MoneySense magazine has a great article about weddings called “A recipe for wedding magic” written by Mark Anderson. One of the most important decisions is to decide on the guest list.
The number of attending guests affects the venue selection and is a major component of the wedding budget.
Here is a great quote from the article about guest lists:
Probably the easiest way to cut down on wedding expenses is to pare back on the guest list, says wedding planner Lynn Lee of Weddings Unveiled. “Invite only those who must be a part of your day.”
So, what can help you keep your guest list lean?
I created a free Microsoft Excel template called “Guest List Planner”. This template can be used for any event, especially wedding guest lists.
Download my Excel file
Download here or via my OneDrive (file ‘00000Template_Guest-List-Planner_v1.06_’)
Here is how the Guest List Planner template works:
- (a) List all of your potential guests.
- (b) Select the priority (“Must invite” or “Could invite”) for each guest.
- (c) Take a few days to reflect on your selections in step (b).
- (d) Use field “Invited?” to agree on who is officially invited. These decisions will affect your budget possibly more than anything else.
- (e) Once you are comfortable with your decisions in step (d), mail out invitations (or alternatively send a “save the date” letter or e-mail).
- (f) Monitor RSVP responses using field “RSVP”. Some will promptly respond yes or no while you’ll need to contact others to find out if they will attend.
- (g) As time goes on and you get a clearer picture of the RSVP totals, you may be able to invite additional guests that were in the “Could invite” category.
There is no perfect formula to determine how many invited guests will attend. Factors include distance, weather, age/health, etc. It’s possible that almost everyone will attend and you really don’t want to have to uninvite people (this has happened)!