One of the first steps when planning a wedding is creating the guest list. There are many factors to consider in these beginning preparations.
Are you going for a small, intimate wedding or do you want to go all out and have something completely huge and elaborate? What is going to influence what? Is your guest list going to influence your venue and budget or are you on a tighter rope and your guest list is going to be a reflection of your venue and budget. Are children going to be invited in addition to their parents or are you aiming for an adult only event? After sorting out those details, you should have a better understanding of the amount of people you are able to include. Once you have a number figure to work with it is really all about who makes the cut, and this is a process that should be done by both the bride and groom together.
First things first, family comes first. Right off the bat all immediate family from both sides should be added to the guest list. You may want to also include aunts, uncles, and cousins. Extended family should be at your own discretion, you are going to know who you want and don´t want there.
Once you have sorted through both families, size up the amount of room you have for friends and go through some more important factors. Do you have enough spots for many, many friends or just your nearest and dearest? Are you trying to include everyone, even your old high school girlfriends or just those you consistently have kept in contact with? My suggestion when inviting friends is if you haven´t seen them in the last couple years you won´t notice their absence as you say “I do.”
After your list is complete there is still one major decision to make before ordering your RSVPs. How are you going to handle those? Is it going to be one of those where you send it back with an estimated head count of the number of people that will be attending, are you only going to allow people a plus one, is it going to be a strict only those listed on the invitation can come, or are you going to be very relaxed about the entire situation and just make an educated guess of your own? Of course budget, venue, and personal opinions all are big components of these decisions and each and every couple will go about making their guest list in their own unique way.