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Does Size Matter? Managing Your Guest List

2020 has been so full of uncertainty. We want to be sure that at The Balmoral House we continue to stay up to date on the changing restrictions to help plan and make adjustments as required for each one of our guests.

The fortunate thing is that our doors are open. From elopements, to mini-weddings with 20 guests to full 150+ weddings, we are once again able to host these amazingly beautiful events. Amazingly, we have actually witnessed more couples than ever beginning their lives together this year.

There are several things to consider as you host any event in Indianapolis in these tumultuous times. This starts with creating your guest list. Guests lists are always a very tricky thing to plan and predict, never more so than in the coming months. We have a few tips on handling your guest list and how it can affect your vendors and contracts.

Wedding Planner/Coordinator: This is the first step to take before even adjusting or addressing your guest list. If you have a planner, talk to this person directly about how they would recommend navigating this situation, given restrictions are different per county, per month. While having a coordinator for your wedding day is always a great way to relieve pressure and stress from the wedding couple and party, now having a coordinator can also help monitor the safety and sanitizing of your guests, vendors and venue.

Invitations: For formal events, printed and mailed invitations are still the standard. It is very helpful to create a special website for your event and include this site on invitations as a way to communicate with guests and send out any changes or safety mandates for the wedding location. There are a vast number of sites providing custom websites including:,, or

Venue: Your venue is typically rented for a specific space and time. Your initial guest count will determine your space and pricing. The actual guest attendance will not change your contract agreement. If your agreement must be changed or cancelled, you will want to contact your event manager as soon as possible to find out any options and fees involved.

Catering & Bar Service: This is the service most affected by changes in guest counts. It is important to stay in communication with any food and beverage vendors. Be sure to ask about any services, such as buffets, that may be required changes or additional staffing to maintain safety standards. Make note of any food or beverage minimums and the date for final selections and guest counts. After this date, you will be held to those final guest counts.

Officiant/DJ/Entertainment: Besides the wedding couple, the officiant is the most important attendee for the day. Entertainment vendors are all contracted for a specific time and while some of the details may change depending on your guest count, your contract is not guest count based.

Photographer/Videographer: Photography is a service that is typically priced by time and will not change based on guest counts. One thing to note, many couples are actually choosing to upgrade their photography packages or include a videographer or other virtual component to their events to accommodate guests that are not able to attend in person.

Florist/Decor: In order for your florist to figure out how many centerpieces, bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres you’ll need, they will have to have a guest count. Changes in guest count may also change your orders for table décor and favors. Linen, glassware and silverware rentals will also be communicated to your caterer or rental company.

Since guest list adjustments are increasingly prevalent depending on where you plan to host the wedding, collectively the wedding industry has become more accommodating and creative in providing you the wedding of your dreams at any size. Contact a Venue Manager at The Balmoral House for more details (317-288-8741 or


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