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I believe it was a combination of too much coffee, late night Marie Kondoin’, and my husband’s inspiration that led me to write this post. Why don’t we apply Marie Kondo’s method to other aspects of our life? Those we spend time with, who we follow on social media, and your WEDDING GUEST LIST!! ::insertAHAmomenthere::

Your wedding day should be full of people


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Marie Kondo has taken over our house, my Target credit card (have to blame something…), and truly made me look at everything we own differently. I really thought my house was organized. …enough. Boy, was I wrong! Maybe it was “organized,” but I had too many items that didn’t spark joy. Now I have both, joy and organization.

The KonMari Method is Marie Kondo's minimalist approach to tackling your stuff categorically rather than by rooms. Your home should be full of items that SPARK JOY!

Alex Marie Photography

It’s no surprise that the number one stressor while planning a wedding is finances.  The best way to conquer a burden is to break it down and examine the bones of the burden.

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 As a wedding planner, there are two things I ask couples to do prior to looking at a venue or any vendors.

1. Decide your budget/who is contributing to the wedding

2. Make your guest list

Insert stress.

For a typical wedding, the higher the guest list, the more expensive it is going to be.  Say you have 300 guests at your wedding. Therefore, you have to pay for 300 dinners, 300 beverage services, 300 chair covers, 300 sashes, 300 napkin linens, approximately 30+ table linens (generous with 10 to a table here!), 300 sets of flatware, 300 chargers, 300 place settings, 300 pieces of glassware (up to 900 or 1,200 total with champagne flute, water glass, wine glasst, etc), a cake to serve 300 (oh and don’t forget the donuts for 300!), AND the late night snack to feed 300 of your most FAVORITE people.

Do all 300 of your guests really SPARK JOY?

The biggest and most effecient way to cut cost (i.e. relieving you of financial stress) is to cut down your guest list.  Okay, pick your jaw off the floor and let’s Marie Kondo your guest list! Promise there will be a large sigh of relief afterwards and you’ll be tackling your house and Instagram feed next!

5 steps

to TIDY UP your guest list

Inspired by Marie Kondo

*Disclosure: This “exersise” needs to be completed as a couple *

*Disclosure: This “exersise” needs to be completed as a couple*

  1. Write down each potential guest’s name on a index card. If they are married or engaged then the couple can stay on one card. If the couple is dating, each individual’s name is written on a separate card. If you are giving your old college friend Jess a date then he gets his own card: “Jess’ date”

  2. Divide names into 3 categories: dates, friends, family. Just as Marie’s method is to go from the easiest to most difficult categories (clothes first, sentimental items last) while tidying, you will do the same with your guests. Starting with dates, friends, and last family.

  3. Time to sort between “JOY SPARKERS” & “No Thanks”.

    • Pick up each name as if you are shaking that person’s hand or giving them a hug. Did they spark joy? If the Aunt Catherine is on the Bride’s side, she will be the one deciding what pile her Auntie goes in and so on for each guest. Place those that spark joy in a pile and those individuals who you’d like to let go in another pile, but not before telling them “Thank you for being there for me” :) Marie is very polite yet serious in letting go correctly.

      • Indications someone sparks your joy: as you hold their name you smile, laugh, or an amazing memory comes to mind. You envision who they will sit with at your wedding and how excited they will be just to see you walk down the aisle. They are going to BRING JOY to your wedding day!

      • Indications someone does NOT spark your joy: As you hold their name you can’t remember the last time you’ve spoken to them in person. Do they even know you’re engaged? Wait, have they even asked how you’re doing in the last year? If you worry what they’ll do or who they will bring to your wedding… #byefelicia No joy sparkin’ there my friend!

  4. After you have two piles of JOY SPARKERS and “sorry, you’re not worth $100+ a head” you’ve completed the task!! On the back of the card put a symbol such a heart for “yes” and O for “no”

  5. This last step is important! You want your parents to feel included in this exercise. Divide cards amongst them of who they’ve asked to be on the guest list. Have them follow steps 1-4 above. If you both indicated a “No, thanks” then that’s an easy automatic out. BUT if there is a difference in opinion, talk about it. Can you make a compromise? If not inviting this guest is going to lead to heartache, proceed with caution. Nothing is worth an argument or getting upset over; that surly doesn’t SPARK JOY :)

Please give this Tidying Up method a try and comment below if worked for you!

Remember, you are seeking a room full of joy on your wedding day. You deserve it!


Ashlee is a Certified Wedding Planner based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She loves the sound of nice southern drawl and sunshine on her face! Ashlee is known for her color coordinated timelines that provide a seamless wedding day production for the wedding party and vendors.

Contact her today to set your dream day in motion!