Probably one of the most difficult tasks to handle during your wedding planning process is your guest list. This is something that your wedding planner unfortunately can not do for you. We had an opportunity to attend a luncheon in which Peggy Post was our speaker. This was a treat because Peggy is Emily Post’s great-granddaughter-in-law. She continues her work as director and spokesperson for The Emily Post Institute in Vermont. So I turn to Peggy to help make this process as easy as possible for you. Here are some helpful suggestions.


The ideal guest list consists of a magical number of family and friends that:

-Suits the size of your ceremony and reception sites.

-Corresponds with the level of intimacy you would like you wedding to have.

-Can be accommodated within your wedding budget-an important reality.


Establish neutral dividing lines

-Divide the list into equal thirds with the couple, the bride’s parents, and the groom’s parents each inviting one third of the guests.

-The bride and groom reserve half the list for themselves, with the other half divided equally between their parents.


Categorizing the guest list

-First Tier: Immediate family (parents, siblings, grandparents, the couple’s own children)

-Second Tier: Extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews)

-Third Tier: Family friends (parents’ close friends, long time friends and neighbors, childhood friends and their parents, if close to you)

-Fourth Tier: Bride and Groom’s friends, broken into subgroups (childhood friends, high school and college friends, work friends, new friends)

-Fifth Tier: Parents’ or couple’s colleagues (associates, employers, employees)


Inviting Plus-Ones

Today’s etiquette says that you should invite the spouse, partner, fiancé, or significant other of any guests in a serious or exclusive relationship, even if you don’t know or care for this person. After that, it’s up to the hosts to decide if singles may have the option of inviting a guest. Some of the plus-one considerations involve deciding just how many your budget can handle.


*For more helpful etiquette information,*