It’s Not That Scary: Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Guest List

choosing your wedding guest list

It’s Halloween and that means that the scare factor is turned up a few notches everywhere you go: work, school, store, restaurants -- you get it. But just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean you should worry about the “scariest” part of planning a wedding: choosing your guest list.

A lot of people cringe at the thought of curating a wedding guest list. We totally understand -- it can be hard to have to choose between various friends and family, assuming your venue and budget both don’t allow an unlimited guest count. Harder than choosing, is the potential conversation with a person that didn’t make the cut. So, yes, it can be pretty scary.

We’re not saying it’s “easy” to choose a guest list -- it really varies from one event to the next -- but there are things you can do ahead of time to help the process out. So, sit back, eat some of that candy you’re supposed to be passing out to kids, and check out some of these helpful tips for choosing a wedding guest list.

Set Expectations Early

Let’s put this as simply as we can: there can be a lot strong and different personalities involved in the wedding planning, especially when people (read: parents) are cutting checks. It’s totally understandable and acceptable, but a conversation needs to happen before the wedding planning gets too deep.

If your parents have a strong opinion on who they’d like to invite to your wedding, then work something out. A good rule of thumb is you and your spouse get half of the total list, while each set of parents get a quarter. It avoids an uneven list and people will appreciate the transparency.

Also, if your guest list is getting a bit tight, don’t be afraid to not include plus ones for folks you haven’t met or have an adult-only wedding. All are totally cool.

Pro tip: there’s no easy way to have a tough conversation, so just go into it honestly. You’ll be surprised how easy they can be.  

Don’t Feel Obligated

This is the hardest "rule" to follow. There are a number of reasons why you would feel obligated to invite someone. Maybe they invited you to their wedding a few years ago. Maybe it’s a cousin you haven’t talked to in forever. Maybe it’s a sort-of-close friend who you know will take full advantage of the open bar. Whatever the reason is, you should not feel obligated to pack your list with people you don’t generally want to hang out with in your normal life.

If you do, it can get pricey and could potentially leave someone you’d like to have more out.

Pro tip: keep in mind it’s your wedding. No matter what your list looks like, there are likely to be people who get left off. Focus on your happiness with your event and people will understand.

Get Organized

It’s sometimes smart to make an “A” list and “B” list during your planning time. The “A” list is people you cannot imagine your wedding without: immediate family, super close friends, etc. Your “B” list is full of people you’d like to have at your wedding, but you wouldn’t necessarily lament their absence.

Once you have those two lists built, and figure out your venue’s capacity, you can start doing math. If your “A” list doesn’t fill up the venue -- or is less than your budget -- then start filling it in from the “B” list. It’ll help you prioritize you list and make your life easier.

What’s not scary about planning a wedding is finding a professional wedding DJ in Atlanta. Nice Entertainment has been providing wedding entertainment in metro Atlanta and all over the South for more than a decade. Check out their story and how they can make your event awesome and memorable!