Planning a wedding is hard enough in itself. You have to choose the venue, photographer, cake, colors, etc. The list goes on and on. But deciding on who to invite to the wedding is the most personal daunting task. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings but you can't possibly make everyone happy. When making the guest list for your wedding you have to take into consideration the size of the venue and your budget.
Make A Wish Dream List
Write down everyone you have ever thought of inviting to your wedding. It doesn't matter if they were your High School best friend and you haven't spoken to them for years. This is just a "dream list". Don't consider your budget or size of the venue. You will "trim" this list later.
The best rule to follow for co-workers is to invite all or none. If there is a co-worker that is a a friend outside of your work place this would be an exception.
Make An A List and a B List
The people that will go under the A list are those who must be at the wedding, there are no doubts. These would be close friends and family. You will want to send this "round" of invitations first. Those that will be under the B list are people who you would like to be at your wedding. On the off chance that you begin getting RSVPs and it turns out you have sufficient "not able to attend," at that point you'll begin sending welcomes to your B-list (in arrange of significance).
In the event that you send your B-list invitations as well near to the wedding (inside a week or two), you might as well tell those visitors they are second best. Do it without being self-evident. Send your A-list invitations 10 weeks in progress (a bit prior than regular), which will allow you time to send invitations to your B-list six to eight weeks prior to your wedding. Be careful on Save the Dates (sending RSVPs with a date that has passed is a dead giveaway that the beneficiaries were on your B-list).
Hopefully if you allow guests to bring a guest of their own they will respectfully only allow their significant other. You don't want any of your guests to fill awkward and left out but you also don't want to accommodate strangers with a pricey meal and free booze. This is something you will have to think about and see if your budget can handle it.
Don't Let Your Parents or In-Laws Stress You Out
Your parents will have people that they want to invite. You may not even know some of these people. If there is someone such as your Mom's best friend, you could put them on the A list. Someone such as your Mom's friend she doesn't talk to much, put them on the B list. Be sure to talk face to face with your parents and in-laws and let them know the boundaries.
You can have an adult only wedding. This is completely up to you. It is not rude so don't worry about that. It is actually pretty common. If you are paying for a very expensive venue and reception hall then the thought of having a bunch of small children running around may make you cringe. You can go the route of inviting only children in a certain age range or only children that are immediate family.
Specify Names on Response Cards
On the RSVP cards write in the names of those you are wanting to invite so that they know who is specifically invited. If you receive a card with a name written in don't hesitate to contact the guest and let them know the reasoning the written in name was not on the card. An easy and to the point response is that the budget and/or venue won't allow for extra guests and that you would like to have everyone but it just is not possible.
Make Cutting Rules
Follow these rules and it will help cut down on your list if you feel you have too many guests.
#1 If you or your partner have not spoken to, met, or heard their name before, don't invite them.
#2 If you or your partner have not spoke to them in the past three years, don't invite them.
#3 On the off chance that there's anybody who's on the list since you feel guilty about taking off them off the list (possibly since you were welcomed to their wedding or they're friends with a lot of individuals who are invited), don't invite them.
Are there any helpful tips that you have that you used to create your wedding guest list? If so let me know!