Expert Planner Panel | Creating Your Guest List

One of the most stressful, and sometimes delicate parts of planning a wedding is creating a guest list. So to help out a bit with this important task, for today's Planner Panel, we asked: What are good things for a bride to consider when creating her guest list?

The guest list is the largest contributing factor to what kind of wedding she can have. It is a quantity vs. quality situation sometimes. Would she rather have a HUGE party with everyone they have ever known or a more sumptuous wedding for 120 of their closest friends and family? The guest list dictates what spaces are available to them and how the rest of the budget is spent. More guests equal more tables, linen, chairs, china, food, bar products and possibly transportation. One of the best ways to put it into perspective is to divide your budget by your guest list. Is that old college roommate that you haven't spoken to in 5 years really worth the $400 price point? A $35,000 wedding for 150 people is a completely different wedding than the same $35,000 for 250.

Sarah Willard of Music City Events

The number of guests who attend your wedding affect every aspect of your budget. More guests mean more rental items, more centerpieces, and more catering. Guest count also impacts which venues you can choose based on capacity. While you may want to share your wedding with all of your friends and family, doing so can quickly double your guest count and possibly your budget.

Elaine Roberts of Events by Elaine

As a recent bride (with a guest list of ~240), my now-husband and I only saw MAYBE one third of the guests who came to our wedding. It's most common in the South especially to have larger weddings (inviting all those high school friends, college sorority sisters, work colleagues, church folk, not to mention your parents' and grandparents' posses), but think about who you REALLY want to be surrounded by on your wedding day. If you could only legitimately talk to 50 people, who would they be?

Kelly Dellinger of A Delightful Day

I always tell my brides when creating their guest list to really think about each person they add, would you take this person out to a restaurant and pay for their meal? That's what you are basically doing when you invite them. If you wouldn't, don't add them to the guest list. It shows you aren't that close to them and they don't need to be there with you on your special day.

Tiffani Helms of Creative Designs and Events