How to Create Your Perfect Wedding Guest List

< All Blogs

Part of planning a beautiful wedding includes surrounding yourself with friends, family and loved ones to witness one of the biggest moments in your life. You may find yourself stressing over the tiniest wedding details here and there, (check out our blog post on how to stay stress-free here) but where things tend to get tricky is when couples are compiling the guest list. How do you determine who receives an invitation? See our guide below to build your guest list with ease, and finally check it off your wedding planning ‘to-do’ list! 




This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 71096761_180065759826886_9015946611444347457_n-1024x683.jpg

Photo | Carissa Woo Photography 

1. Determine Budget and Venue 

First, it is important to pin down your wedding budget. What you’ll be paying for food, drinks, tables, etc. all comes down to how many guests you will have in attendance. Next, choose your wedding venue. If your dream wedding venue (enter: Wayfarers Chapel), has a capacity of how many guests it can hold, (in our case, the chapel holds 100 people), then that is the magical number you have to work with. In many ways, this helps you keep your list to the tried and true people you want supporting you on your big day. 



black seating chart

Photo | Green Wedding Shoes 

2. Who is on Your Wishlist? 

Head to your favorite restaurant or enjoy takeout at home and sit down with your spouse-to-be to draft a dream guest list of people where in a perfect world, they could all attend. Make your list first, and then add your parent’s guests to follow. 





Photo | Amy Theilig

3. Establish Guidelines 

Determine if your wedding is child-free or who will get a plus one. Typically, the standard rule for handing out plus ones is to give them to couples who are married, engaged or seriously dating. On your invitations, be sure to determine this with verbiage such as ” we have saved  2 seats in your honor” or “we invite you and a guest,” as well as addressing two names on the envelope to make it clear. 



Contemporary Seaside Wedding with Charcoal Sketch Favors for the Guests

Photo | Ruffled Blog

4. Review and Segment

You have now set boundaries with your venue, budget and additional guests. Next, it’s time to sit down and organize your list by relation, for instance: Immediate family, distant family, close friends, distant friends, etc. This will allow you to make the call as to who might need to be left off the list as a whole category, rather than singling out individual people to leave off the list. 




36 Romantic #FirstLook Wedding Pictures That Really Inspire! #wedding

Photo | MrToBe

5. Final “Cuts”

Cut back your list by answering some important questions, such as “can we imagine our wedding day without them there?” “would we spend time with this person alone outside of our wedding day?” and “how long has it been since I have seen this person?” Another thing to keep in mind is to note if they invited you to their wedding – merely consider this fact, but know that this does not indicate that you must invite them to yours. 




Stand out with these super modern hand lettered save the dates. They look great printed standard or letterpressed! Trendy and timeless all at the same time and perfect for your inner minimalist with a hint of romance. It’s a save the date people will want to frame instead of put in their fridge!

Photo | Etsy

6. Send Those Save the Dates!

Finalize your guest list by sending out save the date invitations. Note that typically 10% of your guest list may not be able to attend, as a general rule of thumb. This can create a little bit of wiggle room in case you have a backup list of guests you might want to attend after the fact.