Guests Firsts, Budget Second
The second step.

We have given you the first post titled ‘Bride-to-be: Just engaged and completely overwhelmed?’ (read post here) now we are moving to the next step, guests.

People first. Figure out who you love and want with you on your wedding day. The figure out how you can afford to host them.

Do a reality check. Throwing a party for a lot of people can add up quickly.

The average total RSVP rate: 75 per cent.

I expect right now you are probably itching to jump in and start looking at venues. There are two massive reasons why it’s so beneficial to do your guest list first.

For starters, you know the maximum number of people who might attend. This is important because venues have maximum capacities.

You do not want to fall in love with a venue, or worse book a venue, that can’t accommodate all the guests you end up inviting.

Knowing the maximum capacity you need from a venue now will not only save yourself potential trouble it allows you to quickly eliminate options when researching.

Secondly, we use this figure to calculate the percentage of guests likely to attend. This figure is vital piece of information to my budget management process; being most important when we start looking at your catering costs. (We’ll get on to that in phase two).

What’s the deal with this percentage of guests likely to attend?

You might be the white unicorns of weddings where all invited guests end up attending.

But it is likelier that only a proportion of those you invite will come. 

You don’t want to start researching venues and then commit to a minimum spend on food and beverage that ends up being much higher than what your final guest numbers end up being.

So it’s time to get organised and start your guest list.

You’re going to bring up your wedding workbook. You’re going to create your guest list here.

You want to note the full name of each person, their physical address, their email address and their phone number.

Highlight in yellow any incomplete information as you go. You will need to source this info before you move on. You might check their Facebook account or ask your family for relatives’ details.

I understand that you’re ready to get cracking in other areas. That the lack of urgency for this information right now might feel like it’s not time well spent.

Put simply, double handling any tasks is not very efficient. Doing this now is going to save you so much time in the long run. You’ll see that in future steps.

It takes time to get these details correct (Aunt Lynda spelt her name with a y? who knew?).

Getting both a phone number and email address will also significantly assist you when your chasing last minute RSVPs in future phases.

You’ll also have a complete list of all the helpful, generous people you might call upon to assist with projects down the line.

Start a spreadsheet which should include:



Email and Phone number

A number for each invitee

Likelihood of attendance

Events guests are invited to (hens day, bucks, rehearsal dinner?)

Dietary restriction

Click on Images to download our free Guest List Wedding Planner