Even before you book your wedding venue or pick a date, you’ll want to get a wedding guest list together to figure out just how many family members and friends you want to invite to your big day. But where do you even begin? And how do you keep track of it all? Thankfully our friends at Appy Couple are here to help! They’ve shared their Top 10 tips with us on how to keep that infamous guest list organized.
1. Start with family and friends
Ask your parents and your partner’s parents for their ideal guest list, asking them to prioritize their nearest and dearest. You two do the same, creating an A list, B list and so on. Then combine everyone’s lists by rank and see where you land.
2. Digitize the process
Your guest list will be a work in progress throughout much of your wedding planning. Even after you send invites, you’ll then have to manage RSVPs and related details. Appy Couple aims to simplify this task by becoming your single resource for everything related to guests and RSVPs. With Appy’s Guest List Manager you can easily make changes and get new head counts on the fly from your mobile device. Simply download our spreadsheet template, copy and paste your list from step 1 into the respective fields and upload it to your site and app. Remember, this is just a draft. Later, you can add more guests, their contact information, children, dates, etc.
3. Decide on plus one’s
Now that you have a rough estimate, you can search for an appropriately sized venue. If you’ve already chosen a space, then you’ll know how many people can fit on the first tier of your list. When arriving at that number, keep in mind which guests you want to accommodate with a plus one. If you’re feeling particularly generous, Appy lets you apply Universal Plus One’s so each person can have a companion. You can also manually add a plus one to select names on your list. This feature is great for when you don’t know or can’t remember names. When a guest who has been assigned a plus, or two, etc. goes to RSVP, the first prompt they will receive (after any privacy restraints) will be to add the name of their additional guest(s).
4. Create personalized groups
If you do know the names of significant others, we recommend you add them as specific entries. Once you have everyone entered, you can create groups of couples and/or larger families. Doing so means anyone in a group can RSVP on behalf of anyone else in the same group. For example, if Jane Smith logs in, she will see that she has three other people in her group. She can edit her children’s names, add her husband’s email address and accept or decline on behalf of all of them.
5. Collect addresses
While Appy lets you send save-the-dates and invitations by email, we understand that some couples might still want to mail print stationery, containing their Appy Couple details of course! If you’d like to request mailing addresses of your guests, you can use our automated Address Collection tool (matched to your design). P.S: You can still collect phone numbers and email addresses for questions or Thank You’s.
6. Choose who’s invited to which event
Today’s weddings are comprised of a collection of events, be it a rehearsal dinner to a reception, or a farewell breakfast. Each of these activities might have its own unique guest list. Appy lets you keep events private and select specific guests to invite to these events. Only those assigned to private events will be able to see them on your website and app when they enter a name or email address found on your guest list. This prevents any hurt feelings or awkward moments, and only Appy allows you this level of control!
7. Manage RSVPs
Here’s where things often get hectic but if you encourage your guests to RSVP through your app or website, half the work is done for you! All responses are captured and updated in real time. You can even choose to be notified via email or push notification whenever someone RSVPs or changes their response. You can also manually RSVP on their behalf from your desktop editor or app. Your RSVP Manager will show a count of acceptances, declines and no responses per event, private or public. You can expand the counts to see responses by guest and download these lists at will.
8. Request menu choices
Sometimes your caterer will need to know a count of meal options in advance. With Appy you can add a widget for menu selection to your RSVP. Create a multiple choice list and once a guest accepts, they can choose from what’s provided. Their preference will be added to their RSVP, which you can then export and send to whomever needs the dining information.
9. Gather custom details
Maintaining a guest list can involve a lot more than just acceptances and declines. When someone agrees to attend, there are usually a lot more logistics that follow: When will they be getting into town? Will they need child care? Will they need transportation from the hotel? All of these, and many more, can be added as open-ended or yes or no questions with responses tracked in RSVP lists. Think about fun stuff too, like asking for song requests or specialty cocktail recipes.
10. Send RSVP reminders
After you’ve organized your perfect guest list and invites are out, tracking which guests have not responded is going to be just as important as tracking those who have. Appy always shows a tally of no responses and allows you to filter those guests by event, if you would like to email them a reminder. You can always see who hasn’t opened your reminder through the ‘Email Stats’ feature for additional follow-up.
Trust us, using a tool like Appy Couple will make your wedding planning SO much easier…for you AND your guests! Visit AppyCouple.com to sign up for your own wedding website and app now.