Planning your wedding is incredibly joyful, but there is always one area that most couples struggle with and this is the guest list. It brings out the family politics in most families. Maybe your budget is tight or you just want to have people who are in your life daily there to celebrate with you, whatever your reasoning, there is always someone who objects to your choices; perhaps your Mother wants you to invite all of those aunts, uncles and cousins that you never see, or you want to invite one cousin because you get on really well with them but the others will feel left out. It is always an area of wedding planning that is full of hurdles and logistics. So here are some tips to guide you through:
Firstly before you accept financial help from your family, ensure that they understand your dreams and ideas for your wedding day, including guests. This way you won’t feel pressured by them to invite people they want at your wedding just because they are contributing to the cost.
If you have chosen your venue already, then ensure that you stick within the numbers quoted by the venue so that you are not over capacity, it would be a disaster to have to un-invite guests later.
So how do you decide who to invite? Well the first thing is to agree some rules, such as: If you have not spoken to them in 3 years don’t invite them. If you feel guilty about not inviting them (perhaps because you attended their wedding) – don’t invite them. If you want an adults only wedding (maybe because you can’t afford that many kids or want your guests to have more fun without them) – don’t invite them. If you don’t want to invite single peoples plus ones – don’t invite them. You get the picture! Once you have made these rules, stick to them.
Secondly make a big list of all of those that you would like to attend your wedding. Break this down into four categories: Category 1 – essential must have guests. Category 2 – Would really like to attend. Category 3 – could invite if we have the space after we receive the first lot of RSVP’s. Category 4 – Evening Only.
Then with any luck category 1 &2 will fit within your limited guest number, if not you will need to remove some from Category 2.
Work on the basis that around 10% of those invited will not attend, so if your total number of invited guests is slightly over and is within the 10% you may be ok, but tread carefully as you don’t want to have to un-invite guests later. You could always do your invites in two batches and once you have the RSVP’s and know how many are not attending, you could invite others, but beware of people communicating between themselves and feeling left out, or feeling like a second choice.
As always the important thing is to remember that this is your special day and you should plan it how you want to, explain to people your reasoning in a fair and clear manner so that they understand your decision and that it is not personal against them in any way and people should be considerate to your feelings.
Also, your guests will make your day more perfect, more memorable and more joyful, so enjoy this part as you imagine your offer day with those you love.