No script

How to Create the Perfect Guest List for Your Celebration

By Grace Nakimura on December 12, 2017

Elegant planning notebook next to a mug of coffee, flowers and a keyboard
Share with friends

A party is only as good as its guest list. Check out these simple tips to help you decide who to invite to your special celebration.


The Basics

Before you decide who to invite and who not to invite, you need to focus on the very  basics. For example, you need to determine the size of the venue where you’re hosting the party and your budget (how much each guest will end up costing you). Obviously, if you’re planning your celebration in a small apartment with not much space, then you will have less room to comfortably host a lot of people. Because of that, your guest list will need to be on the smaller side. If you’re low on funds, you also will need to have a smaller guest list since you may not be able to afford all the costs associated with hosting a big party.


Non-Negotiable Guests

After you have decided on a venue and a budget, you will need to begin making your guest list by writing down all your non-negotiable guests. Here are 5 Reasons Why Celebrating with Loved Ones is Important. These are the guests that you must invite. They could be your family members, best friends, or even the coworkers you feel closest to. These are the people that you cannot imagine having a party without. In some cases, those on the non-negotiable list are even people you must invite to avoid any tension.


Consider Any “Plus-Ones” of Your Non-Negotiables

This applies to all different kinds of parties. Whether you’re hosting a birthday party, wedding, or kid’s party, you must consider your non-negotiable guests and their plus ones. For example, if you’re inviting your coworker that you feel closest to, then you will also need to invite you coworker’s new fiancée. If you’re inviting your daughter’s best friend to your little girl’s birthday party, then you will also need to consider inviting your daughter’s best friend’s siblings as well, if age appropriate.


Eliminate Conflicting Pairs

Conflicting pairs are two people who have conflict or issues with each other. Let’s say there are two people you really want at your party. However, those two people always seem to butt heads when they are in the same room together. You can either invite the person you’re closest with, do not invite either of them, or make sure to tell them both beforehand that conflict will not be tolerated during your event. Typically, adults can handle being in the same room with each other even if there is bad blood between them. However, this is not always the case. You want to make sure that you do your very best at avoiding awkward conflicts that will just make your other guests feel uncomfortable.


All-Or-Nothing Approach

Once you have determined those who are non-negotiable and rooted through the list of conflicting pairs, it’s then time to use the “all-or-nothing approach” to fill the remaining spots on your guest list. The “all-or-nothing approach” goes a little bit like this: cutting down your guest list by category instead of by person. This is done to avoid hurt feelings. You can scale down your guest list by gender, age, or location. For example, you can choose not to invite any of your son’s neighborhood friends to his birthday bash instead of having to invite all the neighborhood friends, even those he may not be necessarily close with. When it comes to friends and family, you can choose to have a friends party on one day and then a family party on another day. Ask yourself, “Does my 95-year-old great aunt really want to spend a day dealing with loud children at a kid’s party anyways?”

Share with friends

Most Popular Party Experts in Your Area

See All Experts

Get Inspired By Best Party Ideas

Browse more

Planning a Party?

Try our awesome tools to bring your vision to live.
It’s totally free!

Get Started Now