5 Tips for Making The Perfect Guest List

5 Tips For Making The Perfect Wedding Guest List!

Those couples who have already tied the knot will no doubt agree that writing your guest list for your wedding is one of the most political elements of the wedding plan. Making a decision to ‘draw the line’ in terms of who makes the cut can be stressful! If you’re going through this issue right now, don’t fret! You are not the only ones who are suffering. Here are 5 tips that might just help you.

Bel Amour Choosing Wedding Guest List-21. Set Boundaries.

Let’s just get straight into it with setting boundaries. First of all, guest lists can be murky waters particularly when parents of the Bride and/or Groom are contributing financially. So be crystal clear about your expectations before you accept the financial assistance. When you start paying deposits with someone else’s money, it’s easy to be trapped and commit to things that you may not truly want. Therefore it’s important to negotiate and agree on things prior to accepting assistance.

2. No Surprises

Bel Amour Choosing Wedding Guest List-4When you start fleshing out ideas for the guest list, a good tip is to get together with both families and talk openly and candidly about the guest list so there are no surprises. This gives them the sense of involvement that a lot of families like. Furthermore, they feel that you have considered them in making your decisions and are more likely to have your back; especially if you are not paying for the wedding yourself. Also, make the reasons known for inviting or not inviting people where appropriate. It’s ok not to invite people that you’ve not seen in years due to the high per person price. 

Finally, it’s very important to keep these discussions as emotionless as possible. Do not let emotions come in to play.

3. The Cut

Things will get easier during the process of planning the guest list with a set of regulations or guidelines. Make sure to follow the guidelines, and let your well-intentioned families know about them for smooth sailing. “Guidelines” you may ask? Yes… well more like strict guidelines for people to invite above and beyond the people your own invitees. Here are a few common ones:

Bel Amour Choosing Wedding Guest List-3 1: If you haven’t met them or heard their name before, don’t invite them. 

 2: Not crazy about inviting children to your special day? Don’t feel bad about having an adults-only wedding.  (childless weddings are quite acceptable these days)

 3: If you haven’t spoken to the potential guests in three years, you don’t have to invite them. 

 4: If there’s anyone who’s on the list because you feel guilty about leaving them off, don’t invite them.

4. Make an A-list and a B-list

We’ll keep this little secret between us. By having two lists, you’ll be able to invite more people without expanding your budget or venue. Here’s how it works: Your A-list consists of the must-have’s at your wedding, like your immediate family and closest friends. They’ll receive your first round of invitations. Your B-list is made up of guests you still really want to be there; so don’t put just anyone on it. When your RSVP’s start rolling in and you have enough “can’t make it’s,”; send invites to your B-list (in order of importance). 

Tip: If you send your B-list invites too close to the wedding, you’ve let the cat out of the bag. Try to do it without being obvious. Send your A-list invites 10 weeks in advance (a little earlier than usual). Which will give you time to send invites to your B-list six to eight weeks before your wedding. Also, don’t forget to print the second set of reply cards with a later RSVP date. Sending RSVP’s with a date that has passed is a dead giveaway that the recipients were on your B-list!

5. No Back Seat Drivers

Bel Amour Choosing Wedding Guest List-5Ahhh weddings… It’s such a joyous day and more often than not, everyone feels they have the right to influence your decisions. Don’t get worn down by them. I hate to say it but it’s usually your loved ones that give you the most grief. We’ve found immediate family can sometimes have the biggest opinions regarding your list. So set your boundaries, let your closest family know what those boundaries are and stick to them. Don’t budge.

If budget is the issue the easiest solution is having whoever wants to invite more guests, contributes financially.

In a lot of cases these days, the venue actually caps the guest list. For example, if Mum would like to have all of her girlfriends from Pilates come along; that would mean you would have to cut some of your own guest selections. It may not seem easy, but stay strong now for an easier flow down the line.

Bel Amour Choosing Wedding Guest List-6


We hope these tips will help keep you on the right track; goodness knows planning a wedding can be challenging! Just remember this is your day, it’s all about what’s important to the two of you 🙂


Happy Planning!!

Andrew & Amy-Lee

Bel Amour Wedding Photography

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