As you dive into the planning process for your wedding, one of the first tasks that must be tackled is making the guest list. This is usually done soon after a date has been set. The number of guests you plan to invite will impact your budget, venue, and catering options, so it’s important to do it early on.
Start your list with the names of family members who need to be included in your celebration. Then, list the names of friends, coworkers who are close to you, and special neighbors. Your parents will want to invite friends and coworkers as well. You may want to invite people who have invested in your life such as former babysitters, scout leaders, youth leaders from church, coaches, and older people who have watched you grow up.
While many people like to make these lists on the computer, I prefer the old fashion way of using 3×5 index cards and a file box. List the name of each guest on an index card, last name first. Add the person’s address, phone number, and email address, and file the cards in alphabetical order. Make a note on the card if the person is invited to a shower. As you receive gifts, write the gift on the giver’s card and mark the date you sent them a thank you note. As RSVP’s for the reception come in, you can then separate the cards into two stacks, one for those who can attend and one for those who can’t. After the wedding, these same index cards can be used to mail out your Christmas cards.
After 29 years of marriage, I still have my index cards and enjoy looking over them from time to time, remembering all who shared in our special day and the gifts they gave to us. If you prefer to use Excel or some of the numerous websites that allow you to track your guests, don’t forget to print the list off and keep it with your wedding keepsakes.
Written by Jane Godwin