Planning Your Wedding Guest List in 5 Simple Steps

Let’s cut to the chase – wedding planning is an extremely stressful activity, and when it comes to planning your guest list you suddenly have to consider the needs of everyone. Don’t panic, though. We have you covered with this simple no-fuss guide to writing your best guest list.

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How Many Guests?

There are plenty of variables that can determine how many guests can attend your wedding, and it’s vital to know this number before putting together your guest list. You will need to consider:

• Venue Capacity
• Reception capacity
• Atmosphere
• Budget per guest
• Who’s paying

Write a Master List

Once you have an idea of how many guests you can invite, you can create a master list to play with. Start with you and your partner’s immediate families, your best friends, your extended family, your co-workers and everyone else. Don’t forget to include your bridesmaids, as you’ll have already planned for their wedding guest dresses. Think of this huge list as a brainstorm and include as many extras as you can think of that your guests may invite, such as plus ones, significant others, children or family members.

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Now that you have a master list to work from, you can start grouping the guests from your large list into different smaller lists for the following categories:

• Family
• Friends
• Co-Workers
• Others

Categorise your guests based on priority, so that the VIPs are at the top of the lists.

Make Cuts

Go through each list and mark each guest with a yes, no or maybe. The simplest way is to colour-code the guests. for example, you could use a traffic light system. Don’t feel guilty about cutting people out. You can find some helpful info on this at It’s best to do this early on, as you don’t want to cut people who have already bought their wedding guest dresses! You’ll also have time to put dress codes on your invites if you’re going with a theme and recommend places to buy outfits. You can shop here for wedding guest dresses.

Finalise the List

Now you will have a much shorter list, but you may still need to make a few changes. Compare your current list with your venue capacity and budget and make sure that they match. If not, just go through another cut.

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