5 Essential Wedding Planning Tips for Managing Your Guest List

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Organizing the guest list is just another major part of wedding planning! It affects your entire budget, so deciding who to invite should be one of the first steps you take on your planning journey. We’ve got the best wedding planning tips from top-notch planners to help you manage your invites and guest list!

1.Before sending out your invitations, buy an invisible ink pen from Amazon, and write the initials of the recipient on the back of each RSVP card. Inevitably someone will send back their RSVP card and forget to write their names on the front. Your invisible initials (and a black light) will save the day and you will avoid awkward phone calls trying to uncover the identity of the mystery guest — Tessa Brand of Tessa Lyn Events.

2. If you’re interested in escort cards featuring handwritten calligraphy — or unique media such as acrylic or oyster shells — aim for an early RSVP date when sending out your invitations. This will allow you the time you need to assign seating, and your calligrapher or event designer ample time to create a beautiful escort card display for you and your guests — Kristin Polhemus of Reveriemade.

3. When you first start planning, begin with the guest list. As you collect names and addresses, also collect phone numbers and email addresses. These contact methods become crucial at the end of the process when you need to follow up with guests that have not sent in their rsvp and if you have any changes at the last minute that need to be communicated to guests, such as directions that change due to construction or delays due to weather — Wendy Kidd of Each & Every Detail.

4. Prioritize your guest list. Guest list is one of those tedious tasks but I always tell my clients to do an A, B and C list. The A List is the people you have to invite, like immediate family and bridal party. The B list is for the next set of people, normally friends and distant family and then your C list is more like co-workers and the plus ones for some guests. It is then easy to cut, if need be, from the bottom up — Jessyca Perez of Events by Jess.

5. When compiling your guest list, be strategic and smart. Only invite individuals who you are close to and spend time with currently. The bigger the guest list, the bigger the budget! A guest only gets a +1 if they living together, engaged or married — Brooke Keegan of Brooke Keegan Special Events.