Your guest list determines so many details of your event. The more guests you add to your list, the more everything costs. Making sure your head count includes everyone important, without breaking your budget, can be a balancing act. However, this is a fairly common dilemma and there are a few fairly painless solutions for cutting the list when the time comes.
The Must-Haves and the Maybes
The must-have guest list is like you’re A-list – those guests that absolutely must attend. The ones that you cannot envision your event without. Anyone not essential (those guests that you might be able to skip) should be added to your ‘Maybes’ or your B-list. If you start receiving back your RSVPs and you have enough ‘regrets’, then starting sending out invitations to your B-list in order of importance. Roughly 15-20% of those invited will decline, but it’s possible to reach this number with your first round of invitations, which is when you can start inviting your B-list guests. Remember, everything is dictated by budget.
Set Cutting Rules
The easiest way to determine who to remove from a guest list is to set firm rules. Depending on the type of event, such as wedding or corporate, different rules come into play. For a wedding, rules can be things such as cutting someone that neither of the engaged couple has spoken to in three or more years. From a corporate standpoint, it could be cutting a previous client for an appreciation event that hasn’t done business with your organization in more than 2 years.
Go Adults Only
This will go unsaid for most corporate events, however there are time when children will be present for corporate gatherings such as a company holiday party. Regardless of the type of event, eliminating children from the guest list helps the budget. However, be sure this rule is firm and applies to everyone.
Exclude Co-Workers at Weddings
The easiest way to avoid a headache is not to invite any coworkers at all, but if you’re close to some of them and socialize outside the office regularly, and everyone knows it, it’s fine to invite them.
Be Firm About Plus-Ones
Deciding whether or not to invite plus ones can be a tricky task. Plus-ones should be offered to anyone that is married, engaged, lives together or is in a long-term, committed relationship. It may not be possible to always know this in many corporate settings, so it’s usually a safe move to include a plus-one for all guests depending on if it’s a gala or company party – whereas individual invitation are good for conferences and some award functions.