It’s the holidays! For people like me this means so many people are newly engaged. Some of you may be sporting some beautiful bling on your hand. Tag me on instagram or twitter, I want to see too! @regalaffair is how you find me out there.
So after the excitement begins to die down it’s time for the nitty gritty. Personally, I think you should call me and hire me, but wedding planners aren’t for everyone for several reasons and that is okay too. This is the first in a series of posts for newly engaged. I want you to sit and write out your guest list. Whoa. What? Yes. just do it. It will be one of the most tedious tasks you take on so it makes sense to get it over with.
If you have a large family like I do then not just any venue will do. So, you really need to know your best guest before deciding to look at spaces. I would hate for you to fall in love with a venue that will only accommodate 80 people but your list of probably attending is around 150.
- Start with excel. Create the list like you would for mail merge.
- Mr. and Mrs.
- First Name
- Last Name
- Street Address
- Number invited
- Probably attending
- any other field you may want
- I don’t want you to worry about addresses unless you already know it. You are setting up your worksheet for the down the road. Today is all about numbers
- What about my Uncle Jaz? I don’t know his proper name! That’s okay, again, we want numbers. I want you to make a place holder for all your people. I like do it by groups. My family: Parents, my siblings. Then my eldest uncle, then the next entry is his grown children, etc… It’s all in order because that’s how I remember them all, by their group. You can do it however you like and however it makes sense to you. This is just my personal preference that way I get both sides of each side of the engagement party.
- Number invited: if you are inviting me and my family that number would be 7. (Mr. and Mrs. Mongkon Jasiczek and our 5 kids. Weird name, right? That’s why we call him Jaz. See that whole Uncle Jaz question above. On the Jasiczek side most of the males are nicknamed Jaz! just get that placeholder in there.) At the end you will total all these in this column and that will tell you your total invited guest count.
- Probably Attending: You know your people. In my family on my mother’s side I can count on who is coming to a family wedding. Easily 75 of us will attend a first cousin wedding. I know which of my closest friends will also come to my personal events. In this next column, you know how you can count on. Add those numbers in here. This way if you have a large disparity between the two you can have the discussion early on in the planning process on how to proceed.
Take my advice and get this task out of the way. This is advice I relay to every single new client. It’s the first thing I want completed before we seek out venues. I remember fondly meeting with my bride who is marrying Memorial Day weekend. She spoke of a beautiful intimate wedding of less than 100. She described her family, especially her father and then groom’s family. I told her I wanted her to get accustomed to the idea she was going to have a large wedding. They completed their list – just under 200. And as the months have gone by it’s inched up to 300. We made sure to pick a hotel ballroom to accommodate her growing list. I knew this family and list would grow and oh my has it grown from the initial 75! I’ll update this post before the New Year to include a blank wedding guest list.
Good luck in your planning. Please consider hiring a professional planner! We are avialable all over Texas and globally. Destination wedding are our specialty. Look for our exploits this wedding season in Mexico, West Texas, Turks and Caicos and soon to be announced Caribbean location.
Photo provided by current client and bride Maddie Sanchez.
**UPDATED 12/28/2014** Clicke on the following link to download a simple excel spreadsheet to get you started. wedding guest list