Etiquette Wednesday: Wedding Guests Lists Etiquette


One of the most common wedding etiquette questions I am asked is guest list related questions or how do we organize our seating chart?

At the very beginning of your wedding planning you should have an approximate idea of how many guests you will be inviting, otherwise how will you know which venue will be the right venue for you.  If the venue is too small it will be uncomfortable for your guests but if the venue is too big for your guest count it will feel too big and most venues will require a minimum spent on food and beverages.

Wedding guest list questions I am asked most frequently:

Do I have to invite the same guests to both the ceremony and reception?

You can have a smaller guest list for the ceremony if you want a more intimate and private affair.  But it is not acceptable to invite guests to the ceremony and not the reception.

Are we expected to invite children?Kids Table

No, you do not have to invite children, in fact some couples will appreciate not bringing children to have a “date night”.  But also expect some couples will not attend as they cannot leave the children. Also remember to stick to the rule, no children will attend accept the flower girl, ring bearer or junior bridesmaids and junior ushers.

How many guests should we invite if we want 150 guests?

I am often asked how many friends should we invite to get to a certain number?  We don’t want to have too many guest but not too few either.  

Approximately 15-20% of guests will send regrets, this number can be even greater if a higher percentage of your wedding guests are from out of town.  If you want 150 guests invite 170-180. Also expect less if it is near a holiday or in the winter months.

 How do I organize the seating chart?

This is one of the most difficult times for a bride and groom, how to decide who sits where.  Firstly, get the floor plan and know how many seats are at each table.  Next put all the guests that will be grouped together.  For example all your co-workers on one table or your friends from college on another table.  If you have gaps and need to add additional guests put guests together that you think you will connect.    Don’t put together guests that you know will not get on or have strong personalities. 

Have another wedding etiquette question, just ask!






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