Calligraphy envelope addressing is one of my very favorite activities. There is something special about sitting down to a stack of envelopes and carefully writing the names of the most important people in a couple’s life.
Creating a Guest List
Something I hear from couples after their invitation is designed and going to print, is that gathering the guest list is the most difficult part of getting married. I’m with you. How to narrow down who you invite based on venue space, budgets, or travel can be so difficult. I do have a few helpful tricks though.
First, Start Early! You are going to need a quantity count to order invitations, pick a venue, plan table arrangements and florals, ceremony seating and catering numbers. Pretty much everything you plan for a wedding will be based on your guest count numbers. So, my recommendation is to start putting your must have invitees into a list right away when you are excited for the planning process.
Second, Get Organized! A well thought out spreadsheet will make your life easier as you go through the wedding planning process. I have a free template on my website. My preference is to use the advanced tab so that the guest list can be organized by last name… and sorted anyway you please depending on the information needed. Always, have separate columns for the street address, city, state and zip codes. This will allow more flexibility for information processing. Also, your calligrapher will be thankful so they can layout your list as they like.
Next, Pester your friends and family. Gathering addresses from your friends and family can be a challenge. If you start early and get organized you will have enough time to have a completed list by the time you need to send out invitations. When you see them for dinner, double check their address (including zip code!). Text or call those you don’t see as often. A great time to do this is when you are talking about your engagement with them.
Finally, Send Save the Dates. I promise, I’m not trying to get you to spend your whole wedding budget on paper goods! Save the dates serve many functions. First, they communicate your wedding is happening and your guest should should check their calendars. It also communicates they are invited! The mailing also serves as a test run for the wedding invitations which are usually more expensive to mail. Here is where you find out if someone has moved, had a relationship change, the address is wrong. All the things that happen when dealing with a guest list. Then you have time to make corrections before sending out the actual wedding invitations that are a bit more time sensitive.
I do hope this advice helps you make a guest list with a little bit of ease. Next time, I will discuss a bit more regarding the etiquette of sending a formal invitation and how to address your guests.