Tips for Your Wedding Guest List

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When it comes to wedding planning, creating the guest list is often one of the biggest stressors. Your day wouldn’t be your day without your nearest and dearest, but that includes a lot of friends and family! And God forbid you exclude your mother’s best friend or Great Aunt Gertrude! Planning a wedding already comes with its own set of challenges (not to mention emotional ups and downs). Keep reading to learn our top 4 tips for navigating your destination wedding guest list.


1. Know your bottom line.

Every budget and venue has a threshold. The key to keeping your planning running smoothly is to identify this number early on. If your budget can account for 500 people, but your dream venue can hold 100. Similarly if your dream guest list includes more people than you can afford, it’s time to re-evaluate. The number of guests will be your frame of reference for everything else. Knowing your bottom line throughout the planning process will ground you. And give you an idea if you even should invite your best friend from eighth grade.

2. Set boundaries.

Destination weddings are often a great excuse for guests to take a much-needed vacation. So it makes sense that family and friends want to maximize their travels to a new or foreign place. But future mother-in-law sent you a list of forty people neither you nor future husband have ever even heard of, and there’s only room for ten more people. Stress often arises when couples give well-intentioned family members free reign over a limited guest list. If they’re paying, that’s one thing. Otherwise, set boundaries for the number of guests you're willing to let others invite. Only after you've nailed down your final count, give a set number of remaining spots to said family members. By giving a specific number, you won’t be the bad guy for saying no, and mother-in-law will have to include only her top picks from the start.


3. Dig deep.

While you adore your 97-year-old great grandma, you know deep down that it may not be possible for her to travel. Likewise for an ill family member or friend with a new baby. The realization that these special people in your life may not make your big day can be tough. Consider having a candid talk with them about how realistic it is for them to attend. They may be reluctant to disappoint you or feel guilty that they can't make it. Initiate a heart-to-heart about the feasibility of them coming, and any alternative ways you might be able to celebrate together if they can’t make it.

4. Get creative.

Hate the thought of those special people missing your destination nuptials? That doesn’t mean they can’t celebrate with you in another way! Get creative and consider throwing a party at home after you return. Host an intimate brunch or dinner and consider re-creating some simple yet meaningful traditions. A small cake-cutting or ring warming ceremony are thoughtful ways to make absent yet honored guests feel included. Above all, you’ll get to have some valuable face time with those you missed seeing on your big day.


At The Savvy Event Studio, we know guest list stress is real whether you’re planning a sixty or 600 person wedding. Remember to stick to your bottom line, set some boundaries and don’t be afraid to get creative! Until next time, happy planning!