The Wedding Guest List: Who gets an invite? | Arizona Weddings Magazine

Photo: Jane in the Woods

As a bride-to-be you will be immersed in the wedding world and will be introduced to new, unforgettable experiences of which the most taxing will be creating the wedding guest list.

The Wedding Guest List: Who gets an invite?

If you haven’t already begun the wedding guest list process, you will soon discover that compiling a guest list is a team effort. Yes, a wedding should be about the bride and groom, but it also represents the union of two families. It is important to take into consideration each side of the family when creating the guest list. With clashing opinions, stubborn personalities and emotions at stake, consider implementing a systematized method to create your guest list—such as,

• The A, B, C, D List: Categorize the potential invitees respectively and eliminate from bottom, up.

• A Piece of the Pie: Determine the desired number of guests and figure an evenly split percentage among all parties involved for equally mixed representation. Although in some cases when delegating an allotted number of invitees for each party involved, splitting the shares equally may be problematic for two reasons:

1. One side of the family may be significantly larger than the other. In this case, think proportional. You’re better off allowing more seats to be reserved for the side with the larger family instead of having the smaller family struggle to fill the quota with distant family or friends.

2. Financial responsibility. Traditionally, the bride’s parents are financially responsible for the wedding; however, there are cases in which the groom’s parents or even the couple pays for the wedding. Whoever is contributing the larger amount has the right to delegate allotted number of seats to parties involved as they see fit. If the financial contributions are shared equally, A Piece of the Pie is a good objective method to enforce.

Being accompanied by a date to a wedding is commonly expected among single men and women; however, a couple is not bound by this general expectation. Here are a few examples of when or when not to extend a plus one invitation, but it is up to you!
• Definite Plus Ones: Includes couples who are married or engaged.
• Potential Plus Ones: Includes invitees who are in serious, committed relationships with a significant other.
• No Plus Ones: Includes invitees who are single. Attending a wedding single is not the end of the world. Conversely, it could be an opportunity to meet someone new!

The Wedding Guest List: Who gets an invite? | Arizona Weddings Magazine

Photo: MaeWood Photography

1. Your wedding invitation. How you address the invitee on the envelope should send the message loud and clear. Be sure the recipient is able to distinguish who is being invited. Is the invitation addressed to a Mr. & Mrs. Smith, a Ms. Smith with an allotted option for plus one on the RSVP card, or simply a specific person? Be intentional.

2. Your wedding planner. Involved in many aspects of planning a wedding, a wedding coordinator has various responsibilities— one of which is handling the RSVP list and any problems that may arise with it. For example, if a RSVP is returned with a plus one you didn’t plan or allot for, your wedding planner needs to call the individual and resolve the issue. If you are a bride who opted out of hiring a wedding planner, then appoint an enforcer to handle complications that may arise with the guest list.

To host kids or not to host kids, that is the question. Some couples want to include children at the wedding because having the entire family present is meaningful, while other couples conclude involving children at the wedding could be a distraction. Regardless of your reasons, for or against, it’s advised either scenario is handled as follows:

• With Children: Deciding to include children will require you provide a kids meal option. In addition, inquire about arranging crayons and coloring sheets to be placed where the children will be seated, to keep them occupied.

• Without Children: For guests traveling with children from out of town, it’s common courtesy to provide child care resources. Whether it’s a referral or a web link to a list of certified caretakers in the area, make it easy for your invited guests to enjoy the wedding without a worry.

Establishing a wedding guest list early on is not only a priority, but it’s also a tremendous aid in the planning process. Crucial details revolve around the guest list—such as invitation orders, catering estimates, chair rentals, engagement parties and much more! In addition, the guest list serves as a reference for which individuals can participate in prenuptial events. It’s proper etiquette that invitations to engagement parties and bridal showers only be extended to individuals who will receive a wedding invitation; otherwise it’ll seem like you’re just fishing for gifts.