the most to you. So don’t feel guilty about cutting certain people from your guest list. Most importantly, you end up with a guest list that feels right for you and your partner.
4. Don’t feel obligated to invite everyone.
Just because someone is related to you or was once important in your life doesn’t mean you have to invite them to your wedding. If someone doesn’t fit your vision for the day, don’t hesitate to cut them off the guest list.
The same goes for plus-ones. If you don’t know someone’s date or partner well, there’s no need to extend an invitation. Especially if their +1 is a random Tinder date, yikes…
Here are nine people you don’t need to add to your guest count (if you don’t want to).
1. Your high school frenemy: You haven’t talked to her since graduation, and, TBH, you’re not even sure why she’s still in your life. So, there’s no need to invite her to your wedding.
2. Your college roommate who always borrowed (and never returned) your clothes: It’s been years since you last talked and she doesn’t even have your current contact information. So, unless you want her showing up in an outfit that belongs to you, it might be best to leave her off the list.
3. The co-worker: You invited him to your last three birthday parties and he didn’t RSVP to any of them. So, it’s probably safe to say he’s not interested in attending your wedding.
4. The acquaintance who always asks for money: You barely know this person, but she always seems to hit you up for cash. So, unless you want her to ask for a loan on your wedding day, it’s probably best to leave her off the list.
5. Your ex: This one is pretty self-explanatory! Unless you’re on good terms with your ex, there’s no need to invite him or her to your wedding.
6. – People not in your immediate family: You don’t need to invite your second cousins or great aunts/uncles. Stick to immediate family only.
7. – People who are not in your close circle of friends: If you’re not close with someone, they don’t need to be on the guest list.
8. – People with whom you have a strained relationship: If there’s someone that you don’t get along with or have a strained relationship with, there’s no need to invite them and potentially make things awkward.
9. – Children: Children do not need to be invited unless they are part of the wedding party or immediate family. This will also help decrease costs since children often require special meals, seating arrangements, etc.
Following these guidelines can narrow down your guest list and avoid any potential drama or problems on your big day!
5. Set a firm master list and guest limit.
Once you’ve gone through the above steps, it’s time to set a firm guest limit and stick to it. This may mean making some tough decisions, but it will be worth it in the end.
It’s also important to remember that guest lists can change up until the last minute. So if someone cancels or can’t make it, don’t hesitate to add someone else in their place. You can create what’s called your “B list”.
Figure out who may not come and have a ‘B’ Guest List.
It’s not uncommon for some guests to RSVP “no” to a wedding invitation. You should expect that about 10-30% of the people you invite will not be able to attend. There are some reasons why this may happen:
– Some guests may have already made plans for that weekend and cannot change them.
– Others may not be able to afford the travel expenses.
– And some simply may not be interested in attending a wedding.
Whatever the reason, it’s essential to be prepared for the possibility that some of the people on your guest list may be unable to make it. To do this, you should have a “B” list of guests that you can invite if someone on your “A” list RSVPs “no.”
The best way to figure out who should go on your “B” list is to ask yourself who would be most disappointed if they didn’t receive an invitation. For example, if you have close family members who live far away, they may appreciate receiving an invitation even if they cannot attend. The same goes for close friends who might be planning their weddings – they’ll understand if you can’t invite them because of space limitations.
Once you have your “B” list, the key is to invite people from it as quickly as possible after you receive a “no” RSVP from someone on your “A” list. That way, you can be sure that everyone who wants to attend your wedding will have the opportunity to do so.
6. Set boundaries and expectations for yourself and your partner.
It’s important to set boundaries regarding your wedding guest list. You may have a limited budget or only have a certain amount of space at your venue. Whatever the case, you need to be clear about your boundaries. This will help you avoid any drama or hurt feelings down the road.
When setting boundaries, be sure to consider:
– Your budget
– The size of your venue
– The number of people you can comfortably accommodate
– The type of wedding you want (intimate vs. large)
– Your relationship with each person on your list
– Your mental health
Once you have set your boundaries, it’s time to start cutting people from your list. This can be difficult, but being firm and sticking to your limits is essential. Remember, this is YOUR day, and you should not feel obligated to please anyone but yourself!
7. Don’t rush the process.
It can be tempting to want to get the guest list done as quickly as possible but resist the urge. This is a process that takes time, thought, and care. Whatever you do, make sure you’re happy with the final guest list.
8. Consider travel requirements for your invite list.
When you’re considering how to cut your wedding guest list, one important factor to consider is travel requirements. If most of your guests will be coming from out of town, you’ll need to provide them with more information than if they were local.
This includes things like hotel and transportation options, as well as directions to the venue. You may also consider providing a welcome bag with information about the area and any discounts you’ve arranged for your guests.
9. Set a policy for plus-ones for your wedding reception.
If you’re trying to keep your wedding guest list small, you may want to set a policy for plus-ones. For example, you could allow married couples or those in a serious relationship to bring a guest, but not allow single guests to bring a date. This can help cut down on the number of people attending without really knowing anyone.
Of course, this policy won’t work for everyone. If you have guests in a long-distance relationship or who have recently started dating someone, you may want to make an exception. You’ll also need to decide whether or not you’re going to allow children as plus-ones. In general, it’s best to err on caution and only allow plus-ones for people who absolutely need them.
10. Go with your gut.
As you go through your list, you’ll probably find that some names stand out more than others. These are the people you want to be there, and they should be at the top of your list. Other names might not be as important to you, and you can cut them if necessary.
You might also find that there are some people you’re not sure about. In this case, it’s a good idea to go with your gut. If you have a feeling that someone shouldn’t be on the list, then it’s probably best to leave them off. On the other hand, if someone is important to you but you’re not sure if they should be at the wedding, then it’s probably best to include them.
The bottom line is that this is your day, and you should ensure that everyone on your guest list is someone you really want there. Don’t worry about offending anyone or making anyone happy – just focus on ensuring that your wedding guest list includes the people who mean the most to you.
11. Limit Children (if you want to).
This can be such an awkward topic. Maybe you want everyone’s kids to be at the wedding. Or maybe you don’t want to have to pay extra for kids, the kids meals, and have constant disruptions to your wedding.
If you’re looking to limit the number of children at your wedding, you can do a few things. You can put a note on your invitations that say “Adults only” or “No children under 18.”
You can also talk to your venue about whether they have any age restrictions. If you have close family or friends who have young children, you can talk to them ahead of time about your wishes and see if they’re comfortable finding a babysitter for the night.
12. Keep your guest list spreadsheet private.
It’s essential to keep your guest list private to avoid hurt feelings or drama with friends and family. You may have a limited budget or space, so you can’t invite everyone you’d like to. Once you start telling people about your wedding, you may have some people who get offended that they weren’t invited. It’s best to keep the guest list to yourself until the invitations are sent out.
13. Stick to your guns, and don’t overthink it.
It’s normal to feel a little anxious about making the final guest list cuts—after all, you want to make sure all your loved ones can celebrate your big day with you. But try not to overthink it! If you and your partner have already agreed on a number, stick to it. And if you’re really struggling to figure out who should and shouldn’t be included, ask yourself this question: would I be just as happy if this person wasn’t at my wedding? If the answer is yes, then they probably don’t need to be on the list.
What are some more wedding guest list tips and etiquette?
There are two wedding guest list tips and etiquette in addition to what we mentioned above, including how to avoid offending people and how to explain to people that they were not invited.
Avoid offending family and friends you’re not inviting.
Regarding your wedding guest list, you may have some difficult decisions. You may have a large family with many cousins, or you and your fiancé(e) may have a lot of friends. It’s essential to be mindful of not offending anyone you’re not inviting to your wedding by following these tips:
– First and foremost, keep in mind that it is YOUR day. You should feel free to invite whomever you want, and don’t let anyone else pressure you into inviting them.
– Talk to close family members or friends ahead if you know they will be offended by not being invited. This way, they won’t be caught off guard when they don’t receive an invitation in the mail.
– If someone asks if they are invited to your wedding, be honest with them. It will only worsen the situation if you say “yes” and don’t invite them.
– Be mindful of who you talk to about your wedding plans. If someone asks about your guest list and you tell them who is invited, they may assume they are also invited if they don’t hear otherwise from you.
– If you have to make the tough decision to not invite someone, be kind and understanding in your explanation. For example, you could say that you’re trying to keep the guest list small and intimate.
No matter who you invite to your wedding, the most important thing is that you are surrounded by the people who mean the most to you on your special day.
How to explain to someone they didn’t make your wedding invite list?
It can be challenging to explain to someone why they didn’t make your wedding invite list.. You may want to avoid hurting their feelings or making them feel unwelcome. However, it is essential to be honest with them and kindly explain your decision.
There are a few reasons why someone may not have made your guest list. You could have a limited number of guests you can invite due to budget or venue restrictions. Or, it could be that you are only inviting close family and friends and they fall outside of that circle. Whatever the reason, it is important to be honest with the person and explain your decision in a kind way.
Here are a few tips for how to explain to someone they didn’t make your guest list:
– Thank them for their understanding: Thank the person for understanding the situation. This will help diffuse any awkwardness or tension.
– Be honest: Be honest with the person about why they didn’t make the guest list. If you have a limited number of guests you can invite, let them know. If you are only inviting close family and friends, let them know that as well.
– Offer an alternative: If possible, offer an alternative for the person to still be involved in your wedding. For example, you could invite them to the rehearsal dinner or ask them to be a part of your wedding party.
– Thank them for their support: Thank the person for their support, even though they won’t attend your wedding. This will help them feel appreciated and valued.
How to Make a Wedding Guest List in Excel
TLDR? You can download a wedding guest list spreadsheet here.
A wedding guest list is a tool to track the people invited to a wedding. The list is typically maintained in a spreadsheet or other software program, such as Microsoft Excel.
Address, Phone Number, Guest Name, etc.
When creating a wedding guest list in Excel, there are a few things to remember. First, you’ll need to decide what information you want to track for each person on the list. This can include name, address, phone number, email address, plus any other relevant details (such as whether they have RSVP’d).
Once you’ve decided what information to track, you’ll need to set up your Excel spreadsheet accordingly. This means creating columns for each piece of information and labeling them clearly.
Once your spreadsheet is set up, you can start adding people to the list. If you have a large number of guests, it can be helpful to add them in batches (for example, all of the people invited from your fiancé’s side of the family).
As people RSVP and provide additional details (such as meal preferences), update the spreadsheet accordingly. This will help you stay organized and ensure everyone gets the information they need.
We hope you enjoyed this article and are ready to make your perfect guest list :)