Excited brides are often anxious to have a large wedding. In most cases, however, the guest list can become too big too quickly. Before long, the guest list is unwieldy and it can be difficult to cut back. Here are some ideas to help you keep your wedding to a manageable (affordable) number.
Go By the Numbers
Start by creating a budget. Keep in mind that the wedding reception including dinner and drinks should be about 43% of the total budget. With this in mind you can now begin to assess the number of guests you can comfortably afford. Divide the number in half and both the bride and groom have a guest list total to strive for.
Say No to Children
A good place to start reducing the guest list is by making the reception adults only. You’ll be able to cut quite a bit off the price and the size. When it comes to a venue and catering, usually kids count the same as adults – there aren’t usually any breaks for the young ones.
Limit the “Plus Ones”
The added guests will get you every time. Your original guest list could be low but when you begin to factor in additional guests you’ll end up with quite a large list. You’ll need to make a choice that applies to everyone. It’s hard to make exceptions for people without hurting someone’s feelings. If you actually know the person, send a separate invitiation.
Remove People You Don’t Know
All too many times you review the wedding guest list and find out that there are names that neither the bride nor the groom know. These guests could be friends of your parents, neighbours, or work acquaintances. To avoid this situation, allow each of your parents a certain number of friends they can invite.
Consult with Parents
Discuss your wedding plans with your parents before you begin the planning process. Let them know what the ideal wedding size will be. Having your family on board from the beginning will help streamline the process and you’ll find it much easier to cut back on guests later on.
Have an After Party
If you have a lot of extra friends and relatives consider inviting them to the reception after dinner. This is becoming trendy lately. It allows you to save on dinner expenses yet still have some of your friends come for drinks and dancing to enjoy the party. Create a special invitation to invite these guests at a specific time (9:00pm is often a good time) Check with your reception venue to determine how much they will charge for extra guests – typically there will be an additional bar fee.