Three Tips To Successfully Creating Your Guest List

Posted by: Alisha Rouland, Event Coordinator Creating a guest list can be a daunting and confusing task! Should you invite all 500 of your facebook friends, your parent's college friend whom you've never met, or your favorite middle school teacher? Usually the size of the guest list is determined on your wedding budget. It is also helpful to consider the size of your wedding venue - a backyard wedding may not accommodate your 400 person guest list. Below are three tips to assist you in creating your wedding guest list.

1. Compile an initial guest list

Traditionally, half of the guest list goes to the bride's family, and half to the groom's family. Ask that each family create their own list of guests. Think of groups of friends or clubs of which you belong (example: church, co-workers, recreation leagues, etc.) Finally, go through your address books to make sure you did not forget anyone. Once you have your initial list compiled, the hard part begins...

2. Separate names into categories

With the help of your groom and family, begin to place people into three categories. Placing guests into categories, as terrible as it sounds, will be very helpful in getting your guest list count to an acceptable budget-friendly number. Let's say your wedding budget allows for 200 guests, and in your Group A and Group B you have 200 guests to invite, and 50 in your Group C. Typically 70-80% of guests invited attend, so as you receive a "No" RSVP from someone on the A or B list, you can send someone from your Group C an invitation.

1. Group A (Definite Invites): Examples of guests on this list would be those involved in the wedding (parents and bridal party for example) or immediate family members (grandparents and siblings.)

2. Group B (Probable Invites): Examples of guests on this list would be other family members and close friends.

3. Group C (Optional Invites): Examples of guests on this list might include friends you haven't seen in years, work acquaintances, distant relatives or children. While it is appreciated by single guests, if your guest list is overflowing, it is not necessary to invite all single guests to have a plus one.

3. Check your list for any duplications

Double check your list to eliminate any overlap that may have been caused during the formation of your guest list. It would be unfortunate to invite the same person twice and eliminate another potential guest.

Special Note: If you haven't already, consider sending RSVP Cards along with your invitations. Caterers and bakers require an accurate head count to make sure there is sufficient food for your guests. It would be a shame to run out of food before all guests are served or be costly if you have an overabundance of food. In addition, having an accurate list of guests helps when creating the seating arrangements. If this sounds overwhelming, remember that the Event Coordinators at The 530 Bride can help!

Happy Planning!

Let's Talk about Mom's!

It's Mothers Day, so it is only fitting that today we talk about the Mother of the Bride and their role in the wedding planning process. So what are the responsibilities of the mother of the bride?

First, she needs to be so excited and supportive of her daughter. She is taking one of the biggest steps in her life and will need her mother to be her guide, confidant and supporter.

This is a time for her to make her decisions with what she wants, not what Mom wants. Offering advice is one thing, taking over is another.

This can be a fun experience for Mother and Daughter if Mom can let go of the control and enjoy the process. It can be magical when she chooses her wedding dress, sees the perfect flower arrangement and finds the right venue. These will be moments to be  treasured forever.

There will be times when all engagement etiquette can go out the window. This is when the bride and groom have reached levels of stress that they never imagined they could find,  Mom should try to be the calming force in the engagement.

Other than being a great support for the bride, there are other mother of the bride etiquette items to follow. These will help move the planning and execution of the wedding along smoothly.

  • Budget~ if Mom is helping fund the wedding, she will need to sit down with the bride and groom to determine the wedding budget. This needs to be done right away and throughout the engagement.
  • Mother of the Groom~ if she does not contact your Mom, ask your mom to contact her. It is a good idea for her to establish a good relationship with his mother.
  • Guest List~ compiling a guest list quickly is a good thing to do. There will be people that are important to Mom that she wants to include that the Bride may not know.
  • The Dress~ Once the bride has chosen her dress and colors, Mom will need to select her dress. Good mother of the bride etiquette will have her in a long, modest dress that fits in with the colors the bride has selected. Once Mom has chosen her dress, let the mother of the groom know so she can select hers.
  • Accommodations~ It is one of Mom's jobs to help the bride's guests make travel and hotel arrangements for the wedding day. If there are a number of guests coming in from out of town, reserving a block of rooms at a nearby hotel will be the best bet.
  • Ceremony Instructions~ Make sure that the wedding party has instructions for the ceremony. This will include the seating arrangements, the order of the receiving line and any other requests the bride has. Making sure the wedding party shows good wedding etiquette is very important.
  • Enjoy!~ Last but not least enjoy the day! The Bride may be the princess for the day, but remember Mom is the queen. Take the time to cherish the occasion and the people who are sharing it.