One of the biggest and often most challenging tasks you will face early on in your planning process is deciding who to invite to your wedding. Some of the challenges you might encounter are:

  • You have too many guests on your list for the venue to accommodate
  • You don’t want to offend people who you can’t include
  • Your guest list is too large to fit your budget
  • Unbalanced – you are inviting too many people from one side
  • Including people you don’t know but your partner/parents would like to invite

Here are some guidelines to help you go about drafting your guest list and keeping the peace:


Before you start looking for your wedding venue, you should have an idea of how many guests you’d like. This way you’ll know how the size of different venues fit in with your attendance requirements. At some stage, you may have to decide which is more important – your dream venue or the number of people on your guest list. This will help with your final decision. Keep in mind that the cost will go up with the number of guests.

Get set

Coming up with a final list of names can be a difficult task, especially if you must limit numbers. The bride and groom’s parents should be involved in drafting the guest list, especially if they are contributing financially. One suggestion is to divide the total number of possible guests into thirds for the bride and groom and both sets of parents to nominate guests respectively. In this way, you will have equal representation between the families and your friends. Realistically, you can’t invite all of your friends and family. If you’ve lost contact with people recently, or you can’t imagine having dinner with them in a year from now, don’t feel guilty about not inviting them. It’s also not practical to invite everyone from your workplace, neighbours and siblings’ friends. With good, long-standing friends or family who live overseas, it is polite to invite them, so that they feel included but make it clear that you will not be offended if they decline. However, be prepared if they are delighted and accept the invitation!


Your Seating Plan is also likely to create a challenge and just when you think you have everyone seated in the perfect position, a late RSVP will come in or a guest will fall in love and want to bring an unexpected partner. One option is to allocate tables, but let guests choose their own place to sit. Download the ‘WedPlan’ App on Apple and Android devices for a useful RSVP, Guest List, and Seating Plan tool. You can also keep a record of the gifts you receive, which will be invaluable in the future, as well as thank you notes you’ve sent – something you don’t want to forget.