Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Guest List

Making the guest list is easy right? All you need to do is write down the names of all your closest friends and relatives and thats it! NOT - if it is that simple for you count your blessings now. For the rest of us here is some advice on how to handle the what can be "tricky" situations with who we invite to our wedding.

1st of all consider the style of your wedding - if you want an intimate garden wedding it wouldn't be practical to invite 250 guests. Alternatively if your wedding is in a grand ballroom 50 guests would look pretty sparse.

OK, now lets get started making that list.
**Both of you make a list of your immediate family members and the attendants on your side of the wedding party. (Yes, always send an invitation to the attendants). Next will be the officiant and his/her spouse. (Including the officiant is not a must if you simply can't squeeze anyone else in but if you can the gesture will certainly be appreciated.)
**Now add your mutual friends to the list.
**Next comes your work colleagues, children, significant others and any other optional guests.
**This part is very important, you should have a "wish list" of guests they would like to see at the wedding from mom and dad on both sides. This is where it can get sticky - if mom and dad are helping to pay for any of the wedding it's not appropriate to accept their money but refuse their input on the guest list. If they are not and you can't afford to have all those distant relatives or their freinds you've never met simply tell them you would love to have them but simply can't afford it. They will do one of two things.. Happily offer to help pay for additional guests or pare it down realizing they don't feel as strongly as thought about inviting them.

Also the guest list does not have to be split even between the bride and groom. Very seldom do 2 people get married that have the exact same size family. And it really doesn't matter who has more guests, what matters is you are both surrounded by the people you love and want to share this truly special day with.Now it's time to review it and make adjustments as needed. Is your list bigger than you thought it would be? Who knew we had so many friends and relatives lol.

The excitement of doing our guest list sometimes gets the better of us and we feel far friendlier towards old college pals and people we haven't thought about in a long time. So here are some guidelines for cutting back on the list...

1. It should go without saying that all members of the wedding party should be on the list and should all receive and invitation. Traditional wedding etiquette also states that members of the wedding party should be allowed to bring a spouse or significant other. If your budget is really really tight you can bypass it but I would keep it in mind in case you have room after editing the list. (But make sure there is room for all to bring a guest or none)
2. All immediate family members should be on this list.
3. Anyone that attended the wedding shower should be included.
4. When making cuts be sure its categorical (Example: If second cousins aren't being invited then all second cousins should be omitted) Cuts should be treated equally to avoid hard feelings.

An option you may consider is to have an A list and a B list. To do this though invitations need to be sent out early enough that RSVP's can be returned and you still have enough time to send out invitations to you B list.
Beware - you probably don't want your B list guests to find out they are B list guests. This can lead to hurt feelings and declines.

One last note - don't forget to add the bride and groom to the list in the final headcount! You would be surprised how many couples forget to add 2 more people when dealing with vendors - themselves!

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