Wedding Planning

WEDDING PLANNING: Who Should be on Your Wedding Guest List

by:   on: 28th August 2018
Wedding planning. Making The Wedding Guest List. Norfolk Brides.

Wedding planning Series. Making The Wedding Guest List. Norfolk Brides, UK Wedding Blog

So this post about Wedding Guest List has initially started on Instagram and I thought that perhaps it may be a goof idea to share out thoughts and tips over on the blog so we ( and you!) can come back to it over and over again.

We all know how easy it is to get super excited about planning your wedding. All you want do is to dive straight in to planning it all  – from choosing the perfect wedding venue to shopping for that perfect wedding dress.

BUT you have to STOP RIGHT THERE …

before you can even consider any of those; even before you head out shopping for your wedding venue there are a handful of things that should be done first.

While most couples tend to leave till last, compiling your wedding guest list should be first on your to do list. No, we are not talking final guest list, but an approximate number of people you’d like to celebrate with you. Warning – it won’t be easy and you will really need make some decisions here, because it will affect so many other choices moving forward ( including your budget, the type of venue you could have and even your final wedding theme!

So here goes the breakdown of our tips on compiling your wedding guest list.


Right, we will start with the obvious

1. These are the people that you couldn’t have your wedding without.

  • Your Parents
  • Siblings
  • Your Children ( if you have any)
  • Closest friends

Now this could be anything form five to 50 guests. It is really important to know who the most important people for you and your partner are.

 2. People who you’d REALLY like to be there.

This would be basically an extension to the first list. Consider your closest friends and relatives that you get on with and spend time with on regular basis. Basically, just the people that are important to you and those whom you’d really to be present when you say your “I DO’s”. People from the first and second list will be the ones that will make it to the whole day from your wedding ceremony to the evening celebrations.

3. Optional Guests

These would the people who you’d invite if you had the extra funds and if venue capacity would allow it. This list would include your neighbours, work colleagues, extended circle of friends and some plus one’s too! Some of these guests could potentially get an evening invitation or could be invited if someone from your main two lists would not be able to make it.



Here are some tips to consider when working on the wedding guest list:

  • WHO’S PAYING. Depending on who is funding the wedding ( let’s face it, most parents want to contribute if they can), you may have to compromise and allow them invite some of the people they feel should be there. Now, this can get really tricky. Especially if you do not agree on who should be present.  As a general rule, you could agree on a fixed number of guests you all get to invite. Bride and Groom get 50 guests and Patents or the Bride / Groom 25 each per couple. This is obviously based on 100 guests, but you get the idea.
  • NO RING NO BLING. This discussion has been around for years, but take the tips from the royal family and their wedding etiquette – if they are not in a long term relationship, engaged or married – their OH will miss the cut. This is not only going to help keep the numbers under control, but also free up space for people who you REALLY want to be there ( and it is a great way to save the pennies too!)
  • ARE CHILDREN INVITED? Ok, this is a tough one. Especially if you have children on your own, or if you have a lot of friends who has young families. Have an honest discussion whether you want to have children at the wedding or if you would be prefer to have an Adult Only Wedding. If you would rather children were be around the wedding ceremony, consider arranging some childcare activities to keep them busy in a separate area during the ceremony. An alternative option would be set an age limit, so no children under the age of 6 ( or whatever you chose). Again, whichever option you go with – you need to be comfortable with your choice. Think of the positives – remember that some parent’s do not get many opportunities to have a night out, so with enough notice to find a babysitter, they may appreciate a mini break.
  • DO NOT FEEL PRESSURED. There is a lot of noise when it comes to planning a wedding and finalizing the guest list. There are the pressures from the parents, parents – in – law (to –be!) and you are probably feeling overwhelmed, with whom should be invited. Don’t stress. Keep going back to the list that you made to start with and imagine celebrating your wedding day with them. If you cannot imagine someone at your wedding – do no feel guilty for not inviting them. Ultimately it is your day and you should be surrounded by those whom you love the most.
  • HAVE A NUMBER IN MIND. It is good to have in mind a maximum number of guests you will have at the wedding ( unless you are one of the lucky ones and  have an unlimited budget !). Some venues have a minimum amount of guests that you will need to have, others will let you do whatever you like. Always a good idea to consider maximum number of guests for the daytime and max numbers for the evening. Having these numbers will not only help you with your venue search, but will be a great way to help you set the budget – food and booze can get very costly, but that is a whole other blog post ( let us know if you’d like us to share it soon!).

I hope that this article will help you feel less anxious and more organized when it comes to compiling your wedding guest list. It can be a hard task, but if you take small steps over a couple of evening with a glass of wine, you should get it nailed in no time.

This post is part of our Wedding Planning Tip series What other topics would you like us to cover on #WeddingPlanningTuesday?

If not already, do follow us on Instagram– we are most active on there so you will get to see all the latest on there first!

Wedding Guest List Planning. Norfolk Brides

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about the author

Dalia Courridge

Founder and managing director of Norfolk Brides. Social Media and Marketing consultant by day. Obsessed with all things creative and beautiful - form eclectic weddings, to stunning interiors and abstract art. Addicted to working out and weightlifting. Cannot start the day without a strong coffee.

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