5 Tips To Create The Perfect Wedding Guest List

Sitting down to create your wedding guest list can be such an exciting thought. However, quite quickly you will probably come to the realisation it can be a little stressful. In fact it can be one of the hardest jobs when organising a wedding. But fear not - here at New Forest wedding venue Careys Manor Hotel we are here to help! We have compiled our Top 5 Tips to guide you through the wedding guest list process ...

1. Set The Rules

From the outset, it’s important to divide the seats up fairly between the families.  For example, if you’re looking to invite 100 guests, 50 can be given to one partner’s side and 50 to the other partner. Ensure that the lists includes both family and friends.  If you agree on this from the start, it will be easier throughout.

2. Get Organised

Embrace the power of a good old spreadsheet and get all the guest details in there as soon as possible. It’s likely around 10% – 15% of your guests won’t be able to attend (depending on how in advance you are planning) so if there are people who didn’t make the cut for the first list, keep them on your spreadsheet in order of priority and send them an invite if someone can’t make it. You could also consider a wedding app such as Bridebook or Appy Couple, meaning you both have all information to hand.

3. Consider Your Colleagues

Inviting friends from work can be a bit of a minefield. Depending on how many people you work with, you will have to decide on one of three options. Invite no-one at all, invite everyone (or the team you work in!) or select just one of two people who you’re close to. If you’re not inviting many people from work, make sure to invite partners of those you have or ensure that they are seated together as it is likely they wont know many of your other guests. Another popular option is to invite colleagues to the evening reception only.

4. Little Ones?

Including children in your wedding is an entirely personal decision. If you have children of your own, or children you are particularly close to, you will of course want them to be a part of your big day – but if you’re trying to cut down on numbers, you’ll have to consider letting more distant relatives or friends know that their little ones won’t be able to make it. In fact, you may find that these guests sigh a sense of relief that they get a day off! If you decide to have children at your wedding remember that there are elements of the day it will be expected that they are quiet so have a think about providing them with entertainment in another room during the ceremony or perhaps a goody bag of calming activities, such as colouring for during the speeches.

5. Don’t Forget…

This day belongs to you and your partner. When it comes down to it, make sure you are 100% happy with your list, and if it all becomes too much, just scrap it and start again – learning from your previous experience. You’ll find the second time around will be a lot easier

If you are looking for a New Forest Wedding venue, want to find out more about our Wedding Packages or to arrange a viewing, please contact our dedicated Wedding Coordinator, Françoise Gysemans on 01590 625204 or email


Photo credits

Lemontree Wedding Photography 

Tash & Will photography

Tansley Photography