Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

May 2023

5 Important Wedding Guest List Mistakes You Should Avoid Making

Avoid these five wedding guest list mistakes for a smooth-sailing wedding planning journey.

There’s nothing trickier and more stressful than planning your wedding guest list. Not only do you have to take into consideration your venue’s capacity and your budget during your planning, you also have to carefully sift through all the people you’ve known in your life thus far to decide who makes the cut into the guest list, all without hurting anyone’s feelings or upsetting anyone.

Sounds difficult already, doesn’t it? Don’t fret just yet; we’ve listed out five important wedding guest list mistakes you should avoid to help you during the planning process.

1. Confirming your guest list without a budget or a venue in mind

Alison and David’s Magical and Intimate Wedding at Tirtha Ululate Bali by Gusmank Photography

Before you even think about who you want to invite and how many people you’d like at the wedding, you should decide on a venue and budget since these are the factors that directly affect your guest list. Once you have chosen a venue and set a budget, you would be able to make a more informed decision on who you’d like to invite based on the capacity of venue and avoid over-inviting.

2. Not checking on the venue’s maximum capacity

Safira and Elias’s Dreamy Fairytale Wedding at Raffles Singapore by Colossal Weddings

After you have chosen a venue, don’t forget to find out what the maximum capacity of the space you’ve booked is before you finalise your guest list. With this information available, you will be able to make a more informed decision on whether to add more guests to your finalised head count or not.

3. Obsess over keeping your list small right from the beginning

Yu Rong and Kevin’s Laidback Outdoor Pre-Wedding Shoot and Cosy Wedding at Wheeler’s Estate by GrizzyPix

The first guest list you come up with will likely not be the final one, so don’t get too obsessed over keeping the list small right from the start. Instead of filtering out the second and third tier guests in your head, start your guest list by writing down the names of all the people you’d like to invite. This allows you to work your way down the list to filter out those whose presence are a must-have versus those whose presence are a good-to-have, instead of adding more people to a small list.

Once you’re done, go through the list again and make a mark against the names of the people you absolutely want there at your wedding. If the number of these people are less than the allowed number of guests, you may go through the list again to pick out the guests whom you’d like to see at your wedding.

However, if the number of people you definitely want to be present at the wedding exceeds the maximum capacity of the venue, then you might want to go through the list again and filter out those whom you feel can be left out of the celebration. You might have to go through this filtering process a few times, depending on the number of people you have in mind and the capacity of your venue.

4. Failing to prioritise when planning the guest list

Sheena and Jing Wen’s Elegant Forest Wedding at Clifford Pier by Pixioo

Knowing when to prioritise is extremely important especially when you are planning on a smaller wedding. Don’t get too caught up with pressures from family to include a guest or two whom you are not close to, or feel riddled with guilt from having to exclude a distant relative or friend whom you have not spoken to in a long time.

Focus on who you want to be celebrating this momentous milestone with – prioritise the people who come to mind when you think of this as your must-have guests. If you still have remaining headcount after including them, then you can think about inviting friends and family whom you don’t mind having at the wedding.

5. Inviting too many people you’re not close with

Shauna and Rainer’s Minimalist and Modern Wedding at Raffles Hotel Singapore by Iki Company

Even if you have seats to spare after finalising your must-invite family members and friends, try to refrain from adding on more guests just to fill up the room or because your family requested for you to do so. It is common for family members or friends to request for their plus ones to be invited, but instead of agreeing instantly, consider if your relationship with the additional guest or guests is close enough for you to want them to be part of your celebration, or for them to be pleased to be invited to it.

If the answer is no, or if you are not sure, then you should politely turn those requests down. As strange as it may sound to think this way, every guest you invite is an investment since you are paying for them to be there, and you definitely do not want to pay more than you have to or overspend just to keep others happy.

Feature Image from Chloe and Victor’s Bright and Citrusy Wedding at Wheeler’s Estate by Arture Photography

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5 Important Wedding Guest List Mistakes You Should Avoid Making