Here's a frustration you just cannot ignore - the guest list.

Ask most married couples about the frustrations they experience prior to the wedding and you’re sure to here about the headaches associated with the guest list. Bride, groom, and parents all have their input. But unless money is no object, all couples have limits to the number of people they can invite. Someone won’t make the list and some people will have hurt feelings. And you know what? As devastating as it may seem at the time, it really isn't the end of the world for those who don't get invited. You should start early with your list building even if it’s not cast in stone Waiting too long can spell disaster. No one wants that, so don’t kid yourself.Take a moment and consider your out of town guests.

They need to make travel arrangements with airlines and hotels. Some may want to use some of their vacation time from work. You have to let them know in time to make their arrangements.

Your wedding budget is going to dictate how many people you can invite. You have very little choice about that. Think about some of your expenses. You'll need a venue large enough to hold all your guests comfortably, you'll have to feed them, they'll need invitations, and if they're coming from out of town, they'll likely need overnight accommodations. Now let’s take an average cost for food per guest set at $25. With that in mind, every four guest will cost you $100.

But every wedding needs guests (unless you're planning to elope) so let's think about whom will be attending. You and your mate will be there, of course. After that, add your immediate family to the guest list. Notice I say 'immediate' and not 'extended' family. Mothers, fathers, step-parents, brothers, sisters and grandparents are absolute musts, unless personal situations dictate otherwise. According to the above estimate, you're already spending about $300 for food just on this group! That should make you rethink your grand illusion of 250 guests!

It is tradition to have wedding attendants and they should be added to the guest list next. A maid or matron of honor and the best man are absolute minimums. From there, the number of bridesmaids and ushers is purely a personal choice. But remember, even though the attendants will be paying the costs for their attire, the number of wedding attendants will have an impact on your budget. Why? First, they'll be at the rehearsal dinner and they'll expect to eat for free. Second, the bride and groom traditionally give each of the attendants a gift as a way of showing their appreciation, so the more attendants, the more gifts you buy. And something that's not always considered, a large number of attendants may increase your transportation costs.

With the basics in place, it's time to add friends, co-workers, extended family members, your parents' friends and business associates, your realtor, the butcher, and on and on. Put everyone you can think of on the list and see where you're at. At this point you don’t leave anyone out. Then, if necessary, take the red pen and start removing people from your list until you're down to a figure that manageable and that fits into your budget. Not an easy feat, but sometimes a very important one.

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For more articles of similar interest click these links:
Planning your wedding budget
Selecting music for your wedding
Selecting a ballroom dance for your wedding
Planning your honeymooon

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