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Wedding Invitations 101: Making a Guest List

Guest List Image

Congratulations on your engagement! You’ve set the date and plans are coming together, and now it’s time to start thinking about wedding invitations. “Where do I start?” is usually the first question. This first post in our Wedding Invitations 101 series will help you figure that out!

There is a lot more to getting guests to your wedding than most couples expect. It’s important to have an experienced invitation designer to help make sure that you have everything covered. What cards are you going to need? What about wording? Are you sticking with tradition or planning something a little more out-of-the-box? What about save the dates, showers, engagement parties? Paper types? Ink colors? Designs? Fonts? Like we said, it can be a lot!

Guest Lists and Quantities

The first step of invitation planning is getting your guest list together, which will help you get your budget together. The most important thing to remember is that you’re sending invitations to households, not necessarily individual guests. When catering, venues, etc. all depend on the actual number, it’s easy to overlook when ordering invitations.

For example, if you have a total guest list of 150 people and most or all of those are couples, you’re probably going to only need about 75 actual invitations. If you have a lot of families of 3 or 4+, that number might go even lower. We do usually recommend that people order about 15%-20% more than you actually need. This will help if you realize later that you forgot someone, somebody’s gets lost in the mail, or if moms, grandmas, or you want to save a couple as keepsakes. In that case, if you need 75, you would probably want to order 85-90 sets to be on the safe side.

Your actual number may also determine what kind of invitations you want to order. When ordering through our partners at Carlson Craft or invitations that require thermographic printing, foil stamping or anything else with custom printing plates, the more invitations you order, the bigger discount you’ll get. If you need 100 or more invitations, the price per invitation is substantially less than ordering, say, 50. You also need to order in multiples of 25. They do offer everything from budget-friendly options to luxury invitations, so there’s something for everyone!

If you’re having a smaller wedding, it might actually save you money to have us custom-design and print your invitations. With digital printing, there is no need for expensive, one-time-use printing plates to be made, so we don’t have to worry about minimum quantities or ordering in specific increments. The price stays consistent whether you order 20 or 200.

Wedding Guest List Flow Chart
Download a .pdf version of this Wedding Guest List flowchart here!

Free Wedding Guest List Template

Use this free Excel template to keep track of your guest list, invitations sent, RSVPs received, seating arrangements, meal choices, gifts received and more!

Have Questions?

As always, if you have any questions about setting up your guest list, determining how many invitations you need, or figuring out the best options for your budget, please contact us!