It’s hard to believe there was a time when the wedding guest list was managed by the mother of the bride—and the entire family was invited. Today’s couples tend to be more focused on creating a special experience for their guests, and they’re extra selective about who they invite. In fact, studies show that the average wedding size is steadily shrinking.
Unfortunately, smaller guest lists aren’t necessarily easier to put together—in fact, it’s quite the opposite! Whether restricted by a tight budget, a small venue or simply the desire to enjoy an intimate affair, narrowing down a list of invitees can be a stressful process.
Looking for help getting started? Here are four tips:
- Use the dinner party trick. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable inviting them to your house for dinner, you may not want to invite them to your wedding.
- Pick a number and stick with it. Your target number may be determined by your wedding budget, or you may just want to avoid an overly large affair. Once you and your fiancé have settled on a number, do your best to stick to it.
- Use a spreadsheet. Whether you prefer dynamic Google docs or old-fashioned Excel spreadsheets, keep track of potential guests, who you’ve invited, and RSVPs. It’s a bit of extra work, but it will save you time in the long run.
- Take breaks. Remember, planning a wedding is supposed to be fun! If you find yourself feeling overly stressed out by the process, step away for a few days and return with a clear head.
For more tips like these from newlyweds and wedding professionals, check out Shutterfly’s Ultimate Guest List Guide.
About the Author: Erica Jackson Curran is a writer and editor who has contributed to Charleston Weddings, Destination I Do and Smitten Magazine. She also blogs about weddings for Shutterfly, where you can find a wide range of wedding invitations for everyone on your guest list.