Wedding Tips: The Guest List

Nov 04, 2010

There are a million and one details when planning a wedding, and one of the trickier – and sometimes, sensitive – details is putting together the guest list.

To get started, decide the general size of the wedding you want. Will it be a large, extravagant event or a more intimate setting? Next, consider the budget for the reception (including the decorations, food, beverages, etc.). Another factor is to consider is the type of setting. If you’re thinking about a small reception venue, you don’t want 300 people sitting on top of each other, but if you’re thinking of a grandiose ballroom, you don’t want 150 people making it look empty.

Once reaching those decisions, be sure to clarify the extent of your family’s involvement in the guest-list process from the beginning. Traditionally, each family invites half of the guests, but if one family is paying for a majority of the wedding or if you and your fiancé are assuming financial responsibility, or if you have lived away from home for many years, you may consider splitting the list into thirds (one for each family, and one for you & your fiancé).

While this may be easy mathematically, there will be emotions involved, especially as the number of people able to be invited becomes more limited. Negotiation is key – be willing to compromise with your fiancé and family.

There are a few ways to handle the children versus no children policy. Sometimes a firm no-children policy may not be practical, so other options could include an age limit, restricting the children invitations to immediate family members, or offering a babysitter to out-of-towners.

For your family and friends that live out of town: if you feel certain they won’t attend, sending a wedding announcement as opposed to an invitation is an option. Close friends and family should receive an invitation – don’t be surprised if they decide to make the trip!

Trimming the guest list can be tough, but setting clear-cut limits can help. Keep in mind that these restrictions will only work if there are no exceptions, which can lead to generating the bad feelings you’re hoping to avoid in the first place. Something else to consider is being honest about how close you are to certain friends – have you spoken to them in the past year?

After establishing a list, be sure to keep an organized list (both electronic and paper) that includes each person’s mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address, plus his/her relationship to the bride or groom. Also include space for the name of a guest’s date, the RSVPs, a description of gifts received, and the date that thank you notes for each were mailed.

There will undoubtedly be social pressure throughout the guest list process, but setting limits, being flexible and willing to compromise will help keep feathers from being ruffled.

Established in 1912, King Jewelers has proudly styled jewelry and timepiece aficionados from around the world. A pioneer among independent couture jewelers, King Jewelers has built an outstanding reputation steeped in quality, value and first-class customer service. King Jewelers offers bridal consultations for brides and grooms with the expert advice of its in-house bridal stylists and diamond specialists. King Jewelers offers brides and grooms a first-class experience, conveniently offering wholesale diamonds, custom designs for engagement rings and wedding bands, luxury designer bridal jewelry, watches for him, bridal party gifts, and gift registration, as well as engravings, appraisals, and expert jewelry cleaning. With two store locations in Aventura, FL and Nashville, TN, King Jewelers has won numerous awards as the Southeast’s top jewelry store and diamond wholesaler. King Jewelers is the luxury destination in Miami and Nashville for fine jewelry, diamonds, and Swiss timepieces. King Jewelers is a member of the Jewelers of America, American Watch Guild, and the American Society of Appraisers. King Jewelers has GIA Certified Gemologists and offers expert jewelry and watch repairs. For additional information, please visit


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