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If you’re recently engaged, you may already be aware that drafting out your guest list is one of the very first things you’ll need to do as you start wedding planning… And deciding who you want to be there to witness your marriage and celebrate with you is one of the most impactful decisions you’ll make about the entire day! Let’s talk about how to curate your wedding guest list.
Creating your guest list is a big task, and you may be wondering, “Who should I invite to my wedding?”
Our easy answer is: Anyone who you want to celebrate with you! However, we know it’s more complicated than that.
For couples who are really struggling with creating the first draft of their guest list, we recommend starting by creating a spreadsheet with the names of every single person you might ever even consider inviting to the wedding. Especially if you’re a people pleaser, you may need to write down the names of all your coworkers, friends from all stages of life, distant relatives, etc.
From there, you’re going to have to spend some time cutting it down and refining it. This is where our process comes in handy!
You’ll want to begin by getting clear with your partner about what you want from your wedding day. If you want it to be the biggest party any of your friends have ever been to, you’ll probably be okay with a large guest count. If you want the day to feel very intimate and slow, you probably need to keep the guest count low. Talk about what you want your day to be and feel like. Once you’ve settled on something, you can proceed to the next step: refining the list!
Our favorite way to help our clients decide who they really want to invite to the wedding is to have them go through rounds of questions. They can ask themselves about each person might help you cut it back!
Basically, you’ll make a series of questions for yourself about how well you know each guest or how important they are in your life. Start with something kind of surface level, then progress to harder questions each time you go through the list.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask:
This will help you clarify who doesn’t make the cut! It can be hard to ask these questions, but it’s probably going to be necessary. Keep in mind that needing a venue in our area (Wichita, KS) that can seat more than 250 people keeps your options very limited!
If you’re feeling stressed because your parents are asking to invite all their friends and distant family members, it may be helpful to go through this process with them to help them understand why it’s important to you to have the right people at your wedding.
Was this helpful? Or do you know of another way that might help you cut back on a big guest list?
Part of our job is helping our clients navigate difficult things like this! Wedding planning isn’t just picking out color palettes and tasting cake. There’s a lot of hard emotional work that goes into it, and having an industry pro that you can trust with these topics is a key part of reducing your stress as you plan.
We’d love to help you navigate the whole process! Our books for 2023 are closing quickly. If you’re planning your wedding, inquire here ASAP to get our availability and pricing!
P.S. If you’d like another resource, we LOVE the book The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker. The first part covers why the people you choose to attend a gathering is so important, and the entire book has great principles and insights that you’ll find incredibly valuable if you want to be intentional about crafting an amazing experience for yourself and your guests.