Creating A Wedding Guest List

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Most people don’t think about it, but the guest list for your wedding reception is the biggest contributor to cost. Each person on your guest list represents a fee for food, drinks, decor, printing, postage, and the list goes on. If your wedding budget requires you to cut your guest list, here are some ideas to help.

1. Limit the list. Each person on your guest list will cost you an average of $100. Before you remove family members, you might want to discuss it with your parents or anyone contributing to the cost. Explain that your wedding budget allows for a certain number of people. If your family wants to extend additional invitations, perhaps they can cover the cost.

2. Expect responses of regrets.
On average, 30 percent of those invited will be unable to attend. This will depend greatly on the date, location and how many guests would be required to travel. While you may receive a few surprises on attendance, this gives you a starting point to work on your invitations. As guests send in regrets, you can add names from your B list to the invitations.

3. Have A Consistent Kids Rule.
One of the most contentious discussions about wedding guests lists often centers on invitations to children. To avoid hurt feelings you might want to adopt a kids rule. You can invite children, have an adult only reception or include immediate family. If you are going to include children in your wedding reception, click here for ideas for kid friendly wedding receptions.

4. Prioritize Your Guests.
Begin building your guest list by creating three columns; immediate family, close friends, and acquaintances. You can then enter names into each column. As you need to cut guests, you can begin to work your way through each list. This does require determination not to stuff one of the columns! As guests are removed, add their name to a B list so you can send an invitation as regrets arrive.

5. Plus Ones. You are not required to allow single friends to bring a date to your wedding reception. It is your choice to decide where to draw the line. To avoid offending someone, you may want to consider allowing guests in long term relationships to bring their significant other. When making your seating arrangements, single guests will likely appreciate being placed at a table with other singles.

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