Planning your wedding is an exhilarating and exhausting time of life. The saying goes that the wedding day is all about the bride, but that’s not entirely true. The bride needs to be happy and so does the groom, and then there’s both sets of parents to consider. On top of all of that, guests need to be considered too.
Before you jump into the final few months of wedding preparations, take some time to think about all the considerations that come along with inviting guests. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to have a big wedding or a small wedding. Some parts of planning never change.
1. Who’s Going to Come?
This is the biggest question that’ll be running around your mind as soon as you slip on that engagement ring. Who’s going to be there for your big day? An easy way to take the first step of approaching this big question is for everyone to make a list. The bride and groom should make their own lists, and each set of parents should make one too. After everyone’s done, meet up to talk about why you added each person.
From there, opinions can be heard and compromises made about who is staying on the final list and who isn’t being invited. There may be some disagreements at this point, but it’s better to get everyone’s thoughts heard before invitations are sent out. And speaking of mailing cards . . .
2. What’s Your Budget?
You probably already have an overall budget for your wedding that includes things like your dress, the cake and other expenses. Guests basically require their own budget. This can be done a couple of ways. If both sets of parents are chipping in, ask that they pitch in for the guests they added to the list. The bride and groom can cover their own. These expenses would cover things for guests like food, drinks and goodie bags.
Another way to handle this is to figure out your guest budget by sticking with the money you’ve already decided to spend. If a hundred guests would require you to spend more money than you originally planned for food, cut the guests down to eighty and do the math again.
3. How Much Food Should You Serve?
Some people eat very little and others eat lots of food in one sitting. How are you supposed to know how hungry your guests are going to be? Thankfully there’s an easy way to calculate how much food to serve your guests if you base your math off “bites” instead of “meals.”
You’ll also need to consider any food allergies or preferences your guests may have, which is why it’s always a good idea to make part of the wedding invitation include a section where guests can note what they can’t eat. You can get these back and update your meal plan.
4. How Much Space Will You Have?
Sometimes final decisions come down to practicalities, like how much space you’ll have for guests. Will you have enough chairs to accommodate everyone, and is there enough parking space outside for people to park their cars before the ceremony? These questions need to be thought out before you finalise the guest list.
5. What Invitations Will You Send?
There are lots of different kinds of invitations to choose from, since every wedding is so different. You’ll see words like “Seal and Send,” “Laser Cut” and “Digital Invitations.” Your choice in invitation may come down to budget, as sending invitations online is much cheaper than mailing them, but you also may fall in love with some of the latest trends. One of these is letterpress invitations, where clean lines and bold colors are imprinted on the page to give your invitations a high-quality look and feel.
It all depends on what you’re willing to spend, so take your time while looking through different kinds of wedding invitations to make sure that what you’re spending your money on is worth it in the end.
6. Will You Give Goodie Bags?
Sending your guests home with mementos is a sweet thought, but there’s a fine line between something your guests will love and something they’ll throw away as soon as they get home. When considering who to invite to your wedding, think about if you’ll want to give gifts to the number of people you finalize on.
When you’re making your guest list for your wedding, it’s easy to get lost in imaging everyone celebrating with you, but there’s a lot more to think about. Bring in your fiancé and in-laws to help make the list, and stick with your budget while you work.