The Ultimate Guest List Guide

One of the most daunting wedding planning tasks is none other than gathering the guest list – but the actual wedding guest list isn’t the only roundup of friends and family that you’ll have to consider. With various pre-wedding parties and post-wedding get togethers, figuring out whose invited to what can get a little overwhelming. Pour yourself some Pinot & take some time to think about your expected attendees with the MMW Guest List Guide:



SEND INVITES TO: Bridal Party, Family Members, Friends

The first official pre-wedding party should be celebrated with all your closest friends and family, and the groom’s female family members. Keep in mind that any guest that was invited to the bridal shower {& probably brought a gift} should absolutely receive an invitation to the wedding.


SEND INVITES TO: Bridal Party, Close Family Members, Friends

Whether you’re planning to party in a Nashville Bar, or your local Barre studio, this bash is all about letting loose with your gals! This is the perfect time to get rid of wedding planning stress and enjoy a day dedicated to your besties. Keep in mind that your theme for the party plays into who you should invite. Doing a brunch and spa day? Definitely invite your future mother-in-law. Playing “Pin the Junk on the Hunk” on a party bus in Vegas? Ehhhh maybe not.



SEND INVITES TO: Wedding Party, Family Members, Out-of-Town Guests

The rehearsal dinner is something special that you should celebrate with your small circle. This is a time to reflect and prepare for the biggest day of your life! The bridesmaids, groomsmen, both sides of the family and any guests who have traveled for the big event should attend and enjoy a delicious dinner with the soon-to-be newlyweds.

weddingdayThe wedding

SEND INVITES TO: Family, Friends, Other

THE MAIN EVENT! This is the guest list that means the most (obviously) – you should carefully consider who you want to witness the most sentimental moments of your lives. Start with the number that the venue can accommodate. If your seaside escape can hold 150 guests, split (as evenly as you can) the number of guests that you and your groom plan to invite. I suggest gathering your family members first, then closest friends and finally your co-workers, etc. You can always send out your initial invitations to the A-List, and save those declined RSVP’s for your B-List/anyone you’re on the fence about. My golden rule: if you haven’t sat down and had dinner with the person in the past year, pass. You also need to account for plus ones.


MARRIED/ENGAGED – Send invitation to the couple

(I personally believe plus-ones are reserved for guests with significant others/friends you’ve met before – this doesn’t include the groomsmen who always has a new piece of arm candy.)


The Post-Wedding Brunch

SEND INVITES TO: Wedding Party, Family, Out-of-town Guests

The final festivity! Enjoy a sweet brunch to send off your out-of-town guests, thank your beloved bridal party and your immediate family.  Use this time to let your guests know how thankful you were for their attendance and savor the time spent laughing, relaxing and recounting the incredible night before.

. . . 

Guests lists can get stressful, but keep in mind that the most important part is spending time with your loved ones. Always invite the people who mean the most!

{Photo Credits: Jose Villa Photography, Nadia Hung Photography, Cyn Kain, Anna Kuperberg, Santorini Glam Weddings & Jen Wojcik}

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