Your Wedding Guest Lists

So, it's time to start compiling the guest list for your showers, parties and the wedding itself. I will admit, this is one of the hardest parts of getting married, but I'm here to try to help make the process a little easier. There are a million ways to go about doing this, but I thought I would offer a few suggetions from my experience to help make things easier on you.

First of all, you need to get organized. I recommend using Microsoft Excel to accomplish this. When I'm typing in a list for a bride, I start with these column headers:

For the name, I type in these column headers:
* In cell A1: "Titles" (Mr. and Mrs. -- Doctor and Mrs. -- Miss -- etc... )
* In cell B1: "First Name" (his name only if it's a couple)
* In cell C1: "Last Name" (if there is a salutation, I enter it here as well -- for example 'Chapman, junior')

Ok, at this point, you may wonder why I don't combine these all into one field. I separate it out this way because Excel has a "autofill" feature that will complete your entry for you based on what you entered in the field above, so instead of typing "Mr. and Mrs." 500 times, you type it once and accept the default all of the other times. Also, I usually type in "Mr. and Mrs." once and then copy that all the way down and just change the ones that are different.

During this step, it's importat to remember to spell out certain titles, such as: Doctor, Reverend, The Honorable, etc..... I'll address the proper etiquette for all of this in the future.

I separate the first name and the last name into two columns so that I can use Excel's sort feature to arrange the entries alphabetically by last name, so that it's easier to see if there are any duplicates in the list, and to make it easier to find an entry.

For cells D1 I enter the "Address" and for cell E1, I enter the "City, State, Zip" (you may need to also include an "Apartment" or "Second Line" column.

Now, I know you are wondering if I choose to separate out the name, why would I combine City, State and Zip all together? It's so that I can use the autofill feature again... This works especially well if most of your guests are from small towns where each town has one zip code. If you are from a big city, you would probably be better off separating out "City, State" and "Zip". What I mean is that if you type "El" it will pop up "Elba, Alabama 36323" assuming you have already entered that previously and don't have anything else that starts with "El".

If it's a big list, I usually have to add an "Apartment" field and/or a "Second Line" field. For the second line field, I type in either and apartment #, or another guests name -- roommates, children, etc...

The last headers you need to enter are for F1 "Inner 1" and for F2 "Inner 2", etc...

This is where I put what I want to print on the inner envelope. For example:

Inner 1 would read: "Mr. and Mrs. Chapman" and
Inner 2 would read: "Brooke and Bradley"


Once you have your headers in place, you need to think of who you want to invite... The best way to do this is to go through all of the different areas of your life: family, work, church, clubs and organizations, high school, college, etc... If you are worried about omitting someone accidently, it may be helpful to ask a recently married friend or relative for a copy of their list so that it will help jog your memory. Additionally, if your phone book isn't too thick, it's not a bad idea to flip though it to make sure you've gotten everyone.


Once you have everyone, you need to think about how you are going to gather addresses. I use to gather addresses. It's not 100% perfect, but it gets most of the addresses correct. There are other online phone books, such as that are helpful. Occassionaly, I will need a zip code that I'm having trouble verifing, and I use This is also a helpful site if you are wanting to include the entire "zip + four".


You can add fields for what different people are being invited to. I usually label these what they are: "brunch", "shower", "rehearsal dinner", "wedding", etc..., then I change all of the fields below the 1st row to the font "wingdings" and use the "L" on the keyboard to mark the cells that are to be marked with a dot. This is really useful when you use Excel's sort feature, where you can sort by whichever event and get a list of only those people that are invited to that event.


Hope this helps you to get organized for your big day! Feel free to email me with any questions.