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4 Things You’ll Want to Do When Creating the Guest List for Your Wedding

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Ahh, the ever-important guest list. Knowing your total number of guests is a crucial foundational step that needs to come before most other aspects of wedding planning, so creating your wedding guest list is an important task to complete right off the bat. We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know as you decide who will be celebrating with you on the big day!

wedding head table + creating your guest list tips

Photo // Josh McCullock Photography

1. Set your budget before writing any names down.

Guest list size usually correlates with budget size. If your budget is on the smaller end, a 300-person guest list probably won’t be feasible. A larger budget will allow you to invite more guests or, if you’d still like to keep the guest list smaller, have extra funds to spend in other areas.

2. Keep in mind who is paying for the wedding.

…Or at least the majority of it. If you and your fiancé will be footing the entire bill, etiquette rules state that you certainly have the final say in who’s on the list. However, if parents, in-laws or other family members will be helping to pay for your wedding, their guest list requests should be accommodated and respected as best as possible.

3. Start big and get smaller.

You and your fiancé will both want to create a list (you can combine later) with names of the following: close family, close friends, extended family, other friends. From there, you’ll want to prioritize the names into three groups: non-negotiable invitees, preferable invitees and potential invitees. A good rule of thumb to ask yourself for those on the fringe is: have I interacted with these people in person within the last 6 months? If not, they may need to be bumped down a priority level until you confirm your budget can accommodate inviting them.

If necessary, pare down. Kindly ask your parents to narrow down their guest list requests to absolute must-haves only. If you’re not super close with your colleagues, definitely don’t feel obligated to invite them, but if you do choose to invite certain work friends, be respectful of other co-workers and don’t discuss the wedding at the office. No need to invite your neighbors unless you’re truly good friends. Other factors to consider when it’s time to make cuts:

Are you close with these friends anymore or have you drifted apart? Will these people be an active part of your future? Remember, you don’t owe anyone an invitation, even if they invited you to their wedding. Realistically, and especially with a larger guest list, you’ll likely only be able to interact with guests outside of your family and wedding party for minutes or even seconds at a time on the big day.

4. Use guest list technology to your advantage.

You’ll want to be able to easily see (and organize) not only names, but numbers. The guest list is not something you’ll want to be editing by hand with pen and paper. Use a spreadsheet you can quickly update and move around, or better yet, use one of the dozens of free tools online for managing guest lists. Even if you’re doing traditional invitations with mail-in RSVPs rather than online RSVPs, these programs can help you keep track of everything related to your list as it changes day to day.

Should we invite children or plus-ones?

If you know a guest is engaged or in a serious relationship, it’s proper etiquette to allow them to bring a date, but for single guests not dating anyone, there’s no need to give them a plus one. Not inviting children can save costs in several areas of the budget and it’s perfectly fine to host a kid-free affair, especially if your wedding is more formal. There are plenty of ways to politely word an invitation to indicate children are not invited. Just ask your invitation designer! To avoid potentially awkward situations, if you do choose not to invite children or have plus-ones, be consistent and try not to make exceptions if asked.

How many wedding guests will actually show?

You can expect 75% – 85% of invited guests to actually show up (fewer if you have a high number of out-of-town invitees or are doing a destination wedding).

What about a B-list?

The B-list refers to a short list of invitees who would only receive an invitation in the event first-priority guests decline. B-lists can be socially tricky and risk hurting feelings, but if you do decide to send a second round of “overflow” invitations after you receive initial RSVPs, create that list of possible invitees from the get-go, don’t send them a save-the-date and make sure their invitation suites are printed with a later RSVP-by date.

When it’s time to create the seating chart:

Once you receive all RSVPs and it’s time to create your seating chart, we can help! Check out our helpful seating chart blog with all the must-knows for creating the best possible seating arrangements for your guests.

Need an unbiased, professional wedding planner to help you navigate the guest list and budget every step of the way? We can introduce you to several experienced Oklahoma wedding planners.

We wish the best for you and all your guests! Cheers!

Celebrating the Release of our New Issue – Social Distance Style!

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We may be six feet apart, but we are stronger together – truly! After what we would call the most challenging past few months of our wedding community’s life, it was beyond wonderful to connect, celebrate and provide a somewhat normal release experience of the new issue for our sincerely valued partners – we love you all!!! We had all the normal fixings of a great release party, just with an extra accessory a la Lush Fashion Lounge! It’s always such a great time when we get together with these friends, so we are very excited to share all the details and photos from our Tulsa and Oklahoma City happy hour events with you today!

Our Tulsa release party was better than we ever could have imagined. All the thanks goes to our incredible team of vendors who made the event a success! Guests were enchanted by the outdoor soiree at The Glass Chapel. Twinkle lights, tree shade and happy conversation were perfectly tucked away behind the glass-laden chapel. Tables and linens were graciously provided by Party Pro Rents. Bubbles and Brews OKC welcomed us with a cool drink as we entered the party – a true necessity for outdoor events in the summertime! The darling cart fits the vibe of any event style or location. Sage + Berry crafted the sweetest little charcuterie boxes with the perfect array of cheeses, meats and fruits you could ever wish for! After such a savory treat, Sweet Devotion Cakery cured our sweet tooth with an entire spread of delicious cupcakes, brownies and cookies. Katie’s Custom Decor came up with some pretty clever signage for our entryway as well as a photo backdrop banner! Check out the full gallery below to see all our favorite moments captured by Ashton Marie Photography!

Photos // Ashton Marie Photography

Getting together with our Oklahoma City partners is always a treat, and our vendors who collaborated on the event with us definitely rolled out! Signage from Katie’s Custom Decor once again welcomed guests and encouraged safe social distancing and sanitation practices. Bubbles and Brews OKC made their second appearance, providing guests with some great local seltzers and wine. Linens from 110 Events practically popped off their tables in a gorgeous one-of-a-kind hue. Cafe Disco treated us with their famous macarons, while OK Graze upped their snacking game with personal charcuterie cups. OKC Entertainment kept the party going with great tunes as guests mingled and caught up with each other under the outdoor pavilion at Scissortail Park Cafe. We are so grateful to Laura Eddy Photography for capturing the evening so perfectly. Scroll through to see all the details from our Oklahoma City release happy hour!

Photos // Laura Eddy Photography

Need to get your hands on a copy of the new issue? Order online here!

A Rustic Field Engagement Shoot

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We are obsessing over this rustic, field engagement shoot captured by Chelsea Littleton Photography! Sunny and Chaz first met in 2015, when she traveled down from Wisconsin to attend a week-long horse show in Stillwater. Chaz approached her, asking if she needed help with her saddle, but since Sunny is quiet-natured, she quickly turned him down. Through his friendly persistence, he finally got through and the pair have been inseparable ever since. Now, after years of long-distance, they are finally ready to tie the knot! They originally planned to be wed in March but coronavirus had other plans and the couple decided to push their date back to the end of November. Their wedding, to be held at Rosemary Ridge, will be full of western boho style, incorporating a palette of cream, terracotta, brown and natural shades of green. Sunny says, “One of our favorite details of our upcoming wedding is the mixture of velvet, suede and lace in small doses. I LOVE texture and it gives everything a great vintage feel. Plus, we have been together for five years so we are ready (SO ready) to finally be married.” We are sure that their big day will be so stunning no matter what, because their love is SO apparent in this field engagement shoot. Read on to hear from the soon-to-be bride about how he proposed! Cheers to Sunny and Chaz!

Photos // Chelsea Littleton Photography

From the bride: “We were still dating long distance, so I flew down to Stillwater in October of 2017 for Chaz’s birthday. He told me we were going to his parents’ house for his birthday dinner, and when we got there the entire back yard was lit up with lights. It was perfect! Chaz knows I am an introvert, so a private proposal with just us and family was exactly what I wanted.”

Planning a wedding of your own? Find all the real wedding inspiration you could need here. Happy scrolling!

Eclectic Brides MUST Try the Dried Floral Trend

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This organic wedding inspiration is meant for the eclectic bride in your life – you know, the one who can literally pull off anything? Combining whimsical, artistic elements with more natural ones like the season’s latest trend – dried floral – creates a fun and organic atmosphere, and we are so here for it! Held at Sorelle – The Meadow on Deer Creek, this styled shoot features so many stunning and creative floral installations, with pampas grass and painted greenery galore, plus adorable décor and rentals, all courtesy of the venue as well! An earthy neutral-toned invitation suite from The Letter Box gives guests an idea of what the event will be like far before the big day even comes, which indeed featured a tablescape covered in lit candles, geometric gold decor pieces and a stack of elegant dinnerware. This entire shoot full of organic wedding inspiration that was designed, styled, and then captured by Emily Nicole Photo is so natural feeling and romantic, we don’t want to look away! Cheers to the latest in wedding decor trends!

Photos // Emily Nicole Photo

Still on the hunt for more inspo? Check out all our styled wedding inspiration here. Happy scrolling!

Modern Romance Engagement Shoot with Casual and Formal Portraits

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There are so many stunning love-filled photos in this modern romance engagement shoot! Featuring urban city and rooftop settings as well as stately marble column-lined scenes around and near Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Gaylord-Pickens Museum, we are obsessed with the range of this gorgeous gallery captured by Meg Rose Photography. This lovely couple’s story started when Ashley’s sorority was paired with Jordan’s fraternity for a musical competition at UCO. They were dance partners and became fast friends through their frequent and often late-night practices. They placed second at their competition but the friendship continued afterward, and the pair finally made it official almost a year after they met. For their late summer wedding, Ashley is leaning toward a palette of summery, sunset colors and isn’t afraid of going bold, so we know this wedding will be a bright one! She is most excited for her gown from Prescott Bridal, in part because Ashley works there occasionally and has been eyeing her dress for years, plus her maid of honor is the owner! By the looks of their chemistry in this modern romance engagement shoot, these two are going places! Read on for a story from the soon-to-be bride about how her beau proposed. Cheers to Ashley and Jordan!

Photos // Meg Rose Photography

From the bride: “(Jordan) proposed to me on an unexpected Tuesday night on my couch in my apartment. I always said I wanted to be surprised, and I was exactly that! Unfortunately, I ruined his plans for a nice dinner out that night because I had gotten a facial that day and didn’t want to put makeup on. He’s clearly good at improvising, and his Plan B turned out to be the most perfect intimate proposal. After he popped the question, I quickly got myself together, and we met our closest friends at a rooftop bar for the best surprise celebration! It was completely perfect.”

Planning a wedding of your own? Find all the real wedding inspiration you could need here. Happy scrolling!