This can be one of the hardest decisions when it comes to the wedding planning journey; choosing who to invite is not always clear and easy due to having many family members and friends you may like to invite but may not be able to because of certain restrictions, such as venue guest number limitations or budget spend.
It is important, therefore, to agree with your partner at the beginning of this process how many guests in total you wish to invite (as this may determine the venue you select) and whether you will be inviting various plus ones, children, extended family, and friends etc.
Below we share a Q&A of the most common types of questions and concerns we come across with regards to guest lists:
Do I invite plus ones?
This decision is often tricky and will largely be determined on your existing guest list numbers, budget, and venue restriction as to how many, if any, plus ones you allow. Often people who are in relationships (whether in the early stages or not) will be expecting to bring their partners but it is up to you as to whether you feel it is, or is not, appropriate to do so. If you do decide to invite a plus one, just make sure that you clearly state ‘plus one’ or the name of the person(s) on the invitations so there is no ambiguity in who you are, or are not, inviting. Similarly, if deciding to include plus ones, it may be prudent to stick to ‘one rule for all’ to avoid any further complications or additional stress. For example, if you decide to invite plus ones, you may need to cater for all the possible guests’ plus ones rather than inviting plus ones of some guests and not others, unless there is a good or specific reason for this. The last thing you want is family members or friends complaining because you allowed one partner to come but not another!
Should children be invited?
This is also an important consideration to make as some venues/celebrations may not be suitable for children of certain ages. If you are planning to invite children, you may also wish to consider arranging some entertainment/activities for them, or perhaps checking whether the venue has a child minder or staff available to look after the children during the late evening celebrations. We are also able to arrange childcare for you and would always recommend this so that the parents with invited children can also enjoy the celebrations fully. Similarly, another cost to bear in mind is additional meals; often venues and caterers will offer either free or reduced-price childrens’ meals for very young children which can help if you are on a tight budget.
How should I prioritise /choose the guest list?
Once you have organised all guests onto a guest list, it can be a good idea to then divide the list into separate lists, e.g. an A and B list. Doing this enables you to be clear on those you definitely want to invite and have back-up plans of others to invite should guests from the first list be unable to make the date or attend the wedding. The more organised you are in this process, the easier it is going to be when guests begin responding to their invitations.
If I am inviting overseas guests, should they be invited for the whole wedding celebrations or is part of it ok?
There is no right or wrong decision here and guests should respect your decision whatever you decide. It is nice to invite these guests for the whole celebration if you can, given they are travelling overseas to attend your special day, but equally, if you are restricted on numbers, then as long as you explain the situation to them, they should understand!
Choosing your guests is not always the easiest part of the planning and you should therefore remember to decide what is best for you as a couple. Whilst you may have pressure from other family members to invite certain individuals, it is important you remain respectably clear on your wishes as it is your day and ultimately your choice on who attends.
Part of the support services we at Love Lydia offer is to advise our couple on situations like this and hold their hands through the process, helping to ensure a smooth, stress free, planning. We also assist in the invitation designs, wording and RSVPs.
Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your ideas.