One of the first things to do when planning any event is to prepare a guest list. Ensure that all stakeholders for the event are carried along. For a wedding, have a discussion and meet each other halfway on the guests you’d like to invite. Which one of you has always dreamed of a small intimate wedding, or a serious owambe? if there is a conflict of interest, the next thing is to compromise.
What kind of attendance do you envision? A guest list of 100 or 1000? Before you make that Facebook announcement inviting everyone on your friend list, sit down with your fiancé or whomever you are planning with and draw up a plan for your maximum guest size. Here are a few tips;
CREATE A FIRST DRAFT OF YOUR LIST AND CATEGORIZE: In this list, write down the names of everybody you can think of who you might want to invite, make a list of all the categories of people whom you have written down from distant relatives, family friends, childhood friends, school friends, colleagues, friends you have made through different stages of your life, etc.
Next, think of all the other things you are involved in: church, sports, clubs, volunteer work and neighbourhood activities and create a category for that too. You are obviously on Facebook, so go through your friends’ list, because you are probably going to have all your friends there, that way you know who has been invited and who hasn’t.
ASK YOUR FOLKS FOR HELP: Get your parents involved, they are a great resource when it comes to making a guest list. Let them help make a list of all the relatives, family friends, neighbours, and anybody else they would like you to invite to the wedding, in addition to people they can think of that you may have forgotten. In asking for help, also put your foot down if a parent is pushing for extra guests, explain that there is no available space in the budget or venue for more people. When it’s your future mother-in-law, get your fiance and create a united front, and talk with her together about why she can’t invite a dozen of her friends to the wedding when your plans require you leave out even some of your own friends.
PUT YOUR BUDGET IN MIND: The essence of writing down everyone and categorising, is to be able to have an overview of all the people you know and cut them down according to how much you have (yes, you love everyone but they can’t all be there). Set a realistic budget, because these days weddings are so expensive. How many people can you afford to invite? Ask yourself if it’s more important to have lots of people who might not see food to eat, or to pamper a smaller amount of people with a sumptuous variety of meals. Remember that no matter what your style, each extra person will add to your pocket, so if you’re on a tight budget, a smaller wedding is probably the way to go.
SLEEP ON IT: Your guest list does not need to be completed in one sitting. After you make the first attempt at your wedding guest list, take at least a few days, to take a break from the list. When you return to it, you will probably be able to brainstorm at least a few more people who did not make the initial list or people you want to take out. In the end, it’s your day,
If you’re married, how did you plan your guest list and if you’re planning your wedding, how is the guest list coming? Share your thoughts.
Cheers to your fab Event!