Prosecco and Petals
Once you have decided on who you want to invite to your wedding as a couple the next stage is to start progressively collecting addresses, responses and their preferences. Below is a straightforward guide to creating a comprehensive wedding guest list tracker including how and when to contact your guests for information.
While there are lots of tools to collect guest list information, Excel largely remains the most popular as it is very accessible and can easily be manipulated for all your wedding needs. To create an initial guest spreadsheet open and new worksheet and add the following column headers.
Immediately you will also be able to populate the first name, surname and some partner’s and addresses but this will also identify the initial information that needs to be gathered for the ‘save the dates’.
There are reams of online threads discussing how to collect guest address. However, there are also a few hacks to try too, which can speed up the process. Below are the recommended ways (in order) to collect wedding guest addresses
1. Ask friends or family who have recently got married for their address lists: By collecting addresses, you will limit overlapping work already done by your nearest and dearest.
2. Contact key social/family contacts. Every family and social group will have an organiser who keeps their Christmas card list up to date. By contacting these people first, you will again save a lot of time.
3. Asking for addresses via Facebook : This method is less exhaustive than calling all individuals left on your ‘address unknown’ list, and the messenger tool also enables you to see when your message has been read so you can nudge if needed.
It is recommended to put a timescale on your request to ensure a prompt response.
The compatibility of excel and word allows even an excel novice to mail merge addresses into neat labels in Word that can then be printed and put on envelopes. For a detailed guide to mail-merging your wedding guest list and making address labels, please click here.
Before posting the save the dates, it is worth adding another column to your spreadsheet so you can track who you have sent to: This will ensure no one has been missed off.
Once you are at the point of sending out the wedding invitations it is worth also updating your wedding spreadsheet to include the following columns;
- wedding invitation sent (YES/NO)
- Attending (Yes/NO)
- No of guests adding
- Children attending
- First name
- Main meal choice
- Dessert choice
- Partners name
- Main meal choice
- Dessert choice
- Number of children’s menus
- Transport required (Yes/NO)
This will ensure that as RSVPs come back, you can proactively track responses.
It is recommended to keep the spreadsheet up to date and use colour coding to identify incomplete responses: This will enable you to follow up on these in an efficient way.
A simple traffic light system can be helpful:
Once you have compiled your RSVPs, this list can then be copied to different worksheets and amended. Below are a few useful purposes:
A wedding seat plan spreadsheet can be created by sorting by those who can attend and then remove all other columns except their names.
This spreadsheet can then have column headers for each table, and guest names can be moved between tables. This spreadsheet is useful for venues to see and will enable you to play with options easily.
A wedding guest transport spreadsheet can be created by sorting by those who can attend and those who said yes to transport (all others should be deleted from this list ).
This list can then be printed and given to the transport company. It is also wise to give it to a responsible guest travelling by coach so they can double check everyone is onboard on the day.
A wedding breakfast menu spreadsheet can be created by sorting by those who can and deleting all columns except main and dessert choice.
This list is essential for the venue to prepare appropriate catering and can also be ordered by table numbers to make sure everyone gets what they asked for.