The first thought that comes to your mind when you think about wedding planning is undoubtedly choosing a venue or thinking about your look or maybe the décor. However, for a wedding or for any event for that matter, one of the most crucial tasks in the planning process is putting together a guest list. Keep in mind that – To book a wedding venue, you need to know the approximate number of guests the venue needs to accommodate, the caterer needs to know the number of attendees to quote a rate, the printer will need to know the number of invites needed etc.
Preparing a guest list is a tedious task. You would not want to offend anyone by not calling them but at the same time you need to consider limitations in terms of budget and space. Before you start with the guest list, you need to prioritize your requirements as a couple. If you have a specific venue in mind and are not going to budge on it, then your wedding guest list will have to be determined as per the capacity of the venue. On the other hand, if you are flexible with venue options and your major concern is staying under budget, a short guest list is the quickest way to reduce expenses.
One way of doing this is categorizing your guests into “must call” and “can do without’”. The must call list will feature close family, important relatives and very close friends while the “can do without” list will have all the distant relatives and friends who wouldn’t be terribly missed if they don’t make it on your important day. This is definitely going to be challenging as its hard to please everyone!
Segregating guests into family, friends and work will also help prioritize your guests in case of any scope of expanding your guestlist or in case you have to reduce it further. Strictly following up with RSVP’s from your guests will also give you an idea of the number of people attending your function which will help you squeeze in a few more last minute guests.
Most often, the “must call” list are the ones invited to every wedding event – Sangeet, Mehendi, Wedding and reception whereas the “Can do without’s” are usually the ones who are invited for any one of the events, mostly the wedding and/or reception. In case of a very small and private celebration, you can completely skip the second list.
In spite of all these tips, you may still find yourself in a sticky position with family who have to invite a whole lot of people, taking the guestlist up to a gigantic figure. Explain your point of view to them and keep taking their inputs so that they don’t feel left out. Try to accommodate their wishes as much as possible but if you feel things spinning out of control, you need to be firm and stick by your rules. To minimize confusion, give your parents a target number to work with so their list is already concise.