Wedding Guest List-How to-Etiquette-How to Budget and Save Money
Real Wedding Planner Advice from Lisa Sammons Events
It’s that time of year again!
Lisa Sammons Events LOVES booking new brides…. and the first thing we give our clients to do for homework is their guest list.
What’s first? …..Make your guest list….everyone you can think of – forget your budget for the moment, and just list all your guest names.Then, ask your side of the family, (parents) and your fiance’s side (parents) for their lists.
The percentages of guests should be….. 50% Bride & Groom’s list, 25% for each side of the family….no matter who is financing the wedding. (or 40-30-30)
Let’s be fair right? It’s your wedding after all…! You and your fiance will get the majority of the guests, that’s a given. Then parents should get the other half – split into quarters to be fair to both sides of the family.
Now take a look at that list vs. your budget… think about how much things cost when you and your fiance go out for dinner – just you 2… food only
Then drinks ….
Then add state tax and 20% gratuity to that … and multiply it by how many guests you have on your list. (don’t forget to count yourselves, your parents, your bridal party, etc…)
Now how are you looking? …. are you close to your budget?
…. if that just blew your budget… don’t worry… time to start cutting your guest list then.
Before you even start looking at venues, dress shopping, or looking at Save the Dates or Invitations.
Your entire budget is driven by your guest list numbers.
It’s okay to cut people. Make little rules in your head about it…. “no 2nd cousins” or… “no work people” all of these will help you get down to your budget.
Creating your guest list is a bear of a job.... It’s the one job you really have to own yourselves and take responsibility for… so while you get down to your final guest list names, add the addresses at the same time. If you don’t do it now, you will not want to do it later….. !!!
After you have completed your guest list with an HONEST number then you can start venue shopping.
Real Wedding Planner Advice: Do not “guess” how many people you will be inviting … Here’s why: When you guess, your number is always 40-50 more than your “rough” estimate. …. and that’s not even counting your parent’s list (and believe me, your parents’ lists might surprise you!) Your parents might add business contacts, long lost cousins, family friends, and more…. so be prepared. There’s nothing worse than shopping for your venue and falling in love with it, just to realize after you have your heart set on it … it’s too small for your group.
FAQ: Here’s something we hear frequently from our clients… “Our number is 130…. but we know 30 people won’t come, but we still have to send them an invitation do we count them in our number of invited guests?” The answer is yes!
Real Wedding Planner Advice: When you send an invitation to a guest, you have to plan on them coming. Another “surprise” you will find when you start receiving RSVP’s is “oh my goodness! uncle Joe & family are coming from Iceland, wow! We haven’t seen them in 20 years, won’t that be nice … but omg…. I really didn’t plan on them coming or include them in our initial guest count”. Then you are over 4 people over the venue’s maximum capacity…. and that is not good.
It’s no joke for a venue to be over capacity, there’s a reason for capacity rules>…. Fire Code, Safety, Good Service, the venue’s equipment, and you DO NOT want to push your venue’s capabilities before you even arrive on your wedding day.
You want them to be your friend… so be HONEST, be accurate, and be fair with your guest list.
It will save you a lot of headaches, anxiety, AND MONEY!!! at the end of your wedding planning process.
Your venue (and wedding planner) wants you to have a perfect day, so it’s important to be accurate so they can be properly prepared for your wedding day.
After you complete and finalize your guest list … then the fun begins! Venue Shopping, Engagement Shoots, Save the Dates, Invitation shopping!!
And look how much fun you can have with invitations!! (invitation examples from LSE’s paid site advertiser, Wedding Paper Divas)
Real Wedding Planner Advice: Get the project of the Guest List completed in its entirety, then you can move easily through your wedding planning without having to put the “breaks on” intermittently during the process.
Article: Lisa Sammons – Owner/Principal Planner & Lead Designer – Lisa Sammons Events /Contributor & Features Editor: Style, Inspiration, & Design
We are REAL Wedding Planners servicing New York and New England.
We also travel to where ever our clients need us.
If you are planning a destination wedding, we are happy to plan your wedding … where ever and whenever!
Are you a DIY Bride and just want a few pointers or a consultation?
We are happy to meet with you or set up a call.
Feel free to contact us at anytime to set up a DIY planning meeting. We are happy to help!
moc.stnevesnommasasilnull@ofni or via phone @ 603-828-6490.
We look forward to speaking with you!