Creating Your Guest List

If you’re struggling to create, or cut, your wedding guest list, you are not alone! It can be nerve wracking and stressful to pull together a list of people you feel “should” be a part of your day. Here are some tips to help ease the wedding guest list preparation process.

Consider Your Budget

Frame your guest list to add an elegant touch! Ashley Weddings & Events

Your budgeting (for guest count purposes) should be primarily based on food cost, however, there are other items that can take a toll on the budget. Questions to ask vendors include: What is the average cost per person for your top 3 catering choices? Do they charge a cake cutting fee? Are you having an open bar? Do you have to rent tables, chairs, linens, tents, toilets? What does the venue provide? Any and all of the above items can add up fast! Be mindful of your vendor choices and only do what is within your means.

Decisions, decisions…

Making Cuts – the Hard Part

Our rule of thumb was if they were a friend, and we had not spoken to them either on the phone or in person in the previous 12 months, they were off of the list. Another great guideline is does one or both of you know the person? This often comes in to play with parents and their friends. To help ease the possible rift this could cause, perhaps set a limit to the number of non-related people your parents can invite.

The A & B List

To be honest, I had to Google this and actually had no clue it existed, but in a way we did this too. Only it was far more inclusive than what I read online. This is a tough call. If you are doing A’s and B’s, I would say go back to the first bit of advice above – invite the number of people you can afford. If you end up under budget – that’s more money in your pocket!

Still having trouble?

A sense of humor helps! Succulents by Harvest Moon Flower Farm

Don’t fret! Next to eloping, the best way to cut the list? Have a destination wedding and leave all guest list creation to your guests! This way, they have to ask the tough question, “Do I really want to spend the money to go to Bloomington/Hawaii/Jamaica/Mexico/Vegas?” We have a lot of couples using Bloomington as a destination wedding location. Have you ever considered it? People from all over the world have enjoyed spending time at Sycamore Farm!

Our Advice?

Do what is best and feels right for you.

When Michael and I were planning our wedding, our guest list expanded very quickly. To give you an idea, between the two of us, we have a combined total of 18 aunts and uncles. All of them have children, who have children who, in some cases, have children. Adding them to our circle of friends, our list reached 200+ in record time.

In the end, we decided to cut our guest list to a total of 110 people. We did it by using the general rule of thumb, “very close friends and immediate family only.” Those 110 were the people present for our intimate ceremony, the piñata (Yup!) and dinner.

The pinata was shipped from Arizona to Bloomington – the kids had a blast!

We included all of our friends by creating a Facebook event. The Facebook group was invited to come dance, enjoy the farm, have a drink and a slice of cake after dinner. It was absolutely perfect – and everyone had a blast! But most importantly, we had a wedding that was distinctly us.

Happy Planning!




What do you think? How did/have you created your guest lists? Any good stories?

Please share in the comments section below!

Follow us on Facebook + Instagram: @SycamoreFarmBloomington