Your wedding is perhaps going to be the grandest celebration of your life, and you obviously want to celebrate it in attendance of almost everyone who has ever touched your life. Sadly, budget constraints may not allow you to have everyone you wish to invite at the wedding. Sad as it may be, welcome to wedding guest list planning! Not the most fun part of wedding planning we agree, but the sooner you get done with it, the better.

This is one part of wedding planning which may be riddled with conflicts. Your fiancé and you might want an intimate affair, while your parents insist on having all your second cousins along with their spouses. Or you may have to tell your parents to cancel a few of their club members in favor of your high school pals. It is best to avoid such situations, or if faced with, handling them with utmost delicacy.

Here are five tips to put together the perfect guest list, without too many arguments: 

Decide the number of guests you want


This one’s a no-brainer, but there are countless couples who actually start drawing up lists of people before they realize the banquet they booked is too small for these many guests. Then come the awkward discussions about who should drop which guest and things spiral out of control. Thus, first and foremost start by deciding on the number of guests. Do you want an extraordinary number of people at the wedding? Or do you want to pamper a small, intimate gathering with the best cuisines and arrangements? Take into account what you can afford to spend on. Remember, each guest brings along expenses such as food, chair rental, and favors. Don’t choose a number that’s larger than what your venue can accommodate, and don’t be too conservative either. 

Divide the number of guests each brings


Use a collaborative guest list manager


Using tools like Google docs or even better, a guest list manager on website or mobile app helps you organize your guest list in a suitable manner and also keep track of all changes in real time. A guest list manager helps you collaborate with spouse-to-be, in-laws, and parents effortlessly, and see the most up-to-date version. You can track your RSVPs, see who’s already been invited and have the contact info of all your guests in a single place. Amid all the stress that you are under, a guest list manager is the perfect tool to make guest list planning a piece of cake. 

Check out the guest list manager at Planshaadi to get you started. 

Make guest categories


Now that you have a tool at your disposal, it’s time to get to work. If you thought deciding the number of guests was hard, try this. Deciding the final guest list is a bigger challenge. But don’t worry, if you go about it systematically, you will never have a problem. Start by making three categories of guests: your close family and friends, must-have acquaintances and finally, distant relatives. You may have slightly different categories. For example, distant relatives who you’ve never spoken to may not feature in your list. Fair enough. Next, have certain rules before you put people in the categories. Close family and friends is fairly obvious. But when it comes to acquaintances, you need not invite every single person you meet at gym class. Call a few that you hang out with and are close to. Don’t feel obliged to invite people to your wedding just because they invited you to theirs. You may not be in touch with them at all currently, and it would be okay to give them a miss.

Invite people you really want to celebrate with 


All said and done, your wedding is your big day, and you should be celebrating with people you really love and want present. Even after adopting the most systematic of approaches, you are going to be faced with some tough decisions. Should you invite all of your co-workers or a select few? Should your boss be invited? Would your friend who you speak to once in a blue moon get offended if you didn’t call her? Well, first of all, don’t be fazed by these questions. If you work in a small office, chances are, everyone knows about your wedding, so it is best to invite everyone rather than one or two people. Your boss must be invited based on what kind of rapport you share, it’s not necessary to do so. And if you haven’t spoken to your friend in a year, it’s okay to not invite her. If you are okay with not being in touch, not inviting her wouldn’t really bother her.