It has been said that the guaranteed bulletproof way to create a guest list for your wedding is to imagine that person drunk, dancing and wild. If it is not funny nor does it suit to your liking, you should erase their name.
Unfortunately, wedding receptions in the Philippines have traditionally been so inclusive with more and more couples opting for a more expansive guest list than what their budgets would allow. This can be attributed to the couple’s wish to make everyone happy and ensure no one gets left behind lest they get offended. Unfortunately, including everyone you know from the top of your head can easily balloon your expenses. This would be all well and good if you have a limitless financial resource for your wedding but if you are operating on a budget, you might want to scale down on inviting so many people to your big day. Indeed, the prospect of drafting your first guest list can be daunting–especially if you are looking at an intimate celebration. However, drafting and cutting it bit by bit would help you arrive at a workable one that makes you happy. To ensure that your guest list drafting goes smoothly, here are some of the things you can keep in mind:
1.) Decide how you would divide the list before you accept any monetary help
Making a guest list can get complicated–especially if you have everyone else contributing to who should be invited–and even more so if both sets of parents are contributing to your big day financially. In this regard, it is best to be clear about your expectations from the get go. Know what you can afford before you even consider accepting financial help from them. If you have decided to pay for your wedding entirely by yourselves, get the families together and talk about your plans for the guest list to mitigate the likelihood of surprises. Remember, once you start accepting financial help, your family would feel pretty much entitled to invite anyone they want.
2.) Have a collaborative guest list
There is a myriad of ways to come up with a guest list but ideally, you should use one that is collaborative so that either one of you who has inputs can make edits in real time and see an updated version. In fact, it is best if you had a digital spreadsheet for your wedding guest list so that when a guest RSVP’s, you can immediately make changes to it. More importantly, this very same sheet would help you send out your thank you cards after your wedding.
3.) Design a dream list
In the initial stages of your guest list planning, note down the names you can imagine attending your big day. This list can be as inclusive as you wish it to be–even going as far to including your friends from grade school to that one classmates you had in art class. For this part alone, you can disregard your budget and venue for the meantime. After all, this is your base and you are going to do some trimming as you go. You might think why this is so important. Well, the answer is, this list would help you realistically think if someone should be in your wedding should you want to add any more persons to your final list soon. If they never made it to this list, do you even want them to attend your wedding at all?
4.) Be realistic about the number of guests to avoid stress
Crunching numbers and condensing your list is not exactly something engaged couples would want to do. Unfortunately, there is a figure you really cannot avoid: your guest list count. Your budget and your venue’s size determines how many guests you can realistically invite. Remember, each guest you have would add to the number of plates the caterer would prepare. Not only that, it would add to the favors, chair rental as well as the food. Choose a number that is realistic and be sure that this is a number that would fit your chosen venue. Remember, it is no fun to be squeezed like sardines.
5.) Make cutting rules
Trimming your list is a crucial part of guest list planning until you reach a final number. Come up with a set of rules as to who to cut and stick to them. Rules are personal to the couple and can range from who you have not spoken or met ever to having no kids in your wedding reception. A bonus tip is to remove anyone who is on the list just because you feel guilty about not inviting them. It might be that they invited you to their wedding and you feel obligated to return the favor.