Guest List Spreadsheet - Step by Step

Guest List Spreadsheet - Step by Step

A good start to organizing your event is creating a comprehensive guest list.  It will allow you to estimate costs, create invitations, keep track of RSVP's, print labels and place cards, record gifts, and organize "Thank You" notes.  Keeping the guest list in an electronic format will enable yout to easily add and edit information, export and print to different formats, and share with others.  Extensive software tools are available to help ease the somewhat tedious task of entering many guest names into a spreadsheet.  These tools, when used properly, will allow quick entry, elimination of duplicate typing, and even importing of existing guest lists from other spreadsheets.  In this tutorial, we will show you how to utilize the software to create a complete guest list spreadsheet.

Overview of the master guest list.

Guest list filtering

This worksheet lists all guests you have entered regardless of whether they are invited or have RSVP'd.  The list is easily filtered to enable finding specific quests quickly.  You can enter a few characters of a guest's name into the search box.  The results are shown immediately.  To clear the search, click "X" in the search box.  Columns maybe sorted by clicking on their headers.  You can also resize the columns by dragging on the spacer between them.  Guests are normally grouped (by family, etc.).  Clicking on the plus/minus sign (+/-) will toggle expanding and collapsing of guest groups.  Clicking the plus/minus sign in the header will toggle expanding and collapsing of all groups at once.

The concept of "Primary Guests" and guest relationships.

Guest list primary association

Each guest can be classified as either "Primary" or attending with someone else.  Usually, primary guests are the ones who will receive the official invitations.  If a guest is attending with someone else, that someone else needs to be defined as a primary guest.  A relationship to the primary must also be defined.  For example, the Smith family of four is attending your wedding.  The entire group can be defined as follows:

Guest list relationships

Guest categories.

Guest list categories

Color coded categories can be used to further group and filter guests.  This can be helpful when prioritizing whom to invite, arranging table seating, etc. Each guest can have up to three category classifications.  It is completely up to you how to use categories.  You may choose to use predefined categories, or add as many of your own as you wish.  Some examples:

  • Category 1 can be used to distinguish whether the guest is an adult, a young child, or an older child.
  • Category 2 can signify if the guest is a close family member, a cousin, a close personal friend, or a work colleague.
  • Category 3 can identify guests as coming from either the groom's or the bride's side of the family.
Guest list category entry

There is no limitation as to how categories are used and you can get very creative to custom tailor them to your specific event.

Entering individual guests.

Guest list add new

To add a guest, click "Add New", and enter their information.  Please refer to the above explanation on correctly defining guest associations and relationships.  When finished, you may click one of the following:

Guest list save
  • Save - Saves the data you have entered and keeps you on the same page.
  • Save & Close - Saves the data and returns you to the guest list.
  • Save & New - Saves the data and opens an empty guest entry.  This is a quick way to add multiple unrelated guests.
  • Cancel - Discards your latest changes and returns to the guest list.
  • Add +1 - Saves the data and opens an empty guest entry page with common information for the group, such as last name and address, already pre-filled.  This is a very quick way to enter a group of related quests, such as a family.

Importing a guest list.

Guest list import

If you have a guest list, or multiple guest lists, stored in Excel files, you can easily import them into the master list.  You will be able to map the columns in your existing files to specific master guest list columns.  During the import, you will also be able to group families together by designating the "Primary" for each group.

After the guest master list is created...

Once the guest list is done, there are many actions you can perform for every aspect of your event.

  • Invite specific guests to specific venues.
  • Print invitation labels and envelopes.
  • Record RSVP's.
  • Allow guests to RSVP online.
  • Arrange hotel accommodations.
  • Organize table seating.
  • Print place card labels.
  • Designate and distribute party favors.
  • Keep track of gifts.
  • Print "Thank You" labels and envelopes.
  • And so much more...

There is also a plethora of reports available based on the master guest spreadsheet.  You will have visibility into every detail of your event that has anything to do with guests. You will also be able to export various guest-related lists to share with family and vendors.

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