Making the Guest List, Round 1: Getting It All Out There

Or: “Do I Even Know Anyone Who Isn’t on Facebook?”

After my initial muddle through how on earth do I get this party started?! we settled on a guest list. Partially because then you can use that to set a budget.

And realistically I am totally capable of figuring out who we know.

Where to get married? How much it should cost? Pfft—no clue.

Who are our friends? Got it.

I looked for a template, but what I needed to start with was just a list that I could make decisions with. I’m sure there is great stuff out there to put in addresses and meal preferences and whether they’ve replied and all that. All I needed, though, was a way to list everyone who might get invited, categorize them by group (family, church, work, friend) and then start deciding. I kicked it off with my family, which is almost 50 people (?!?) and then moved to friends. I started with the people I can’t imagine getting married without, like my best friend since high school or my college sorority sister. Then I quit.

It’s hard work!

I also was spending forever wondering who I was forgetting—so I switched to Facebook. I looked through my list of Facebook friends and added a few more to the list. I was pretty sure anyone I would invite who isn’t a relative would be on there (hey, my grandpa’s even on there!), but I moved on to my phone just in case. The phone only added three people to my list, and my list is everyone I may/could/possibly invite, so it probably wasn’t a necessary step.

That total? One hundred and fourteen. Totally manageable. Especially since a) we won’t be inviting all of those people and b) all of them won’t come anyhow. Oh, and 10 of those people I wrote “plus-one” next to, because Shamrock feels really strongly about it.

Then I called both of my parents, asking them who they wanted to add and then giving them a deadline (two weeks) for additional people. I don’t need to stick to that, and I actually put in a dummy couple for each of them (my parents are divorced) as a placeholder so there were no surprises.

I felt pretty good about the total, as well as confident that I hadn’t missed anyone. Then last night I talked to my best friend, who I’ve known since high school. He was borrowing his mom’s car and”¦STOP. I forgot my best friend’s mom. She really wants to come, and I would love for her to be there. I’ve been on vacation with their family. So I added her, and two more placeholders, for anyone else I forgot.

What’s next? Coming up with some guidelines and deciding who we’re inviting. Let the games begin!

BLOGGER

Mrs. Clover

Location:
Chicago
Wedding Date:
June 2014

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  1. Member
    campfire 1045 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:30 am

    The best advice I got about guest lists is “who would you call if you were in the hospital? Who would you want to come visit you?” Bam. Guest list. (Ours didn’t work that way… but it was a good starting point, at least.)

  2. Member
    pyramid 92 posts, Worker bee @ 8:59 am

    Less than 130 on your “everybody we could possibly invite” list? Can we switch lives? I have no idea how we know so many people who MUST be there.
    But I’m with you – I found the guest list to be much harder than I thought it would be!

  3. Member
    Mrs. Clover 119 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:12 am

    @Miss Pyramid: unfortunately that’s ONLY my list–it didn’t include Lucky’s family. The total was close to 200, and we’re now pretty comfortably at 170. If only we had smaller families….

  4. Member
    mscamera 300 posts, Helper bee @ 10:04 am

    @Miss Clover: I had a similar problem – Cam’s got this crazy big extended family out on the west coast that we had to invite, but were pretty positive wouldn’t come (only 2 of them did). But still, our invite list was 214 people. We ended up with 150. That’s a lot of Californians! Good luck!

  5. Member
    mspalmtree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:06 am

    Echoing @Miss Pyramid – our first ‘everyone we could even possibly want’ list was at about 280. Mr. PT’s family is huuuumongous. We were able to trim it down to an invite list of 218 with a total of 187 who RSVP’d yes. I’m looking forward to reading more about yours – seems like we had a similarish guest count!

  6. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:55 pm

    I love that you used Facebook to come up with your guest list! So helpful. :)

  7. Member
    Mrs. Clover 119 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:50 pm

    I’m really interested to see who will come. My entire family (except my parents and three others has to fly), so many have already decided if they’ll make it or not. But its a huge variable, since we have a combined 111 (Oh. My. Gosh. I hadn’t actually added that up before) family members on our list.

  8. Member
    msfilly 827 posts, Busy bee @ 3:47 pm

    I didn’t even think of checking Facebook! I used my phone as a starting point – if I don’t care about you enough to have your phone number, why would I want you at the wedding?

  9. Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:50 pm

    I forgot to invite a few people too. Having placeholders is a good idea.

  10. Member
    mswaterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:32 pm

    Seriously, you make it seem so easy breezy! The guest list still gives me occasional nightmares… There were so many people
    my parents insisted on inviting, their list alone was around 170! Thankfully, we were able to whittle it down, and a lot of out of towners RSVP’d no, but man, that was my least favourite part of planning. For sure! Sounds like you have it under control :)

  11. Member
    Mrs. Clover 119 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:45 am

    @Mrs. Waterfall: We were super lucky about that–my dad had a max of four couples he wanted to invite, and my mom made a long list but had no problem cutting it down (all friends from church that have watched me grow up) and Shamrock’s mom was also really reasonable. So that really helped make it not too painful.

  12. Member
    Miss_Mimosa 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:13 am

    This was great advice. My grands are all on facebook too, how funny!

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