Creating a guest list for your wedding is easy right?

You just invite all the people that are important in you and your partner's lives... oh and their partners... oh and some relatives you haven't seen for years... and that distant friend that invited you to their wedding out of the blue... ok so maybe it's not so easy.

Fear not, in this handy guide to creating the perfect guest list you'll find tips on ways to take the pain out of getting the numbers right without worrying about snubbing anyone important.

 Tip One - Divide & Conquer

Divide up the number of guests you are inviting between you, your partner and your respective parents. So let's say your wedding venue can cater to 200 guests. You could split the list 75 each for you and your partner and 25 each for your parents.

It may be that things don't work out as evenly as that but the key is to agree the numbers first. This way you avoid conflict when your intended insists that he has to invite the entire rugby squad. 

Tip Two - Invite Everyone

Don't take this literally but a bit of brain splurging is a good way to get started. Sit down and write a list of everyone you would invite if you could. From your sister to that cousin that used to make you laugh when you were kids, your best friend to the guy in work who tells a cracking joke - this is a no holds barred list of everyone you think would be 'good' at a wedding.

Now you have a list of everyone you should invite and a whole load you probably shouldn't. This is a good starting place to apply the rules...

Tip Three - Cut, Cut, Cut

You might need to take your ruthless pill for this part, or a double espresso, whatever works. Time to start whittling down that list to those who really matter. If you can stick to these rules you should have a lovely paired down list of the important people in your life who you are truly looking forward to seeing on the day.

Rule 1: If neither of you has spoken to or met them in the last year or two and they are not relations - cut

Rule 2: If you are not keen on inviting kids, then don't.

Rule 3: If they are only on your list because you'd feel guilty about not inviting them - cut

Rule 4: If the idea of inviting them round for dinner holds no appeal at all - cut

Tip Four - Collaborate

If you've divided up the guest list between you and your parents using a shareable spreadsheet is a great idea. You could use google docs or keep an updatable spreadsheet in dropbox or the likes. If there's one guest list to refer to it makes life a whole load easier.

Tip Five - Remember the Mantra - Budget & Space, Budget & Space

Inevitably you'll be faced with someone saying 'Oh I can't wait for your wedding' and that someone will be someone you're not planning on inviting. Awkward doesn't quite cover saying 'sorry you're not coming' - so recite this mantra - 'yes budget and space mean we can't invite everyone we'd like to' then move the conversation swiftly on to something unrelated to weddings - 'your hair looks great!' or 'have you been working out?'might work.

So there you have it, tips for creating the perfect wedding guest list. One final tip is to try and enjoy the process, imagine how much fun you'll have with the people you love on the day you declare your intention to share the rest of your lives together.


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