Prosecco & Petals
The straightforward guide to planning your wedding
Creating a wedding guest tracker is the easiest way to keep on top of your guest responses and preferences. Read on for a concise guide to creating your guest tracker, which will make collecting information for your venue and caterers effortless.
Microsoft Excel is, without doubt, the easiest and cheapest way to track wedding guest responses: It is guaranteed to be compatible with supplier and venue software and is a standard package on most laptops/desktops. If you do not already have Excel, search on your computer for the free spreadsheet programme installed, and this will do the same job.
To create an initial guest spreadsheet, open up a new worksheet and add the following column headers.
This template can then be infilled as/when you decide on who to invite to your wedding.
1. Ask friends or family who have recently got married for their guest addresses:
2. Contact a family member or a friend who is very organised at sending out Christmas cards for their address lists. There are bound to be overlaps that will lessen your job.
3. Create a generic message and send this out via Facebook Instant Messenger or Whatsapp. It is recommended to put a timescale in any messages sent to ensure a prompt response.
Once you have populated your wedding guest tracker with name and address details, this can be used to make mailing save the dates effortless. Excel spreadsheets can be used as a source document to create labels in Microsoft Word. By using a 'Mail Merge' option in Word, all of the information collected can be automatically merged into labels and printed easily. For a quick guide to this process, 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 these 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 attending
- Children attending
- First name
- Main meal choice
- Dessert choice
- Partners name
- Main meal choice
- Dessert choice
- Number of children menus
- Transport required (Yes/NO)
By having your wedding guest tracker up to date, you will be able to compile information from the RSVPs efficiently.
It is recommended to keep the wedding guest tracker up to date by using a colour coding system 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 collected all of the information from your RSVPs, this master spreadsheet can then be copied into different worksheets and amended for various purposes.
A wedding seat plan spreadsheet can be created by 'sorting' by those who can attend and then 'hiding' all other columns except your guest names on the master spreadsheet:
This information can be copied into a separate spreadsheet, which shows column headers for each table, and guest names underneath. You and your partner can then move people around by 'cutting' and 'pasting' until you have a seating plan that works. This spreadsheet will be vital for the venue in order to make sure the wedding reception tables are set up correctly.
A wedding guest transport spreadsheet can be created by 'sorting' by those who wanted transport and then 'hiding' all other columns except your guest names on the master spreadsheet:
This information can be copied into a separate spreadsheet and given to the transport company to advise on final numbers and names. It is also wise to give a printed copy to one of the guests who will be travelling by coach on the day so they can double check everyone is onboard.
A menu preferences spreadsheet can be created by 'hiding' all other columns except guest names and food preferences on the master spreadsheet:
This information can be copied onto a new spreadsheet, or into the seating plan spreadsheet, and given to your venue and caterers. This will ensure that food service on the day is smooth, and everyone gets their preferences.