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11 Must-Know Tips When Planning Your Wedding


Every couple anticipates the moment with eager enthusiasm when it’s time to invite family and friends to their wedding. But when it comes to filling up your guest list, you’re overwhelmed with choices because there are so many people you wish to have by your side on your wedding day. Read this article for 11 useful tips on how to organise your guest list that is filled with much love and friends!

Be our guest. Photo by Tinydot Photography. Wedding of Sylvia and Jamie.

It’s essentially important to reach an agreement with your partner (and sometimes the parents) – are you looking at a celebration with more than 300 guests or an intimate wedding with only close family and friends? Discuss this together and voice any concerns so that both of you can reach a comfortable decision.

If you’re looking a small wedding, consider the following invitation guidelines:

  • Apart from your close family members, you can also invite friends who have been in contact with you durng the past year.
  • It’s not mandatory to invite couples whose weddings you’ve attended but aren’t close to anymore. They probably had to make the same decision when they were preparing for theirs.
  • Office pals make great buddies. But there’s no need to invite everyone, just those whom you’re close with.
  • If you’re still sitting on fences, base your choices on this simple quote – “I want to be surrounded by the people whom I love and love me as well, on my wedding day”.

Start listing the important invites first - your family and closest friends, the names that pop right out of your head at the first thought. From here, you can get a good gauge of how many remaining possible seats are left.

Another form of etiquette brides should be aware of – don’t personally inform others out of your circle of buddies about your wedding until you’ve confirmed the date, location and important wedding details. This helps a lot as there’s bound to be changes along the way and you don’t want to keep informing guests about amendments. Try to keep it on the low and once everything’s settled, announce away!

Before arranging any wedding related matters, preparing a guest list should always be the first item on your to-do list. To avoid confusion, keep either a softcopy of the draft (we recommend using a goggle spreadsheet where both of you can update at the same time. It’s free!) or note them down in your little white book of wedding notes. Note down the number of guests, their addresses, and other contact details as you going along; you will need this information for mailing out invitations and thank you notes. Managing your list this way would allow you to add or remove names easily and also helps keep things organised.

List A (you can call it whatever you want) is your main guest list while List B acts like a waiting list with names (in order of importance) of those whom you would like to invite if your initial guests can’t make it. There’s no need to fret because it’s safe to assume that 10–20% of your guests might not be able attend your celebration. From there, you could bring over names from List B to your main guest list. However, don’t delay planning List B because no one likes to be invited at the last minute.

Try your best to send out your invites 2 to 3 months before the wedding. While you receive declines from List A, you can start mailing out invites from List B as well. This stretch of period also provides time for your guests to search for suitable attire for your wedding or even tailor-made one to fit your wedding theme! However, if essential information such as the venue, programme list or dress code aren’t confirmed yet, consider sending a Save–the-Date Card first. This useful card informs your guests to keep that particular date free before the main invitation with the full details arrives.

Sometimes people squeeze extra names in the RSVP despite the invite being intentionally meant only for the recipient. To avoid this, include the full names of the invited guest and a line or a tick box after for them to indicate their attendance. The printed names provide your intended guests no reason to add more guests to your lists. If they do ask, explain graciously to them about your seating arrangements.

Don't feel that you’ve got to open your wedding to the entire extended family of your guests. Although it may seem tough to exclude, it's perfectly fine only to invite children who are part of your or your partner’s close family friends. If you do have any requests to bring children along, explain your invite constraints to them. Alternatively, if you’re comfortable with children at your wedding, have the words "and family" on the invitation envelope to immediately make your preference known.

Some families’ request for the family helper/maids to be invited as well in order to look after the kids. When this happens, consider if you’ve enough seats to accommodate them. Alternatively, if there are more than 5 children present at your wedding, get resourceful and provide a baby-sitter for these families. This is a great chance for your family members to help out too! You can request for a couple of older cousins to take on the responsibility of looking after children.

They can be seated together at a corner with games and a special children’s menu. With this feasible option, instead of the maid attending, parents can be informed that an extra help will be at the wedding to care for their kids.

Both your parents would want to share the joys of the wedding with their friends too and it’s only fitting to accommodate their wishes. If both of you are undertaking most of the expenses, discuss with them about your plans and ask them how many friends would they like to invite and talk about the seating availabilities together. (Be patient!)

Finally, always be cordial when organising guest lists and contacting friends and family. Understand your budget and circumstances and don’t make this process is tedious one as you’re bringing together a company who are delighted to see you and your partner tie the knot. When discussing it over with your partner, try to be accommodating to each other’s needs and be open to ideas that might help you out. Plus, have fun deciding who should be there to catch your bouquet!

Related Images
Colour: Yellow
Theme: Do-It-Yourself
Keywords: Children, Guests, Reception, Wedding Planning

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