THE GUEST LIST DEBATE

Posted on January 23rd, 2015 by admin

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Some might say that the three biggest headaches when planning a wedding are…

  • The Guest List – Who to invite? 
  • RSVPs – Getting people to respond. 
  • The Seating Plan – placement of guests. 

Here we share some tips and tricks on how to remove said hiccups in the wedding planning journey.

The Guest List. 

This is a bit like the old “Chicken or the egg” situation.

To choose the venue then the guests OR to choose the guests then the venue. In my opinion I would opt for choosing the guests prior to the venue.

Presuming one has still yet to decide on a venue, your guest list will dictate strongly the type of wedding you set out on crafting.

  • 1-80 (Intimate in size, perfect for a smaller venue – consider out-of-town or abroad because you can!)
  • 80-180 (Medium in size, perfect for an already established venue or a marquee)
  • 180-300 (Large in size, perfect for an already established venue / ballroom or hotel style surround)

Between yourself and your partner (if you are indeed paying for your wedding day) start to consider those who have been in your life before you embarked on your path as a couple and still remain in your lives today; Those who have been in your life for a brief moment and most likely to stick around and of course who could forget the immediate family and or extended family members.

Now get tapping and write your guest list. Pie in the sky style – Use a spreadsheet!

Don’t be caught off guard if you realise the list is double or triple what you had expected. It almost always is! When “culling” your guest list consider this…

Approximately 20% of your guest won’t be able to make it due to the date, amount of time you provide them to organise themselves (if a destination wedding is decided) or they have prior commitments.

Strike off those immediate guests you think will / won’t be able to make it. It’s a guessing game which can be easily fixed by contacting those whom you really want at the wedding or sending out a ‘Save the Date’.

Now you need to start a spreadsheet – an A and B list then needs to be allocated. A being best case and B being worst.

One thing to decide between the two of you is if you want to allow “Little People” at your wedding? Make sure this is on your invitations and or the option to book a nearby nanny company is offered to those whom simply don’t have an alternative.

Armed with your list of best to worst case scenario it’s now time to book the date and  venue and get those invitations in the post. Start obtaining addresses via Facebook, phone or email. The sooner the better.

CAUTION – to those wanting an intimate affair but don’t want to cause any upset. Opt for an abroad or destination wedding. That way you will be 100% that those whom love and adore you will make the effort at any cost. In all honestly I think in this day and age people just get it. Weddings are expensive and by now almost all of your friends if not some would have walked your path and understand your position. The older we get the less those things seem to worry people and for those whom take offence, well…that’s an entirely different blog post my friend.

RSVPs.

You heard it here. People don’t RSVP. Very rarely do they do it on time, as intended (via post or email even) and sometimes your guests won’t even jump to attention and communicate their dietary requests until the Chef has literally started his shift the morning of your wedding. Fact.

It’s a common occurrence. THIS my friend is why people are at a rapid pace chasing up their guests via Facebook in the weeks prior to their wedding in a desperate attempt to confirm numbers with their venue. Don’t worry – the venue really only needs two weeks notice however your pocket sadly requires more time than that in most instances.

Set an RSVP date 2-3 months out. This will give you time to chase (get ready!) and ensures you aren’t doing so right up until the week of.

The Seating Plan.

At White Rabbit Projects we believe in keeping it simple. By simple this extends from every part of your planning journey – from the guest list, the venue choice and the day itself. Simple is key (did you get us the first time?) – here are a few tips on how to erase any headaches when allocating where guests will be seated at your wedding.

A favoured option by many of our brides is ‘The Free Seating Plan’ – positioned at the entrance to your reception space have a beautiful ‘Welcome table’ with abundant flowers, wishing well and a list of guests names in alphabetical order and their allocated table. That way people know which table they are on and can select where on that table they be seated. This saves the world of hassle and debates on deciding who sits next to who.

Try to mix it up a little but considerate with whom you sit where – you want to create a room where people are comfortable and not stuck next to someone they despise. Hopefully that is not the case here. Remember it’s not a jail-sentence and aside from meal service and speeches (allow 45mins to serve, eat and clear of) guests will be spending the majority of your wedding standing, mingling, dancing or near the bar.

Hopefully that’s alleviated some if not all your wedding angst but remember at the end of the day it’s your day – want to minimise the headaches? It’s really as simple as involving as little people as possible in the guest list decision process. You can thank us for that one later.

WRPxx