After months of work we finally got our save the dates out in the mail this week!  THANK GOSH.  The wedding guest list, collecting the addresses and sending the invites has been the only stressful part of the planning process thus far so I figured I would offer some tips + tricks that, in hindsight, would have helped us. (ring box deets below!)

No kidding.  As soon as you begin thinking about your wedding–start working on your invite list.  I cannot stress this enough.  It takes wayyyy longer to finalize than you’d imagine because your family will keep adding people.  You will also need to get a close number of people in mind early because everything else plays off of that. ex, until the list is 100% complete you can’t give the go on printing save the dates, get accurate quotes from catering companies, secure your the right number of rentals etc.

And in order to get your list to that 100% complete point, I suggest you use google docs.  Create an excel sheet with all the names and addresses and if possible share this with each side of the family so they can input the info directly into one combined spot.  Create a total down at the bottom for number of lines so you know how many invites you will be buying and sending out.  Also add in a number beside each line that tells the number of guests (ex, Mr. Collins-1 and Mr. + Mrs Collins-2).  That way you can also total that to see the overall number of people you need to plan for.  If you are sending your list to a company to get the name and addresses printed on the envelopes too then you might want to create a separate column for name/address line 1/ city, state, zip.  This is how we had to do ours.In our case, we knew the venue we wanted to use immediately.  So our challenge has been pairing down our list so everyone can fit.  Truth be told we have overextended and unfortunately, in some cases that meant we had to prioritize family over friends. But you know what.. if your family wants people there to enjoy the day then that is important and so we just decided to go with it. We are going to do our best to make everyone feel comfortable in the space.  Our final count ended up at 197 and even though the thought of being in front of that many people makes me crazy nervous, I know that if all those people show up then it will be one AMAZING day.  They are all people we love and truly want to celebrate with.

I kept finding mistakes on ours each time I looked through it!  Some lines would have Mr. and Mrs. while others would have Mr. + Mrs. or a nickname was used instead of a formal first name.  Correction, correction, correction.  So, even after you think the list is done–give it another once over.  And also make sure you have several sets of eyes on it!

&& at the end of the day, just hope that your guests are kind and understanding.  I have a feeling we overlooked something and made some sort of mistake–so we can just hope that whoever it effects doesn’t take offense.  Case in point.. I recently got an invite in the mail that was addressed to Lauren McKinney instead of Lindsey McKinney–oops.  But you know what, it was not a big deal.  Ethan and I laughed about it and moved on because we were happy to just be included.  Hopefully our guests will feel the same way.  We are trying really hard to create a wonderful evening for everyone!

ps – the velvet ring box was sent to me by The Mrs. Box and I could not love it more.  There’s a million options but I chose this design..  went with the double holder (so I can add my wedding band in when we have it), chose the chocolate velvet (it felt so luxe and I’m obsessed), and added the block letter monogramming in silver on the top!  You can shop my exact box here.  It would make an excellent gift for a bride-to-be.

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