How to Create an Intentional Guest List

How to Create an Intentional Guest List Colorado Wedding Planning Resources by Colorado Wedding photographer Jennie Crate

I am an intimate wedding photographer by choice.

And while I don’t think intimate weddings have to be super small (not everyone wants to elope), I think that intimate weddings have a rightful place in the wedding industry that should be celebrated.

I believe in intimate weddings because a marriage should be celebrated with the people who mean the most to you and not a person more. Whether you’re celebrating with five family members in a meadow, 50 of your closest friends at a backyard BBQ, or just the two of you on a mountain top, surround yourself with the people who love you and cherish your relationship for exactly what it is.

I think this last line is the most important part of planning an intimate wedding.

“surround yourself with the people who love you and cherish your relationship for exactly what it is.”

Create an Intentional Guest List

I would recommend starting by outlining the different stages of your life: high school, college, grad school, work, etc. Then start listing people who you still connect with often.

Consider each person carefully and make an well-thought out decision about whether to include them.

To bring in a current pop culture analogy, don’t be afraid to “Marie Condo” that guest list. If a person doesn’t bring you joy, cut them off the list.

Okay, okay.  You’re telling me that it’s not possible.  Your parents are paying for the wedding and they want to invite their childhood best friend’s daughter.

I get that sometimes others involved in the wedding planning process will have a say over your guest list—family obligations can be difficult to navigate during wedding planning. But I encourage you actively think about your guest list and who you choose to have present with you as you take the next step into marriage. Have those hard conversations with your family if you need to and share with them what kind of experience you envision.

Champagne toast at Valley of Fire Wedding

A little story:

This past wedding season I had the honor of witnessing two very special weddings where the couple was literally cheered down the aisle. It was so phenomenally special, for both the couple and their guests.

Just imagine how amazing it will feel to have every single person at your wedding so excited by the thought of the marriage that the two of you will create, that they just can’t help but verbally celebrate right along with you!?

To me this sounds like a dream wedding experience.  The kind I want for all of my clients.


Does this sound like the kind of wedding you want to have? Then let’s chat! I might be the right fit for you.

Other resources you might find helpful:

10 Tips for Getting Married at Altitude

Choosing a season for your Colorado Wedding

How to Tell if a Vendor is LGBTQ+ inclusive

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