So, you're getting married! Congratulations! Wallow in that for a while.
But if you're like me, the 'while' could be quite short. I'm a planner. Lists, lists, and more lists. Websites, Pinterest (what a wonder that is!), the forum on weddings.co.nz (truly excellent), and spreadsheets. But before you get to the hours of lustful gazing upon weddings far too expensive and unrealistic, and imagining yourself spending all your waking hours between now and your nuptials crafting perfect DIY favours for your 300 guests, there are some basics to work out.
The thing I reckon comes top of the to-do list is your guest list. So much is determined by who you want to have there. Some folk, like me, have enormous, awesome extended families, who really have to be part of things (and we're talking about people who are important to you, so it's not like it's a chore, just a (fabulous) fact of life). Others have closer knit, smaller family groups. Depending on your stage of life and different connections you might have dozens of friends or just a handful. There's definitely no one-size-fits-all but you'll probably know what's right for you.
Definitely make a list, though. I think it was the first list we started - first add all the really obvious people (parents tend to come high on the list!). Then work through friends. After working through the people who leapt into my head I found it quite helpful to check through my Facebook friends and contacts list on my phone, to reassure myself we had all our important people.
Then my recommendation is to sit on it for a while. Having the bones of the list will enable you to start thinking about the type of wedding you want, but before you do anything let the dust settle then check back and ensure it still makes sense.
Your list there might have some different levels - many people (including us) have a group who are only invited to part of the celebration (because weddings are expensive, seriously - and though we wish we could invite everyone we figure it's better to have people included a bit than not at all), and that's something else to mull over.
Some people also have a "B list" - people who get invited if "A listers" can't attend. Personally I think you're better off to invite the people you want to have there, and choose a larger venue if you need to, but if your wedding size is limited for some reason it might make sense to do that. Then again, you could take this approach. ;-)
What are your best tips for guest list compilation?