Welcome to the first in The Casual Gourmet’s series of tips for newly engaged brides. You can view all the tips (once published) here or learn more about the author, Olive Chase (THE Cape Cod wedding expert) here. Check back often for more tips!

Now that the holidays brought you a shiny new ring, your first task should be to determine the guest list. Counting the many friends and family members you would like to share your big day with isn’t easy but will make later decisions a snap! Everything from the budget, venue, rentals, flowers, food, etc… depends on how many people you invite.

Many brides want a small intimate wedding—yet when they start looking at their guest list they quickly realize excluding some family and friends just isn’t possible.

A typical Cape Cod wedding has an average 125 guests but remember, not everyone you invite will be able to attend. Expect 10-20% of your guest list to be unable to attend.

Getting too big?

One of the most difficult things we watch brides and grooms do is whittle down their guest list. It is just not easy to cut friends and family.

Remember, it’s your day—think of who you want to invite! Ask who are the people who are moving forward in your life? Your fifth cousin on your father’s side might not but your younger brother definitely will be in your life for years to come. Will your current colleagues be in your lives if you switch jobs in a few months? How about your college roommate?

Chances are some of these people—though good friends in the past—don’t have to be at your wedding. Apply this simple rule to help you bring down your guest list to the perfect size.

Tools

Google weddings has a great tool for organizing your guest list

Check out this guest list template from Style Me Prety!