I’ll bet you already know the answer to this question. Don’t you?
My answer: Go with your gut.
There are no rules that determine exactly who should be on the guest list for your destination wedding. Some invite co-workers, others don’t. Some allow kids and others do not. Some invite a “plus-one”, others don’t.
It all depends on how you envision your wedding day and who you want to share in the experience.
Step 1: Your Vision
Did you decide on a wedding in France because you wanted an intimate experience and hosting the wedding abroad was a solution to naturally reduce the guest list?
Do you want a big French bash – Come one, come all – 100+ guests – everyone you know from around the globe.
Sit down with your significant other and discuss how you want the event to feel. A smaller intimate experience or a big blow out affair.
Step 2: Make the list (or lists…)
In order to choose a venue, you need to have a rough idea of how many guests will attend.
Make a list. Start with the people that you MUST invite. Then add the people that you SHOULD invite. Finally add to the list those that you it would be nice to invite. You should also consider if you are inviting children.
Run your list by parents, siblings, etc to make sure you haven’t left anyone important out!
Step 3: Accurately Anticipate Attendance
My experience is that most couples think people won’t come to a destination wedding. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
You are not having a normal wedding where people consider it just another night out on the weekend squished between busy work weeks. You are inviting people abroad to your wedding; basically, you are giving them an excuse to take a holiday. For 2-4 days, they are going to be celebrating with you, enjoying the landscape, French food and most of all, French wine…for sure people will want to come to your wedding.
Be careful not to fall into the “Oh, I’m SURE they won’t come” assumption when calculating your expected guest count.
In the end, make sure that your guest list aligns with your vision for the wedding. All weddings are special, but destination weddings, big or small, have an added layer of “special”. You’ll want to enjoy your day, so invite everyone who will make that happen!
Need some advice on managing guest responses- What questions to ask? What information to provide? Final RSVP date? Add a comment below and I’ll answer in an upcoming Wedding Q&A!