Wedding Planning 101: Your Wedding Guestlist


Who should you invite to your wedding, and who should you leave off your guest list? Creating the guest list may be one of the biggest challenges you face when planning your wedding! So sit down with an Excel spread sheet, (or a pen and paper if you are feeling traditional), and get it all together. Remember to keep in mind your budget, logistical constraints, and the style, size and atmosphere of the day of your dreams.


This blog article features the wedding of JC and Jana, who’s beautiful photos were taken by
Liz-Mari Marias Photography – Enjoy!

Immediate Family

You will definitely have your parents and soon-to-be parents-in-law on top of your list! And then you can add your and your fiancé’s siblings, their partners and children, and then the grandparents on both sides.

Distant Family

Next, you will add your distant family. But first ask yourself whether you actually have any contact with them. Remember — there is no need to invite distant relatives if all you know about each other is that you exist.


Friends can make or break the atmosphere at your wedding. Start with your closest friends, then move on to friends from university and school, and finally to friends you speak to regularly. However, there is no need to invite your best friend from school if you haven’t had contact for the past three years! Then it is time for both of you to move on to better friendships.

Work Colleagues

This can be a tricky one. If you have worked for a company for longer than six months and your office environment is relatively small, it may be best to invite them all. You don’t want to have an awkward vibe in the office for the rest of your time at the company. However, if you work in a big office environment, you may be closer to some colleagues than to others. In that case, you just invite the ones you know really well.

Plus Ones

If you have a small venue and need to cut down on your list the rule is as follows: No ring, no bring! If you have a few spots open, you could invite plus ones who have been in a fairly steady relationship for over two years. This could be the best way to reduce your guest numbers.

Family Friends

Give both sets of parents an amount of “friends of the family” that they can add to the guest list. Usually this will be people that you don’t really have contact with now, but you knew well when you were growing up and they supported your parents every step of the way.


This is something that you and your fiancé need to discuss beforehand — are you going to have a child-friendly wedding? If you like to be in control of things, it might be best not to have children. Children always add an element of surprise. However, if your guests are travelling from far away, you can’t really expect them to leave the youngsters home alone. You will need to make a note on your invites: “Children by invitation only.” This way, you can invite the children of your close family members and the children of guests who are travelling from far away to attend and have no other choice but to bring their children along to the wedding.

It’s very wise to send out save the dates well in advance to avoid the disappointment of guests being unable to attend your wedding. This also gives you the opportunity to add some extra guests, since some people will RSVP as soon as they get the save the date if they know for sure they won’t be able to attend.

Keep in mind that this is a love celebration for you as couple, surround yourself with family and friends that invest in your relationship. Enjoy the planning and good luck with the elimination process!

Marli Nel

Marli Nel
Wedding Coordinator
& Bloggist

Young, with a taste for life!
Her heart urging to tell new stories and her being to touch more lives.

A free spirit adventurer and totally in love with the idea of love…

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