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When wedding planning, guest lists come first

Planning a wedding is no walk in the park. As soon as the first registry item goes up on the list and the first professional hired to help you is on board, the ensuing amassment of receipts, budgets, lists and checks begins to pile right up - which is why TheStreet.com recommends getting your guest list out of the way first.

"Most people think their budget determines their guest list when, really, it's the other way around," wedding expert Sharon Naylor told the news source. "Talking with each other and with parents to find out how big of a wedding it's going to be...will determine your location.

Knowing a ballpark estimate of your party size will not only help you settle on the right country club (or restaurant, or what have you), but it's a magic number you'll also need as you hire catering services, plan your registry, settle on wedding favors and so much more.

Figuring out the size of your guest list early can also help you control your budget, as limiting the number of invitees is one of the most effective ways to cut corners with your wedding expenses. There are great choices among affordable wedding favors should you choose to invite everyone and their mothers, but with less people, you may just be able to give out something nice, such as a personalized wine gift set.