Saturday, September 15, 2012

Compiling the Guest List

Disclaimer: This post isn't advice on creating your guest list--narrowing down your family and friends to decide who's on and who's not. Instead, it's simply about how to compile that list once you've completed (or during) the elimination process.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I discovered WeddingWire's Guest List tool before I even got engaged, so by the time we were ready to start working on our "first draft" I had my account all set up and ready to go. I had also already discovered that to manually enter each "household" into the database was going to waste, rather than save, time and energy...but that WeddingWire also offers the option of uploading a spreadsheet file in .CSV format, which is what I did. They give detailed instructions for this process as well as a pre-formatted, self-explanatory downloadable template to use to get started.

I chose to use a Google Docs spreadsheet first, to record our list before we even began entering the guest information into the .CSV spreadsheet that we later uploaded. This way we could more easily see exactly how many individuals were on our list, as well as divide them into columns (his family, my family, friends, and "maybes"). Once we had our elimination process (that sounds so negative...maybe I should say collection process?) nearly complete, I went ahead and entered our guests as households into the WeddingWire template file (first name 1, last name 1, first name 2, last name 2, household name, side, address...and so on, according to the instructions.

{Keep in mind that anything CAN still be edited even after the upload. But you can save a lot of time by entering as much as possible first into the spreadsheet (in Excel or other spreadsheet software) and uploading it to WeddingWire first.}

Once I had my .CSV file pretty much completed, I went back here, scrolled to the bottom, selected my "File to Import" and then clicked "Import File." It shows you a preview, and then you can go ahead and submit if everything looks right, or cancel if something looks out of whack. And then you've got an online, organized Guest List that you can use to track invitations, RSVP's, meals, gifts, and seats at the reception! Trust me, it is A HAPPY THING. You can even use the same tool to keep track of guest lists for your other wedding-related events, if you want--engagement party, shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal, etc.

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