Decide who to invite creating a Guest List – Plan my Wedding
Refer to your wish list, if you want an intimate wedding, you may be looking at between 10 and 40 guests, or for an extravaganza, anything up to around 500. When compiling your list, think of family, friends, work colleagues and other areas of your life, such as sports teams, knitting circles, book clubs, neighbours, drinking mates, ex-lovers, etc. It can soon tot up. You also need to decide if you want to invite partners of colleagues, for example, whom you may not know very well. The other big decision is whether or not to invite children. Our caterers charged full price for children over the age of eight – so they don’t come cheap.
After you have compiled your initial list, question who you really want to invite. A friend told me of a good test – if you wouldn’t sit down and chat to your potential guest for at least half an hour, why are you inviting them? More to the point, why do you want to inflict them on your other guests? (Be careful not to leave the list lying around in case someone pops over and sees they are not on the list, or they have a question mark by their name.)
You may have to limit numbers due to restrictions at the venue. Even if a licensed wedding venue can cater for larger numbers, their wedding licence will specify the maximum number for the ceremony, which is often smaller, so you may want to find the venue first and then decide who to invite.
If you want to invite more people than you can fit in the ceremony room, consider having two or even three sets of invitations, inviting people to the ceremony, the reception and/or the party afterwards. Since it can often be tricky to invite only a few people from your workplace, this might be a way of accommodating more colleagues. If you choose this option, make sure you handle it sensitively so that people don’t feel like B-list friends, or arrive in the middle of speeches and feel like a spare part. Try to have a gap between the meal and the evening party, which will also enable you to have a chance to change and have a quick rest.
You may also need to account for a few people who’ll invite themselves. People are either overexcited about the thought of attending their first gay wedding, thick-skinned, or desperate for a night out. Either have a ready answer or an elastic budget! You can also rely on at least a certain number of invitees not being able to attend or dropping out.
Make an A-list of people you definitely want to invite and a B-list of people you would like to invite if you can afford to, or if people on your A-list drop out. Another useful aid is to do a mock table plan. If you find people hard to place, think about whether you really want to invite them.