Surviving the Guest List.
Most brides are surprised by just how hard creating and sticking to a guest list is. In fact, a large number of newly married couples say that was the hardest part of wedding planning.
How do you decide on the guest list? Do you allow dates for all your single friends? How do you tell your cousin that she can't bring her children? Do you have to invite all your co-workers?
This blog will dive into some of these questions and walk you through how to make decisions about your guest list.
Photograph by Jordan Roy Media
The first and most important aspect to deciding your guest list is how many people your venue can comfortably hold and what COVID-19 regulations do they have. Speak with your event coordinator at your venue and get a realistic idea of how many people you can invite while leaving enough room to dance and enjoy the party. Make sure to also think about budget here. Each person you invite will cost a certain amount of money, so discuss with your fiancé and your parents just how many people you are budgeting to invite to the wedding.
Make a list of every person that you can think of that you'd want to come to your wedding. Keep in mind you will have to cut some people, but write down anyone that you'd even remotely think of inviting. Then highlight off the people you absolutely must invite. Once you have your list to this stage meet with your fiance's parents and your parents. Review both the highlighted list and the want-to invite list. Discuss with them who they would really like to invite. It is your wedding, but it's also their celebration so try to keep their opinion in mind as you move forward to the final selections.
Keep in mind that just because you were invited to a friend's wedding doesn't mean you absolutely have to invite them to yours. Friendships evolve and you might not be as close as you once were. Or their venue may have accomodated more people than yours does.
Everyone has an opinion about kids at a wedding. Some people think it's great to invite them, while others feel like weddings are not a place for kids. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you need to make sure you are consistent. It may cause more tension if you decide to invite some kids and not others. At the end of the day, parents of young children will enjoy themselves at the wedding alot more if they aren't chasing after little ones or trying to keep them quiet during the ceremony. Once your decision has been made, then stick to your guns. If you decide against having children at the wedding then don't apologize or allow others to make you feel guilty for having a kid-free wedding.
A good idea is to make sure that you have it clearly stated on your invitations that kids will not be allowed at the wedding or who exactly out of the family you are inviting.
Should you invite all your co-workers? I believe this firmly depends on your work environment. If you only work with a handful of people then I think it's best to invite either all of them or none. If you work with many people, then think about whether or not you socialize with your co-workers outside of the office. Do you consider them friends? Do you know their personal cell number and use it? Then they should may be on the guest list. If not, you can probably skip them. Again, don't let co-workers bully you into giving them an invitation. Stick to your guest list and don't apologize for it. After all, it's your wedding.
As far as dates for single and unmarried friends is concerned, if a friend is in a serious relationship or engaged to be married then you should invite their significant other. If they are casually dating or single, then don't feel like you have to give them a plus one, especially if numbers are tight. Good rule of thumb, you should never write "and guest" on an invitation, you should know their name. If you don't know and feel like they should be invited then find out. There usually is quite a few singles at a wedding, seat them with friends and people they will be comfortable with and they will have fun without a date.
If we've learned anything from COVID-19 it's that small and intimate weddings can be absolutely beautiful. Don't feel like you have to have a large wedding. If you crave a smaller, intimate affair, then don't invite everyone!
Guest lists can be quite a headache. But if you work together with your fiance, your parents and your fiance's parents, you will survive! Remember to breathe. Keep the end goal in mind. A beautiful marriage!