Updated: Sep 10
I remember getting married in 2017 and being the most stressed about the guest list. I didn't know who to invite, who to extend "plus ones" for, and which distant cousins to even consider. Did my co-workers get an automatic invite? Did I need to include their partners?
If you're finding yourself in a similar situation, continue reading for three things you should know about your wedding guest list.
Not everyone will show up...
...even the people who swear they wouldn't miss it. You can count on 70-75% of your guest list attending your wedding. When giving your venue and caterer a guest count, keep in mind that every 25-30 per 100 guests will not attend; whether they say they will or not.
Emergencies happen. Kids get sick. Babysitters don't show up. Cars get flat tires. Invites get lost in the mail. And schedules don't line up.
There are a million and one reasons your guests may not be able to make your special day. Though RSVP's do help prepare us for the final count, last minute situations happen.
You do not have to invite (insert person here).
This is the wedding of you and your fiancé. This isn't the wedding of your: friends, job, or parents.
Invite the people who have made and still do make your life happy. If you don't want kids at your wedding because you think they're stinky... you can tell your cousin, Sarah, I told her to hire a babysitter. If you don't want to invite Great Aunt Susan because you've never met her a day in your life, don't.
This is your wedding. You are to be surrounded by whomever you deem powerful enough to provide quality love and support to your relationship.
For our wedding, we used a barter system with our parents. They provided a list of "must-invites" and we provided a list of "must-invites." Any overlap, got invited. We compromised on the delta and moved forward.
Plus ones are not a requirement.
A good rule of thumb regarding plus ones is this - if you already have a good idea of who your guest will bring and you have it in budget, then give your guest the plus one.
If you suspect who the guest will invite as their plus one, that indicates that they are in a relationship with someone you've heard of, know of, or seen. However, if you do not have it in budget to include the plus one, you still owe no one an explanation.
It will cost you between $75-250 per guest when your wedding is said and done. If you would not hand the person $75 to bring their "plus one" on a date, then you do not need to invite them to your wedding.
Wedding planning is stressful, but these are three things to consider when building your wedding guest list with your fiancé.