The Wedding Guest List


My wedding guest list started as a scribble in a notebook. Then it expanded. And expanded. Then it got really complicated. I’m a pretty social person and I want everyone to come to the party. And this is just me, considering guests. This doesn’t even factor in a partner with family and friends.

If I invited everyone I wanted to, my measly $10k budget would be blown in a heartbeat. So to begin the guest list cull, I’m grouping people into categories and having another look.


So this is the list that must be written first in my book. Anyone that knows me knows I don’t have a family tree, I have a family spiderweb. I have step-relations, half siblings, and more parents than you can poke a stick at. But I think I have this list secured at about 18 people and about a third of those may not make it due to travel. (I grew up in Perth, and sadly at 89, my Nan wouldn’t make it – she swore off travelling some time ago). A further 4 of this list are kids, more on this in a moment. Thankfully, my family are not the pushy sort, I won’t be expected to invite a long lost cousin or a Great Aunt. But I know how quickly this can spiral out of control. These people are my compulsory list.

The ‘Practically Family’ Friends

These are the friends in my life you have seen me through the best of times and the worst of times. These are people I want to honour and thank and celebrate. These are my ‘A’ List.


I lived overseas for ten years, as a result, a lot of my “Practically Family” list live overseas. Most of my trips back to Oz in that time were for friend’s weddings. Being on holidays in another country for a friend’s wedding is the BEST. But I totally understand the costs and sometimes inconvenience of travelling internationally for a wedding. Add to that the fact that most of these friends have children now. I imagine there will be a bunch who can’t make it but they’re on my “first refusal list” so to speak.


Goodness, I feel as though there are only about three people in Melbourne on this list! Again, A lot of my favourite people are adventurers or I have met while adventuring, so there are a lot of interstate folks and again, WITH KIDS. So let’s address the kids thing…


I would love to have all of the kids at the wedding. Kids at weddings can be an absolute blast. However, as I’m a little late to walk down the aisle, pretty much everyone I know has children. My list as it stands would mean 45 children would be invited. And there goes my budget.

I initially thought about having some sort of “wedstival” sleep over stylee wedding, which would mean all of the kids could come along. And perhaps I still will, but for now – just a small handful of kids will be included in the celebrations. They’re family and teenagers. I will do everything I can to accommodate folks that are travelling and bringing their kids.

Colleagues, Clients, and Plus Ones

This is where I come unstuck. There are so many people I work with that I would love to have at the party. But where do I draw the line? This kind of comes down to the style of my wedding I think. If we are having stand around cocktails – EVERYONE is in. If we have a sleep over/wedstival, I’m not so sure all of these folks would make the cut.

The Grand Total

So as a first pass, my list has 123 people on it, and an additional 45 kids! This current list includes those folks on the fringes, so perhaps my real list is about 80? But given that I need to factor in a partner’s family, I am going to start with an estimated total guest list of 120 so I can start investigating venues.

Now how do I sound out folks as to whether they would make it to my wedding from overseas without offending anyone? Do I invite everyone hoping there will be some fall out? Do I send out round one invitations and then round two? GAH! So much room for social mishaps. But for now at least a rough figure for researching venues. This will be where my guest list and budget start to take a bashing… wish me luck.


And if you’re totally confused by this post, head to the start of my adventure to see what I’m up to.

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