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Creating and curating your guest list with The Firefly Method

April 20, 2018

We’ve already shown you how to start your wedding planning and create a wedding budget, now it’s time for the guest list!

How many people should you invite to your wedding? That sounds like an innocent enough question, right? While it can be for some couples, for most, this question can lead to many late night conversations, which often include connecting the dots of every social connection you have (“if we invite Sarah, then we have to invite Joe, John and Emily”). How do you narrow down the final list? You and your partner might also have different ideas about the ideal size of a guest list, and your parents might have yet another. How do you find a common ground?

And once your guest list is solidified, how do you actually collect all of those addresses!? Sending wedding invitations may be the first time you’ve sent paper mail in years, so we’ve got a great free bonus that will walk you through our favorite (super simple) process for collecting addresses! But more on that later.

After years of helping engaged couples through the guest list process, these are the 3 tips we’ve found to be the most beneficial!

Creating and curating your guest list with the Firefly Method

(Photo by Jose Villa)

If you’re trying to stick to a budget, your guest list is the number one way to cut costs.
Yup, you read that right! Each guest costs much more than just the food they eat. There’s also the booze they drink, the chair they’re sitting in, the dinnerware and flatware they use, the server who gives them their food, the decor at their table, their invitation, the welcome bag they receive, etc. It’s easy to forget to factor in these numbers when you’re thinking about costs per person, but these numbers add up fast. If you missed our 2 step budget worksheet from last week’s post, make sure to check that out and download it! We dig deeper into how much each guest affects your bottom line, so you can be aware of those costs now instead of having them creep up on you later.

Creating and curating your guest list

(Photo by Jose Villa)

The majority of venues in the U.S. can accommodate 200 guests or less
If you’ve started doing any venue research you may have already noticed this. Don’t get us wrong- there are many, many beautiful venues that can accommodate a larger number of guests, but you’re going to be looking at a notably smaller list of options the larger your guest count becomes. We see a pretty steep decline after you cross the 200 mark. This is something to keep in mind if you also have quite a few other criteria that you’re trying to meet with the venue. So, if it’s possible, we recommend keeping your guest list under 200. This will give you more venue options to choose from and also help you stick to your budget.

Creating and curating your guest list

(Photo by Logan Cole)

If a family member is contributing greatly to the budget, they may expect their requests to be met.
This can be a hard one for many engaged couples. Although you may feel a great sense of gratitude for a family member’s generosity, you may still feel uncomfortable letting that family member invite guests that you would not have included, otherwise. You’re not alone! This is where some negotiation may need to come in, and our first two tips are great information to bring to the table. However, we usually suggest trying to meet this family member halfway, if at all possible. When someone is giving a significant financial contribution, we think it’s reasonable to address their requests with an open mind and an eye towards compromise, as opposed to a flat out no.

Creating and curating your guest list

(Photo by Heather Waraksa)

So, what’s next after you’ve locked down that guest list? Collecting all those addresses! This sounds like a daunting task, but we’re going to show you one of our favorite (free!) online resources to make this process move a lot faster and feel almost painless. Click HERE to get our free 10 minute video tutorial, that will change your life…or at least your month ;).

Can’t wait to see you there!

xx Teissia + Alia