He finally popped the question and the world seems a lot brighter. The birds are singing louder and colors are so much brighter. You have a clear picture of what your dream wedding will be like.
You even know who you want to share the day with. You begin planning for your wedding and everything seems to be going as planned, until you get down to tackling your guest list.
Answering those tricky questions
The guest list is one of the trickiest parts of planning a wedding. You don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, least of all your soon-to-be new family. Here are a few pointers to help you navigate the murky waters.
Hitting the number
It’s not possible to have all the people you and your fiancé have known throughout your lives present at your wedding. In many cases, you will be limited by your budget and the size of your reception site. You should therefore start by deciding on how many people you want to invite to your wedding.
One great way of eliminating names is by keeping three lists of people that you would like at your wedding that aren’t close family members. List A should be a list of close friends, list B should be those friends you’ve kept in touch with and list C should be acquaintances, distant relatives, co-workers and neighbors you’ve known for a long time.
If your guest list goes beyond your set number, begin eliminating names by starting with those on list C.
Dealing with parents
Dealing with parents and other family members can often be difficult. Parents often have their own list of guests they’d like to invite to their children’s wedding. You need to find a middle ground to ensure that both sides of the family are happy.
If you and your fiancé are paying for the wedding, you’ll have more control over the guest list. A good compromise is to allow the families one third of the available guest invitation i.e. the couple invites a third of the guests, the groom’s family another third and the bride’s family another third.
Be sure to give the parents a predetermined number for the guests they are allowed to invite and stick to it.
Many guests don’t come alone. They usually invite another guest to come along with them. This is especially common for young and single guests. You therefore have to consider the plus one in your guest list.
When inviting a single guest whom you know is in a long term relationship, be sure to include their significant other in the invitation. However, limit the number of ‘plus-one’ invitations you allow your single guests. Make it clear to your guests that the budget or venue size restricts you to a certain number of guests. Encourage them to take this as an opportunity to meet new people.
What about the ex?
Inviting an ex of a guest can result in tension on your wedding day. It is important to discuss this extensively with your fiancé especially if it is likely to cause people to feel uncomfortable. You may have to do with not inviting this guest and explain it to them.
Allow kids or not?
Kids are great fun, but you may not want them at your wedding. If so, you will have to ensure this is addressed in the invitations that you send to their parents.
You can come up with a compromise of limiting the number of children allowed. This may be the case if you’re having your wedding at a high-end hotel. You can arrange for a separate reception room for the children where they can have toys and games. Be sure to have a babysitter or two to watch over them.
Go With Your Instinct
Are there people you’re not sure about inviting? You don’t have to invite people you’ve lost contact with. In many cases, you’ll only feel awkward around them. Don’t feel obliged to invite people who invited you to their weddings either.
Don’t succumb to pressure from parents or otherwise. Go with your instinct. Simply ensure that your list has those people you really want at your wedding.
If you have any other ideas to control the wedding guest list, please let us know.