Tip #3: Tackle the guest list.
The guest list is an unavoidable part of the wedding planning process, and sadly it often causes the most headaches. If you’re recently engaged you’ve probably taken a stab at the first draft – this is a great start. But it’s important to consider the constraints that may affect your target guest number: venue capacity, overall budget, where the budget is coming from and desired atmosphere.
To limit the list-making madness, involve all “stakeholders” from the beginning. Your wedding stakeholders include anyone who has an emotional and/or financial interest in your wedding. If your parents are contributing financially to the wedding or if they’ll have any say at all as to who is invited, consult them from the get-go! More often than you’d imagine couples begin the venue hunt or even book a venue only to realize later that mom and dad are inviting 25 of their work colleagues to the wedding. Get it all on the table during the early stages so you don’t run into issues later.
Generally, you can expect anywhere from 10-30% of your guests to decline. Some factors that influence the decline rate include:
- Time of year / when the wedding is being held (eg. busy summer weekends may see a higher decline rate as guests have booked family holidays or have other weddings to attend)
- The proportion of your guest list who must travel to the wedding versus the number who are local
- Length of notice provided to guests – sending save-the-date cards 8-12 months in advance gives guests ample time to make arrangements to attend
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Photo Credit: Sam Ng Photography.