Keeping Your Guest List Organized
Easily track your wedding guests with a simple, sortable spreadsheet
By Michelle Bolyn
Before and after you send out your wedding invitations, you're going to need a way to keep track of your wedding guest list. You will have to provide this information to your caterer, wedding planner, florist and venues, so it's best to get prepared early. If you don't keep your guest list organized, you'll find yourself in a bind when you can't remember if Aunt Sally needs a placecard or if she even returned the RSVP.
- What You Need to Know
- However you decide to organize your guest list, it has to be a system that works for you. Y
- our needs as well as those of your guests can change at any time, so consider using a system that is easily edited, quickly accessible (as in computer spreadsheet), and has a short learning curve.
Open a spreadsheet on your computer and make a list of all the guests you and your fiance plan to invite. Combine families or couples into one line -- each row represents one invitation that will need to be sent. You need to consider if you're going to allow single guests to bring a date. If so, write down "plus one" next to each single guest's name.
Write your guests names in the way you wish it to appear on their wedding invitation. Instead of writing "Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton," for example, you might instead write, "Mr. and Mrs. William Clinton and Chelsea." This will allow you to pass this list along to a calligrapher, should you decide to have your envelopes professionally handwritten. You will also want to separate each party of guests into first and last names; this is important because it will allow you to sort your guest list by surname.
In another column, put the number of guests that are invited from each invitation. For instance, if you are inviting your aunt and uncle and their two kids, then you will input "4" next to their name. For a single friend plus one, you would enter the numeral "2" in this column.
For the next three columns, get out your address book (or whatever you may use) and fill in each party's home address, phone number, and email address. It's okay if you are missing any or all of this information -- they can be filled in later. Having the physical address is most important because it is where you will send their invitation. Phone numbers and email addresses are helpful when making follow-up phone calls or sending out important updates, such as a rain plan.
After you've written down all the guests' names and contact information, you can use the next few columns to check off new columns for "Save-the-Date Sent", "Invitation Sent", and "RSVP Received." When you receive the RSVP, make a note of the number attending and which meal they have selected, if you are offering multiple menu choices.
Use your guest list to track your gifts and thank you notes. Add a column to write down which gift each guest gave to you. Then use the final column to put an "X" after you've written the thank you note for that gift.
About the Author
Michelle Bolyn regularly writes on weddings and relationships.
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