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Creating a wedding guest list is one of the most important tasks of wedding planning and one that must be done before anything else. Knowing how many guests you'll be inviting will help you select the venue and finalize on budget. Although, deciding who to invite and who to leave from your wedding guest list is a stressful task in itself.
In the past few years, we have seen a shift from big fat Indian weddings to intimate weddings because of the pandemic. And with the looks of it, the intimate wedding trend is here to stay and understandably so. Couples are now preferring to only invite their close friends and family instead of splurging on massive wedding venues and caterers. The problem with this though is cutting down the guest list and deciding who to invite to your wedding.
If you're soon to get married and are struggling to create a wedding guest list that not only includes your close friends and family but also your partners' loved ones, your family's close friends and your in-laws' close friends and relatives for an intimate wedding, you've landed at the right place. We're here to help you create the perfect wedding guest list and provide you with tips on how to narrow down your guest list without upsetting any of your friends, families and in-laws!
How To Create a Wedding Guest List
To create a wedding guest list, we've cut it down into small steps. This will ensure you're inviting the right people and considering everyone's input as well.
Step 1: Divide Your Guests
To make sure you're considering everyone's wishes, you first need to split the guest quota among yourself, your partner, your family and your in-laws. You can either make this a fourth for each or divide it as 60/40 among yourself, your partner and your families.
Step 2: Create a Master List
Next, you need to create a list of everyone you're considering inviting to the wedding. This will include your friends, colleagues, cousins, relatives, family, etc. Open a spreadsheet on your laptop and just start typing names. Don't think twice, if you want them to be at your wedding, just write down their names.
Step 3: Segregate The A-List
Once you're done writing the names of everyone you're considering inviting, start separating the top-tier guests. These are the guests you absolutely want at your wedding. Filter them out of your master list and create a separate list of these people in the same sheet or a different tab.
Step 4: Consider The Budget
At this point, you must consider your budget and see if your current one can accommodate the Master guest list or not. If not, consider cutting down some names (a guide of which is in the next section of this blog). While making this decision, also keep in consideration your venue choices. See if the venue you're looking for will be able to accommodate your guest list or not. If not, choose a bigger venue and see if it can be covered in your budget. If your budget is unable to accommodate your wedding guest list, it's okay- you can always invite the A-list and go for an intimate wedding.
Step 5: Consult Your Parents
By now you will have an idea of your final guest list and it is this part where you should be consulting your parents. If you hadn't divided the guest quota in step 1, you must have your parents check your wedding guestlist once to ensure all their guests have been included. Make sure you are respectful and fair with your decisions. Also, once you have the final guest list, keep a buffer of at least 10 extra guests.
Step 6: Send Out The Invites
This is a crucial step that will determine your final wedding guest list. Once you send out the Save The Dates and wedding invites and get RSVPs, you'll realize how many guests you wanted at the wedding would actually be or not be able to make it. This will leave empty spaces which can then be filled in with guests who you had to leave out earlier.
How To Limit Wedding Guest List
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We understand limiting a wedding guest list can be a huge challenge especially if you're living in India. With our big families, huge groups of friends and family friends, limiting a wedding guest list might seem like an emotionally and mentally taxing task. But if you're the one financing your wedding and are looking to reduce the number of guests for an intimate wedding, this is an essential job. You have to understand that at the end of the day, people will have to understand and that the ones who matter will always wish you well, no matter what happens. On that note, to make this incredibly stressful task a tad bit easier for you, we've got some useful tips:
1. Eliminate Extended Family Members
You would have a lot of extended family members who you are not even in touch with for the past few years. Know that it is okay to eliminate them from your wedding guest list if you want an intimate wedding or are on a budget while financing your own wedding.
2. Limit the Plus-Ones and Kids
Eliminating plus-ones and kids is an easy way to cut down your wedding guest list massively. When it comes to plus-ones, it is okay to limit it to friends who have had partners for years and have introduced them to you as well. When it comes to asking guests to not bring their kids to the wedding, it can be a more difficult job. Make sure you're only limiting kids to your immediate family and friends. One easy way to ask guests to not bring their kids to Indian weddings is sending out invites with only the name of the guest without adding the term "With Family". This gives a clear and polite message to the guests.
3. Eliminate Neighbours and Coworkers
When you're having an intimate wedding, it is important to understand that you only need to keep your family and close friends on the wedding guest list. It doesn't matter that your neighbours and coworkers are the people you see every day and spend the most time with. Understand that your wedding is an intimate affair and you would only need the people who are closest to you there with you. If you are incredibly close to your coworkers and neighbours, consider throwing a cocktail party or brunch party, later on, to celebrate with them.
4. Rule Out Guilt
You may have friends who haven't been in touch with you for years or people who had invited you to their wedding but did not make it to your close friends' list. Know that it's okay to not invite these people to your wedding and that you do not need to feel guilty about it. Chances are, they weren't expecting you to invite them either and if they did, they would still be sending you wedding wishes and wishing you well no matter what.
5. Keep It Private
Guests you have invited might spread the word of your wedding before it happens and this might make the ones who weren't invited feel a little left out. This will further add to your pressure and you might feel guilty about not inviting your extended family, cousins or friends. To avoid such situations, it is always best to keep your wedding guest list private. For Indian weddings this will mean keeping things under wrap until the wedding is done, requesting the invited guests to avoid discussing the wedding with others and avoiding the use of social media for wedding date announcements, etc.
Also read: 9 Steps To Downsize Your Wedding Guest List
We've come to the end of our guide to creating a wedding guest list and we hope we were able to help you make the perfect guest list- be it for an intimate wedding or a big fat Indian wedding.
If you have any questions or suggestions for us, please leave a comment or reach out to us on our social media handles and we will try our best to get back to you at the soonest!