Creating your guest list is by far the biggest task, but setting it up correctly from the start will save you enormous time and tears in the long run.
This week, I will walk you through a simple, day by day plan to get you 'wedding stationery' organised and have your invites sent ASAP!
Below are my tips to make this task easier for you (and will help your suppliers). I’ve also created a template so you can get started straight away.
Have one source of truth
By this I mean, only have one version of the guest list that you and your partner both have access to and can add and update guest details as your source / receive information. My preference is Google Sheets. Login or create an account, and save the template to your Google Drive.
Get onto it early
Too often I see couples who have chosen and ordered their stationery, but the guest list is still in its infancy stages and/or not complete, for example, address details missing or with spelling errors, names of guest's partner / spouse / 'plus 1' unknown.
So what happens is, the stationery is developed, either print or email, but there is a delay in sending as the couple are still chasing guests for details.
That is why we love evites (email invitations)... your guests details are incredibly easy to source! And you probably have most (if not all) email addresses already.
Information you’ll need to capture
Create separate columns for each of the following (or our template has it set up for you):
- First Name
- Invitation Name (see point 4 under Tips and Tricks)
- Email Address
- Postal Address: Street Number and Name
- Postal Address: Suburb
- Postal Address: State, Post Code, Country
- Invitation Type (print or email)
- Invited by (see point 6 under Tips and Tricks)
- List: A, Reserve (see point 2 under Tips and Tricks)
Tips and tricks
- Know your limits: does the number of people invited work to your budget? can the venue only hold so many? are children invited? how close/often do you see your invited guest? what family politics are at play (you know what I mean...)?
- It’s easier to cull guests once you have a full list. List all of the friends and family you would like to invite, then categorise them as an “A” guest or “Reserve” guest (under the “List” column).
- Now move all of the “Reserve” guests to a second tab. Unfortunately, and we know it’s your wedding day, but there will be instances of regretfully decline. Best to have some back ups that you can quickly email / post an invitation to.
- Additionally, don’t leave it until after the RSVP date to invite others, this screams “you were on the reserve list”. Get in early: evites are super quick to send (see our FAQ’s), and if you’re printing your invitations, I’d suggest having your supplier create some blank invitations (ie. no names on the invitation) so you can handwrite names and send ASAP.
- Start a new row for each person, don’t combine couples, families, ‘plus 1’ guest, etc. Again, this help for quick count of final numbers.
- Invitation Name: next to each person's name, list the name(s) as you would like them to appear on the invitations. This is where you can couple guests or families, for example: Paul and Sarah; The Johnson Family; Mary and Guest.
- For ‘plus 1' guests, just add the guest name on one row, then repeat underneath on another row but add +1 after the surname (until you have their details). For example:
- John Smith
- John Smith +1
- For Invitation Type: only use 2 options, e.g. “Email”, “Print” - this will help with filtering and quick counting of final numbers for each stationery required.
- If you are trying to keep the guest list as equal as possible, you could include a field (column) titled “Invited by”. I know many couples who have specific restrictions on the numbers the venue can hold, so they agreed 50:50 and invited whomever they like (I’m sure within reason…)