One major challenge in preparing for your debut would be creating your debut guest list. It can be tough to decide whom to invite (or who can be crossed out from your list), but by following these tips, you can make the task easier to tackle.
When do you start preparing your guest list?
Start preparing the guest list at least three months before your special day to avoid cramming. Your list may undergo changes, so give it careful thought. You need to send out the invitations at least two months before the date of the party—this is so that in case some of your guests cannot attend the party, you may send a second wave of invitations to those who didn't initially make your list.
Who should you invite and who can be crossed out from the list?
Your family and relatives should be at the top of your guest list, followed by your closest friends. You may seek help from your parents to help you with possible tricky situations, like inviting relatives from large families. Don't be surprised if your folks would also want to invite some of their friends and co-workers (your parents will probably be paying for the party, after all). Consider your budget and venue's space as you decide on the number of guests. If you've gone over the target number of guests, trim the list by crossing off guests that you don't know too well or haven't seen in a long time. Let guests know if they can bring a plus one or not by indicating the number of seats reserved for them in the invites.
How do you encourage responses, and when do you follow up?
In your invitations, include a point person—like your mom, coordinator, a sibling or a close friend--whom guests can call to confirm their attendance. You must know, however, that not all Filipinos are used to following the RSVP etiquette, so assign someone to call and follow up with your guests at least two weeks before your event. Do a final headcount three days prior to your debut, and inform your caterer about the number of confirmed guests. You may also start assigning seats at this point.
What do you do with the list of confirmed attendees?
Ask the person assigned to the RSVP confirmations to prepare a print-out of the list, and have the list handy at the registration table. The list may still change on the day of your debut, like some guests who confirmed might not show up, or some who didn't confirm will suddenly be at your party. Your caterer and other suppliers should be able to handle additional guests, so don't stress out over unexpected attendees and just enjoy your celebration.