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The number of guests you have at your wedding affects everything you do while planning, but creating the list can seem like an incredibly difficult task to start. We are here to help you get started.  

Wedding Invitation Components

Creating Your Guest List

Your wedding guests will represent many different aspects of your life.  Here is a simple system to pull together your lifetime of friends and family into one guest list.

The Categories:

Family

List them ALL; even the second cousins you see only at the family reunion.

Close Friends

These are the people you see or speak to on a regular basis, or are significant in your life.

Professional Friends

Coworkers, clients-turned-friends, mentors, or other people who are significant to your professional life.

Significant Relationships

The people who remain significant in your life.  These can include friends from childhood, college, sports organizations, or any other group in your life that was meaningful.

Create Your List

You and your future spouse should create your own lists that will be combined into one at the end. Take notes on the number of people included with each name, including spouses, significant others, and children.

You now have your wedding list Complete! Now what?

How to Keep Your Guest List Organized

Keeping track of all your guests on one official guest spreadsheet will help SO much with head count, invitations, seating charts, gifts, and ultimately thank you notes. Keeping it all in one place is seriously a precious thing.

Creating a Spreadsheet

#1 Organizing your wedding guest list in a spreadsheet.

Organizing your wedding guest list prevents last-minute headaches. That’s why I recommend creating it in Excel or Google Sheets, rather than writing it down on paper or creating a Word document. Excel and Google Sheets will allow you to keep all of your guest list details in one place–like meal selections, gifts received, and more.  You can also keep track of every event too, from your bridal showers to your rehearsal dinner.

To get started, open up a document on your computer. Next, create columns such as:

  • Guest Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Number of Guests Invited
  • RSVP Received
  • Dietary Restrictions
  • Gift Description

#2 Use separate columns for each: street address, city, state, zip code etc.

Note:  If you are having addresses printed, many professional print shops will require a separate column for the guest’s name, street address, city, state and zip code.

#3 Have one column for “number of guests invited” and another column for “number of guests attending”.

For those who are only allowing a certain number of guests per party, you’ll need to include two columns to keep track of it all: one column for the number of guests invited and another column for the number of guests who are attending. That way you can easily keep track of how many seats you have reserved.

#4 Include a separate column for the number of kids attending.

If your wedding is kid-friendly, be sure to include a column for how many children are attending. This will be helpful if you decide to do a kid’s table and if you provide the option for a children’s meal.

#5 Get names of all guests–including the “plus ones”.

Using the phrase “Guest of Mr. John Doe” on your seating chart or place cards can leave plus ones feeling awkward. It feels much more personal to be named. If a wedding guest is not sure who their plus one is yet, tell them to give you a name at least three to four weeks prior to the wedding date or when they RSVP.

#6 List dietary restrictions required for guests.

If you have any guests with allergies or dietary restrictions, make note of it so you can easily pass it along to your caterer.  

#7 Google sheet for easy sharing.

Share your Google Sheets with your wedding planner, catering staff, or anyone else who is helping you plan the big day. It’s a great way to keep everyone in the loop at all times.

#8 Keep track of your wedding guest list on the go.

By adding Google Sheets to your cell phone, you can click the “share” button in the top right corner of your Google Sheets, type in your friend’s email address, and they will be sent access to your Sheet.

This way you or a friend can easily add gift descriptions as you open gifts at your bridal party or quickly add an RSVP when you run into a guest at the grocery store.

Other Planner’s Tips To Consider When Creating Your Guest List

  • List your guest’s name as it will appear on the invitations.
  • Have your parents also prepare a list to avoid last-minute invitation requests.
  • Anyone you invite to the ceremony must be invited to the reception, so don’t try to cut costs by cutting people from the reception guest list.
  • Don’t verbally invite guests who aren’t on your original list – this may cause disappointment and/or embarrassment at a later date.
  • Try and keep it fair when it comes to guest numbers for each of your families.
  • Don’t forget to include children in your guest list numbers if you’re inviting them. If you’re not, be sure to mention this on your invitations.
  • The bride and groom count as guest numbers too, so don’t leave yourselves off the list when it comes to your final figures.
  • Check to see if your chosen wedding venue has a ‘minimum number’ of guests when it comes to your chosen package. Keep this in mind throughout your planning.

The above tips will be helpful when creating your wedding guest list.  We know how stressful it can be, but now you are ready to tackle your guest list with confidence!

Happy Planning!

Marsha

Wedding Planner at Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events