On Staying Organized, Part Two:

also known as The Guest List Post!

In part one of the staying organized series, we discussed what I’m doing to keep sane and coordinated for the wedding in general.  In part two, it’s time to show you how realllly type A I am…let’s talk about that guest list.

It’s no secret—we are having a large wedding.  We just have too many wonderful family and friends who we want to include in our day.  It sounds cheesy, but yes, there really are 275 or so people in our life that we want to spend time with on one of the most special days we will share as a couple.  We all know that managing (and affording!) a large wedding can be a big-time headache, so with that in mind (and much to Dr. Groomy’s dismay!), we started on our guest list EARLY.  Early as in, it was the very first thing we did. 

Each couple came up with their list—my parents, his parents, and us—which I then took and created one master list…that had over 350 names on it!  From there, each group whittled down their list to their must-invites and then their would-want-to-invite-but-don’t-have-to.  We are still in the process of finalizing, but I would say that we have the guest list at about 75% of where we want it to be. 

So how am I organizing it?  The guest list is being organized two ways.  The Master List is on my computer and is an excel file.  The guest list also gets it’s own separate binder, and a copy of the master list is stored in here as well:

Guest List 002 

The excel file I created is pretty straightforward…it contains cells for number of guests, first names and last names, children’s names, addresses, emails and phone numbers.  I am so proud to say that with a year left to go (353 days to be exact!), we have 95% of our guests addresses, phone numbers and emails collected.  How’s that for type A for you?!  We were lucky—our parents were smart and gave us their lists complete with that information.  As for our own list, I was a ruthless machine, sending out emails and calling people.  We still have a few addresses to collect, but it is SO NICE to know that that is pretty much done!  Ok, back to the binder…

Guest List 003 In the front are the original lists from all of us and a copy of the master list we just discussed.  After that comes the real gems of the folder:  guest list tracker sheets.  Loosely based off a template from the Russell & Hazel site, I created these myself:

Guest List 005

Each sheet has space for four guests (or couples, or families—I did a space for each INVITE).  The top part is blank to leave room for a label.  Excel files have this great feature called Mail Merge, where you can take the information on the sheet and turn it into an address label.  This is what I used to create a label for each guest/invite. 

Underneath each label is all the pertinent information for each guest.  The sheets will track:

Table Number
Entree Choice
Save-the-Date Card Mailed
Invite Mailed
Thank You Card Mailed
Attending (Yes or No)
Total # in Party
Arriving What Day
Staying Where
Which parties the guest is invited to:  Bridal Shower, Rehearsal Dinner, Post-Wedding Brunch (there’s also space to check off if a bridal shower thank you was sent)
And finally, there’s a place for notes.

Guest List 006

To top it all off, they’re arranged in alphabetical order and each sheet is protected by a sheet protector. 

So far, this has worked really great for me.  I am not a big fan of computer spreadsheets (I use them SO MUCH at work!) and this totally allows us to focus on each guest—when they’re coming, where they’re staying, what they like to eat, etc.  Sure, the day is about us, but I want to make sure they’re all taken care of too! 

How are you keeping yourself organized for the wedding planning process?

Oh, and check this out:  On our “Pre-Wedding Anniversary,” look what Dr. Groomy had sent to my office!

Guest List 001Ain’t he sweet?!  

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10 Comments

Filed under How-To, Organization

10 responses to “On Staying Organized, Part Two:

  1. Em

    Wow…that’s really good! I’m officially intimidated.

  2. I showed this girl at work who is planning her wedding and she basically had a meltdown. She started saying, “Ohmigawd, ohmigawd” “I need to get on this!!!” Looks good dude, I would expect nothing less! Can’t wait for our “date” 🙂

  3. rhodeygirltests

    if only you had written this blog when I was planning our wedding. You know, with all this organization and planning and all the amazingness of past parties (I remember last year or like 18 months ago you did some amazzzing things for a party) you should really be a party planner!!!!!

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  6. This is great. I especially love the guest list tracker sheets you created…. brilliant 🙂

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  8. Um, I had never seen that russellhazel site…you have shone me the light! 🙂

  9. Tina

    Hi, just wanted to say great guest list tracker. Would you happen to be sharing that as a printable?

  10. amyc13

    Sorry, no printable available. I simply created them in Microsoft Word and I no longer have the original document (purged all my wedding documents after 2 years of marriage).

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