The Ulti­mate Guide to Cre­at­ing a Guest List

You’re now engaged and before you can start really plan­ning the wed­ding, you and your fiance have to cre­ate the dreaded guest list so you can visit venues that will accom­mo­date every­one and their grandma, right?! The girls at Lesner Inn know just how stress­ful that can be so we’re here to help you sift through exactly who to invite and how to do it!

Make your dream listWaterfront-Greenery-Iceland-Wedding-Virginia-Beach (75)
Write down every­one you can think of that you could ever pos­si­bly want to invite just to get all of the names out there. From old camp friends to col­lege pro­fes­sors to peo­ple you spend time with reg­u­larly, think about any­one and every­one and just jot their names down to get you started.

Right: Dustin Lewis Images

Add in your par­ents’ friends
We all know that this is your day but par­ents will always want to have some of their friends there to share this joy­ous moment with them. Tra­di­tion­ally, the guest list is split three ways to where the cou­ple gets 50% and each set of par­ents get 25%. This isn’t for every­one but it is a way to sep­a­rate it and keep most peo­ple happy.

Start trim­ming
This is where it starts to get hard. At this point, you have every­one in your life and your par­ents’ lives on the list, but we all know that would put you way over bud­get. The eas­i­est way to do this is to first cut the peo­ple you or your fiancé haven’t talked to in three years or more, then you can start mak­ing rules and actu­ally abide by them. A cou­ple of good rules are if one of you have never heard of or spo­ken to the per­son, cut them. If they’re a coworker and you don’t spend time with them out­side of the office, cut them. Nicely remind your par­ents that it is your wed­ding and that they don’t need to invite all of their friends, so ask them to cut their list a lit­tle too. You can really hone down on your list if you fol­low the rules you set up!

Take a sec­ond look
Now that you’ve got­ten your guest list down to a rea­son­able count with still hav­ing all of your friends and fam­ily on it, take another glance and make sure that every guest is a must-​have. As ter­ri­ble as that sounds, you don’t have to invite some­one just because they invited you to their wed­ding or let the kids of a fam­ily come because you feel bad. Your list should include your fam­ily and friends that you absolutely could not imag­ine your day with­out and you can cut all the oth­ers. We promise, they may be upset for a sec­ond, but they will be just fine! Also, with this last step, be sure to not have any last minute add-​ons. Being as straight-​forward as pos­si­ble with­out hurt­ing any­one feel­ings, if you didn’t think about them the first time around then they’re prob­a­bly not a must-​have guest.
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Above: April Renee Photography




We hope that these four easy steps help you cre­ate your dream guest list so you can start the fun things like book­ing venue tours with an ease of mind that your guest list is already set in stone and you’re sure to fit into the venue of your choice!




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