7 Helpful Tips for Creating Your Guest List

There are going to be plenty of fun and wonderful moments when planning your wedding. For example, trying out all the different types of cake. What could be more enjoyable? However, with that being said, there are going to be trickier moments in your wedding planning journey too. For example, creating your wedding guest list.

Some couples may want to invite every single family member, friend, colleague, former-coworker-of-the-father-in-law, next-door neighbour and spin instructor to their wedding! Other couples are looking for a more intimate affair with their closest friends and family. Finalising your guest list may be a tough—and often argumentative—process.

Need a bit of inspiration on deciding who makes it onto your wedding guest list? In this blog and video, our wedding experts advise on the importance of determining your guest list before venue hunting, how the guest list can affect your budget and being realistic with your expectations and vision for your special day.

1. Firstly, How Do You Envision Your Wedding Day?

What do you envision for your big day? The nature of your wedding may help determine the number of guests you should invite. For example, if you want a romantic and intimate wedding in a small forest with draped fairy lights, you may want to invite fewer guests. However, if you are planning on having a grand-affair in a castle-like venue, it may be a better idea to invite more guests as they will fill up the room and ensure that the venue doesn’t look like a big empty space. The type of atmosphere you want goes hand in hand with the number of guests you should invite. So try figuring out what you envision before you create a guest list. Once you’ve found a venue and come up with a look and feel, the rest will fall into place beautifully and effortlessly.

Need more help finding the perfect venue? Visit our Pink Book Directory!

2. Start Off By Creating Separate Lists

It’s generally a good idea for you and your fiance to make separate wedding guest lists and compare them. Work together to create a master list that includes absolutely everyone you want to invite, and remember to be willing to compromise.


3. Create A Draft Before Accepting Any Financial Help

We know that creating your wedding guest list may get a bit messy, especially when both sets of parents are involved and want to contribute to the wedding financially. This is why you should be clear about your expectations before accepting any financial help. Even if you’re paying for the wedding yourselves, it’s a good idea to get the families together and talk about the guest list so there are no surprises. Here, everybody can have a chance to voice their expectations. However, once you’ve started putting down deposits with someone else’s money, you’re in a bind, whereas before you start spending, you can still negotiate or choose to decline.

4. What Are Your Limitations?

There is a maximum capacity which your wedding venue will allow – be this for 100 guests or 300 guests. Ensure that you are aware of your limitations before starting with your guest list, for example, the reception area may accommodate 300 guests but the chapel may only accommodate for 100. Make sure you know all of your numbers beforehand so that you don’t have to deal with stress later on. Also, consider the number of guests that you are able to afford. Ask your caterers about the price per head and see how many guests can fit into your budget. What we’re saying is…work out all of the logistics and details before you even start jotting names down.

5. Who Absolutely Must Attend

Who absolutely must attend your wedding? Your immediate families and closest friends? It will be easier to edit your guest list later once you’ve established who the most important guests are. This is where you and your fiance can also ask each of your parents who they would love to have there.

Can’t decide if someone should be invited or not? Make some cutting rules:

Rule 1: If neither of you has spoken to or met them or heard their name before, don’t invite them.
Rule 2: Not crazy about inviting children to your party? Don’t feel bad about having an adults-only wedding.
Rule 3: If neither of you has spoken to them in three years and they’re not related to you, don’t invite them.
Rule 4: If there’s anyone who’s on the list because you feel guilty about leaving them off (maybe because you were invited to their wedding or they’re friends with lots of people who are invited), don’t invite them. [/two_column]

6. With that being said – Don’t let your parents (or in-laws) Get You Down

This isn’t the case with all families, but we know that many families really like to get involved in their children’s weddings. This means that they will want to invite who they want at your wedding. You might feel that you want to keep everyone happy but just remember that at the end of the day, it is your wedding, so don’t let your families get you down. If budget is the issue, then the solution could be as simple as having whoever wants more guests chip in extra to pay for the overflow.

7. Reduce Your Guest List by Cutting On Plus Ones

Adding a plus one to your single friend’s invitations can increase your overall wedding guest list numbers. Feel free to make some rules when it comes to plus ones, or you could adopt the phrase that they use over in America: No ring? No bring! Meaning that your friends who aren’t engaged, married, or have been in a relationship for at least over a year shouldn’t expect to receive an invitation with a plus one. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your guest list, then this could be a smart option. Advantage: this gives your single friends a chance to mingle and get to know each other a little bit better!

Generic filters
Articles or Directory?
Filter by Listing Locations
Western Cape
Eastern Cape
Northern Cape
North West
Free State
Filter by Listing Categories
Marriage Officers & Contracts
Dresses & Suits
Photography & Video
Cakes & Catering
Planners & Expos
Flowers, Decor & Hiring
Music & Entertainment
Invitations & Stationery
Gifts & Favours
Hair & Makeup


Click one of our contacts below to chat on WhatsApp

× How can I help you?