First – we are 87 days and counting ’til our big day!!!
Okay, now that my excitement is out of the way for the morning, I can continue. The next step in wedding planning was determining our guest list – that was a bit stressful. My biggest concern was that we might forget someone…well, turns out, that just can’t be avoided. You should just know now that you will forget to invite someone to your wedding. Can’t be helped. If you’re the one forgotten, don’t take it personally. Seriously, you can spend a lot of time thinking about who you’re going to invite to your big day, and when the time comes to put it all on paper, every last name will rush out of your head and you’ll be stuck. That being said, we somehow ended up with 300 people on the guest list. Zach has a large family, thankfully, because I love family, and we knew we wanted to invite everyone. So our wedding will be somewhat of a reunion, too – which essentially means, it’s going to be one big party. I could not ask for anything better. 🙂
The good news is: if you start organized, you’ll stay organized (in theory, anyway – I’ll let you know in a few months if my theory is true in practice, too). Here’s my tip(s) for starting and staying organized when it comes to the guest list…3 words:
Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.
I merged some cells, added some basic formulas, threw in a few column headings, added a title in a pretty font and Voila! I have me all my guest info in one place! I made columns for: Person, # of Invites, Address, Save the Date Sent, Invite Sent, RSVP, Names Attending, Gift Notes, and Thank You Note(s) Sent. In the Person column, I gave one line for every individual we intended to invite. Then I merged the rows in the following column, # of Invites, for each family or group to which I was planning on sending an invite – and I put the number 1 in each merged cell. At the bottom of the Invite column, I used the Auto Sum button to tally up the number of invites I need to order – it makes quick work of adding everything up, instead of counting by hand. Next column, same as the previous, I merged each row for each family/group, and started compiling addresses. In the next two columns, I simply put “yes” when I sent out the corresponding save-the-date and invite. Since I sent out over 100 of each, I did so in batches and it was a good way for me to keep track of where I was at in the process. (Side NOTE: You can print this thing, mark it up as you work, then go back and make edits on the computer later, and reprint a clean copy…Repeat as necessary). As I receive RSVPs, I’ve been putting in the number attending in the next column. As with the Invite # column, I just totaled this guy at the bottom, using the auto-sum feature, and I now have a running tally of the number attending (again, super convenient). Finally, in the Gift Notes column, I can keep track of who sent us what, when (I’d include a date received so that you can be prompt in your thank you note writing) – and then if I’ve sent a thank you note in the last column.
Talk about convenient. This spreadsheet has it all, and keeps you organized, with all guest information in one easy place!
I’ve loved learning more about Zach’s extended family, and it makes my day every time we get another RSVP in the mail!!!
I cannot WAIT to see everyone in July 🙂