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Planning a Guest List

Planning a Guest List

The guest list is a dilemma; deciding who to invite from the respective families and friends is a common problem for many couples. If there is a large family on both sides, the number of friends may have to be reduced, however when the couple are paying for their own wedding, they may prefer to have more friends than family especially when these have not been seen since childhood. The number of guests you plan to have will influence the choice of venue and can mean that the country house you had in mind is no longer suitable. It is fine to ask friends to the evening reception instead and limit the day to family and close friends. You should not however ask guests to the wedding ceremony and not to the reception afterwards.

If costs are an important factor and mostly they are, we suggest that you start with a per head figure of £50 and work up or down from this. Include anything that has to be ordered for each guest such as food, welcome drinks and canapes, table settings (if you need to hire these in) and chair covers. Most venues and caterers work on a cost per head for these items though some venues offer all inclusive packages based on a set number of guests.This will give you an idea of costs and if money is tight, will define your priority guest list. A back up list can be used when the priority guests cannot attend. Send out invitations at least 8 weeks before so you have time to finalise the numbers and invite guests on your back up list. Emailing a wedding invitation is not appropriate and neither is listing it as an event on Facebook! A neat idea to cut catering costs, is to have the ceremony later in the day with one large forked buffet where everyone can be invited. 

Planning a wedding in modern times can be helped by the definitive guide to modern wedding etiquette at Debrett's Wedding Guide.

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