By Eric Herod with Eric Herod Entertainment

While in the planning process, you may be encouraged by many people to “make sure you enjoy the moment!” But sometimes it becomes difficult to enjoy anything in the planning process especially when you are bombarded with so many options and so many decisions to make while staying within your budget. The different menus, cakes to taste, colors to pick, the list goes on. However, despite what some may say, the most important factor in determining your budget is the selection of your guests.

Virginia Ashley Photography

The number of guests you have at your wedding determines your available venue choices, the overall cost of food, the total price of the bar tab, and can positively or negatively influence the amount of FUN you have at your wedding reception.

All venues must uphold certain legal standards from capacity size, to parking restrictions, to late night noise ordinances. You will have to find these answers and compare them during the selection process. Having an ever-expanding guest list can get out of control, but only if you let it. Here’s a little insight. All of this budget talk, guest list size, catering options, etc. won’t have any true effect on how FUN your wedding is IF you don’t invite the right people. What does “the right people” mean? In simple terms, it’s the friends and family who are fun and, as a result, make YOU more fun. You know the type. The life of the party, the “have to hear this story” kind of people that makes a night go from good to great.

Paige Stevens Photography

Getting the Right People on the List
Here’s an interesting way to look at your guest list from a different point of view. It might be time to revert back to your school days and make a good old-fashioned spreadsheet. Nerdy as it may be, there’s no better way to organize and capitalize on your potential guest list.

In the first column, write the name of the person or couple. This includes members of your wedding party. In the next column, rate the importance of having each person attending. Do this individually and remember that no feelings need to be hurt. Then, have your parents rate the importance of each guest, or create a rating based on what you predict they would say. Finally (and most importantly), include a Fun Factor column for each guest/s. If you find that you are more FUN when a certain guest is around, he or she gets more points. Time to calculate! The highest total number of points should determine who makes your cut.

Virginia Ashley Photography

Boosting Your Fun Factor
Yes, some of the folks on your list might not be as good of a time as others, but it’s important to keep in mind family obligations even though their Fun Factor score may be low. But if there’s a couple who’s on the bubble and doesn’t have a high fun factor? Well, unfortunately, the numbers don’t lie. Sorry, Charlie.

Eric Herod, Wedding Entertainment Director® at Eric Herod Entertainment has been packing the dance floor since 2002. If you find that you need some assistance in creating this FUN Factor Guest List, he’s created The Perfect Guest List Spreadsheet at: