The Guest List

Getting married is one of the happiest occasions in a persons life. However, once you have shown off the engagement ring, booked the venue, bought the gown and of course hired the photographer there is the serious and sometimes complex business of the guest list.

Personally, and I am not even getting married, the thought of making a wedding guest list sends chills down my spine.

Once you have decided on how many loved ones will witness your nuptials it’s down to the nitty gritty of who! This could be quite easy or very difficult depending on if you have any family politics. Just a few things to remember when writing your list:

Be realistic to avoid stress later on. It may be that you have already chosen your intimate wedding venue because they only take up to fifty people. OR have chosen some lavish stately home or castle that can cater for up to 500 people. Think of it like this: the more guests you have the more your caterers will have to prepare, more favours, you see where I am going with this? Your budget can just disappear.

Don’t feel guilty. Your wedding list isn’t the same as your Facebook friends list. It probably won’t include your best friend when you were eight who you haven’t spoken to since you left school but is still on your book of faces. This next one applies to both family and friends – have I spoken to them in the passed year? If the answer is no then you probably won’t need to write them an invite. Also don’t feel obliged to invite your whole Spin class. Just because you have been working out with these people for twelve months in preparation for your big day doesn’t mean that they have earnt a place at your wedding breakfast.

Children. There is a lot to consider when inviting the small people. Do you hire an entertainer or childminder? Will your caterer provide child friendly meals? Will you be giving them a favour bag of colouring books, crayons etc? Or will you be saying no children under the age of 16? Lots to think about and of course, money involved too. This won’t really work if you have your own children or a flower girl or page boy.

Family Politics. This is a fairly common problem and as a photographer I come across this a lot. It might be that your parents split up some twenty plus years ago and still struggle to be in the same county let alone the same room or may be your uncle borrowed your Dad’s drill six months ago and hasn’t returned it. What ever the story, remember this is YOUR day. No-one can take this from you. But on the other side to this you also don’t want to be on edge wondering if something is going to kick off after a couple of glasses of fizz!

There are so many additional factors to writing the guest list for your wedding. Don’t feel bad about those you don’t invite or get invited to, there is always a good reason – and being family isn’t always one of them! The Guest list



  1. My best friend is in the middle of wedding planning right now. I keep telling her it’s HER day but the groom’s flipping mother is getting all involved. She’s already changed her theme AND invited about 20 people that the bride will meet for the first time on her wedding day! So wrong.

    1. I totally agree. Weddings are personal things and should capture the personality and creativity of the couple not anyone else!

  2. My daughter had me and hubby sat at the top table, her birth father gave her away and him and his other half sat on the family table.
    They allowed children who were well behaved and had a children’s table for them all to sit at, well apart from the 3 under 3.
    Photos included a mix of everybody , and I was even civilised to my ex so as not to spoil daughters day
    Elaine Livingstone recently posted…Project 366 week 14My Profile

    1. Sounds fabulous Elaine. It’s great that people can get on for just one day and for the sake of others. But also creating the guest list itself can be a real task!

  3. Absolutely!! I always tell prople (i used to organise weddings) that the tableplan and guest list is one of the hardest parts of a wedding. However, it is your special day and make sure you do what you want and not what everyone else wants.

    1. I am a big believer that couples should own their weddings. Not always following the many weddings on Pinterest or ones they have been to before.

  4. We just invited close family to our wedding and then had the party in the evening for all our friends

  5. We are supposed to get married next year but I just dread to even start thinking about it. I think I will run away and do it, much easier that way x
    Sonia recently posted…View-Master ReviewMy Profile

  6. Hi Melanie,

    If only I had your guide when my cousin got married 6 months ago. She was feeling guilty for not inviting all the people she knew. I told her that if she doesn’t feel like inviting some people, she shouldn’t. Also, she didn’t want to invite an entertainer and the kids were all over the place. Such a helpful post, thank you!

    Psychic Nest recently posted…Reincarnation and the AfterlifeMy Profile

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