How Many Are Too Many? A Guide to Inviting Your Guests
Agreeing on the perfect wedding guest list is almost impossible. Your parents want to invite people you’ve never heard of, your spouse wants to invite his entire fraternity, your coworkers keep nagging you about the wedding, everyone wants to drag their kids along, and everyone wants a plus one. More guests mean a larger venue, more food, and therefore, more money. Putting together the perfect guest list is a daunting task. With our tips and tricks, we hope you find putting together your guest list easy and stress-free.
Put Your Family First
First and foremost, your family is everything. It is no doubt that your family members are the first people you invite to your wedding. After your immediate family, your cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents are always going to attend the wedding. They are probably going to be running the dance floor, and possibly the open bar. Only invite second cousins and non-blood related relatives if you feel that you have a strong connection with them.
The Don’t Want To But Have To Invite
Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding, which gives them the upper hand in influencing your guest list. It should be no surprise that your parents probably invited distant relatives whom you’ve never met before. In your head, you may think this is a waste of space and money, but our advice is to be respectful of your parents and future in-laws. If the couple is paying for their own wedding, give each set of parents a certain number of people they can invite. You don’t want your parents to feel disrespected, but they will understand if you set limits.
Kids are a tricky subject to deal with at weddings. Some couples have a “keep anyone under 18 off the list” rule in order to maintain an adults-only reception. This may upset some parents, but that won’t keep them away from celebrating your special day. If your wedding is in the morning or afternoon, it’s more appropriate for children to attend. Even if you invite kids to an evening wedding, you’ll find that many parents will not take them and hire a babysitter instead. At the end of the day, it’s your special occasion, so your guests will understand.
Locals and Out-of-Towners
Once you’ve accumulated a rough estimate of your wedding guest list, begin to separate your list between locals and out-of-town attendees. This will help when estimating how many people will actually accept your wedding invitation. If you send your invitations six to eight weeks in advance, most of your guests will likely accept. The rule for local guests is that it’s safe to assume that 85% of your wedding guests will attend. Don’t forget to account for the plus-ones if you give them the option. On the other hand, it’s safe to estimate that the rate for out-of-town guests to attend your wedding will be about 55%. Having these percentages will be useful when choosing a wedding venue and caterers. After all, if you save money on guests, you can use that money on other aspects of your big day.
“A” and “B”
Another beneficial tactic we love is to make an “A” list and a “B” list for your wedding invitations. By this, we mean separating your guest list into two lists of people depending on how important they are to you. Send out your “A” list invitations earlier, and as you start to receive acceptances and declines regarding attendance, you can begin to invite people from your “B” list. This is an extremely useful tactic if you have to hit a minimum number for your chosen venue.
Cut It Down
So, your guest list stands at 300, but your venue’s limit is 200 people. Cutting down your list can be a hard task to do, but it is necessary so you save money. You and your partner need to reflect on which of your acquaintances are important enough to be at your wedding. These should be people who are relevant now, and who will be relevant five years from now. Also. You don’t need to invite couples that invited you to their weddings.
Plan The Perfect Wedding
In the end, surround yourself with people you know love and support your relationship, and who wish you all the best. Your wedding is going to be one of your best memories, so you want to make sure that you’re happy with who you invite. You also want to make sure that your venue and caterer can accommodate your guest list. The Manor can help you with all of your wedding needs, from party planning, venues, caterers and much more. It is your special day and we want to help you as much as possible. For more information on who to invite to your wedding, contact The Manor Restaurant at 973-325-2060.