Drafting the guest list can be one of the most important decisions in wedding planning and involves many considerations: the size of the venue, the type of the wedding you would like, your associated budget… not to mention the inevitable battles of who “simply must” be invited {insert parents’ voice here}. With that said, there’s no simple formula – you just need to grab pen and paper and get drafting!


Image by Moss Green Images

You can do this in a number of ways however a great method for the bride and groom is to each individually make a guest ‘wish list’ and check the compatibility of the lists. The people that you have both listed could be classed as ‘definites’. You can then discuss the reasons why you would like the other guests (that weren’t on both of your lists) and take it from there.

Alternatively, you can draft a list together dividing guests into three columns – ‘definites’, ‘probablys’, and ‘maybes’. Anyone that you are certainly sure of you can pop into the ‘definite’ column. Anyone that you both think could be a possibility, place in the ‘probably’ column. Anyone that you are unsure of or disagree on put in the ‘maybe’ column. Afterwards you can discuss respective guests and move them between columns until you reach a decision.

A third method is to select guests by categorising tables. You could allocate tables to work, to uni, to school, to church, to children, to immediate family, to the groom’s mother’s side of the family, etc. Base your tables on a maximum of 10 guests (as most venues can accommodate up to 10). This way you can also consider who people will be seated with (‘The Guests – Part 2’ will discuss this next step!).

Katie - blog_8371

Image by Katie Takes a Picture

If your parents are financially contributing to your wedding, then it is likely they will want to have a say regarding the guest list. You can ask them to draft their own guest list to be used in consideration with yours, as suggested in the first method. Alternatively, you could allocate them a table, or two, or a specific number of guests for them to invite whomever they please (within reason – after all, it is your day).

TIP: Remember that your guest list may change over time, so try not to discuss it too much with friends and family until invitations are sent out (at least 2-3 months in advance). Have fun drafting!

Katie - blogDSC_5558

Image by Katie Takes a Picture