Google Drive and all of its components (docs, sheets & my personal favorite, forms!) are perfect for an obsessive organizer or to help even the most unorganized of people and brides. I used Drive to categorize and organize all of our wedding documents from contracts to to-do lists but the most used document throughout the entire process was the master wedding list which included every important detail about our guests in one location. Without this document, there is no way I could've kept it all straight and made sure that I thanked everyone appropriately for their generous gifts as well as in a timely manner.
If you are newly engaged or in the wedding planning process, I highly recommend making a copy of this document or creating a similar one for yourself. I cannot count the number of times it was opened or referenced throughout planning or still afterwards when I want to be reminded of what someone gave us or who gave us something. This is obviously not our real document because I would never publicly share contact information or gift giving but I have created sample info with some borrowed first names :)
The reason this document is so wide horizontally is because I wanted all of the information I needed for each person or family to be in one place. I had so many other files and documents but this allowed me to have all of the guest information in one spot.
I will walk you through all of the headings...
First Name/Last Name: Seems obvious enough. I wanted to keep the last name in a separate column so that when I sorted the column A-Z it would do so by last name seamlessly. To do so click the triangle at the top of column you want to sort and click "Sort Sheet A-Z:
List: Andy, my parents, his parents and myself each had a number of guests we were allocated to invite. This section allotted who the guest "belonged to". You could also sort this section and then see how many guests of each person had or had not replied.
RSVP: Yes or No (which you can also sort if you'd like)
# of Guests Invited vs. # Attending: This is important distinction because sometimes an entire family that you invited may not be able to attend or a couple can only have one person travel. This shows side-by-side the numbers you need to know.
Welcome Dinner: We had a welcome dinner the night before the wedding instead of a traditional rehearsal dinner (since we didn't rehearse the day before). All out of town guests and a few locals were invited. It was important to note this separately because not all guests received the welcome dinner invite with their invitations.
Hotel: it's important to know where your guests are staying for welcome bag purposes. If locals were planning to stay at home I would just write Apt-(last name).
Another great feature of Google Sheets, or Excel, is that it will do all of the counting for you. Highlight a column of digits that you want to be totaled. Then go over to the symbol and click SUM, next hit enter and your column's total will be at the bottom of the column.
This section was the most valuable for me. I was able to keep track of what everyone gave us as well as mark that I had written and most importantly actually sent the thank you note. I tried to keep up with the thank you notes as the gifts came in so the task didn't seem so daunting.
I know that they say you have up to a year to write your wedding thank you's but I think that is way too long and yo should do it as soon as you can. Guests may wonder if you even received a gift they shipped to you if they haven't heard anything for 6+ months. It creates for awkward situations, so just set aside the time and get them done.
Last up is the typical section of addresses. We had many international guests invited so we had to include a country section as well. It was so helpful when writing a thank you note to be able to scroll over to their info, address the envelope and get it sent off!
Are there any sections you would have also included? We did not have menu options on our invitations as everything was served family style, but if there were, I would have included that here. You could also list food allergies in a separate category. Your venue will most likely ask for a headcount of vegetarian, gluten free, etc.