At times, planning a wedding can be a whole lot of fun, resembling a giant arts-and-crafts project or a puzzle. But when it comes time to sitting down and figuring out whom you would like to invite, often times the process begins to feel like a game of Battleship. You'll have input from your parents, your fiancé's parents, and sometimes—if you are extra "lucky"—from your other relatives and close friends. But, before the list gets out of hand and it seems as though you're inviting all 1,000 of your Facebook friends, here are four things you can do to make your guest-list decisions easier.
1. Keep the List Closed
Instead of asking your parents for their list and your brother or sister for theirs, first make the list entirely yourself, with your fiancé. Together, try to jot down every person you want there, including your family members and your friends. After you have a complete list, you can share it with your parents and siblings and say here is who we are planning on inviting. From there, they can add comments or extra guests.
2. Pick a Number, Any Number
Stick to that number—no matter what. If you say you are only going to have 125 people and then you make exceptions and invite one or two people more, by the end of the week, your guest list will climb to 150. The number you pick can be based on your venue, budget, or overall preference for having a small or large wedding.
3. Keep it Organized
Make a spreadsheet and jot one person's name down on each row. That way you can have an organized way of counting who you want to invite and can see when the list is starting to grow too long.
4. Have a B List
This is the list of people you send an invite to if you begin to realize a lot of your guest list can't make it or won't be able to attend. Don't send out save-the-dates to your second list—only send invitations once you know you'll be able to invite them or not. A word of caution: don't wait until it's a week or two before the wedding, or else the invite feels like a snub!
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her Brides.com column, Jen is here to give some expert advice to brides on how they can make sure their bachelorette party is in line with their style — and standards.