There’s no doubt about it -- wedding planning is chaotic and can certainly be stressful at times. From searching for your perfect dress and visiting venues to choosing your wedding colors and decorations, the last thing on your mind is whether or not you’ll have to narrow down that guest list.

So, how do you choose the perfect size for your wedding?

First thing’s first; you’ve gotta start somewhere! Why not start by writing up that perfect guest list if you could have your dream wedding? Realistically, you have a budget and venue to accommodate, but how long would your guest list be if you didn’t have to hold back?

Now’s the perfect time to find the best place to create your guest list and -- that’s right; don’t hold back! Use a system that allows you to create several lists and collaborate with others so you can keep all your information organized, updated and in one place over the years. That way you don’t have to worry about deleting anyone’s information; you can just simply move it to another list.

Okay, here comes the difficult part: cutting back that dream guest list to accommodate the important factors (like your venue and budget). While it’s not likely that everyone you invite will be able to make it, you don’t want to be ridden with anxiety every time you go to check the mail for those RSVP cards.

So how can you avoid too many guests?

By setting realistic guidelines and, of course, following them, you can make progress on this daunting task. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Make Two Lists

Or three, or four… Decide how many guests you can accommodate considering your venue and budget, and make a few different lists. For example; make a list that includes your friends kids and one without, there’s nothing wrong with having an adults-only wedding.

2. Send Specific Response Cards

One of the easiest ways guest lists can add up is through “plus ones” -- which, some people consider to be “plus twos” or “plus threes.” Instead, consider printing the guests name on the response cards, that way multiple additional guests don’t show up on your big day.

3. Don’t Feel Guilty

Last, but certainly not least, do not feel guilty about who you’re inviting (or not inviting). Friends you haven’t spoken to in years, people you feel bad about leaving off the list -- if you’re pushing your budget and venue, your wedding is not the time to feel guilty about your guest list.

Between you, your fiancé, your parents and your in-laws, there are a lot of guests that could potentially make it onto that list -- but your wedding is not the time to accommodate everyone, especially when those accommodations are going to ultimately dip into your pocket (or your honeymoon budget!). So, to recap; make two lists, customize those response cards and prioritize yourself guilt-free, then as the big day draws near, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll be sharing it with the right people.

Are you a soon-to-be-Mrs. or have you recently said ‘yes’ to the love of your life? We’d love to hear from you at Happy H Ranch -- contact us today for a tour of our breathtaking hill country wedding venue!