The Guest List
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"Traditional Wedding Etiquette "The Guest List

Author: Jennifer - Internet Sales Coordinator & Team LeaderApril 2006

Planning the guest list for your wedding is a task that every bride faces. More often than not, you will face important decisions that may not always be the easiest. In many cases, you will need important questions of manners and etiquette to be answered. Even the most carefully planned guest lists can get out of control.

When you are starting to plan who you will invite to your wedding, a couple of key factors come into play. Every bride has a different picture in mind of what the wedding and reception should be like. You will want to ask yourself if you want a larger or a smaller wedding. There are positives and negatives to either. Small weddings are more affordable; however, you may not be able to invite all of the people that you would like to see on your special day. Also, a small wedding may not even be feasible. In situations where the bride or groom has a large family, this may not be possible. However, if you are having a destination wedding, not everyone may be able to attend, which is a factor that you should consider. Also, keep your budget in mind. Think of what you can afford and try to keep your guest list as close to that number as possible. When making your guest list, start with the family of you and your fiancé / fiancée. Once you have established this number, go on to close friends. As you establish the guests that need to be there, you will have more of an idea of how many other guests that can be invited.

When writing your guest list, it is easy to think of only friends and family. However, here is a list of guests who should not be overlooked:

The spouse or partner of each invited guest. It is proper etiquette to allow each invited guest to bring someone, even if you do not know them.
The family of your ring bearer and flower girl. They will want to be at the wedding to see their child, and also to help with the child.
The person who you choose to perform the ceremony and their spouse or partner.
Mentors to the bride and groom who are not family. Most have a person who has made an impact on their life. These people should be invited to your wedding.


These guests are extremely important to any couple's big day, although when faced with the overwhelming task of formulating a guest list, it may be easy to forget. You should also discuss with your fiancé / fiancée if you would like to invite children to the wedding and reception, and factor this into your guest list accordingly.

If the inevitable happens and your guest list keeps growing, there are a couple of tips that may help. First, remember that to make a guest list, you will have to make decisions. These are not always easy, but they are necessary. Second, remember that this is your wedding and you should invite who you want. Many couples feel obligated to invite someone, but you need not invite someone to your wedding out of a sense of obligation. If your guest list still needs some trimming, separate the list into groups and eliminate either some or all of a group or groups. Also, you may factor in guests who you know are not able to come. This is especially relevant if you are having a destination wedding. Lastly, remember that it is proper to invite all shower guests to attend the wedding. This is because they have been a part of the celebration prior to the wedding, and should be invited to the wedding itself.

Even with the many factors to take into consideration when planning your guest list, it does not have to be stressful. Just remember that it is your special day and to surround yourself with the people that are the most important to you. That is the only thing you need to make your guest list complete!