Should you invite a friend of a friend? What about your boss? Reign in the worries with this wedding guest list help!
There are always difficult decisions to be made when it comes to deciding who to put on your wedding guest list. You may have secured your venue and been told your numbers, which leaves you feeling a little bit anxious as you now have to decide who does and doesn't make the cut. There are many different wedding etiquettes, and truthfully, it is too difficult to adhere to all of them. So forget about all your Facebook friends and your aunties cousin twice removed and think about who will help make your special day even more perfect.
When it comes to weddings it can be hard to find your way around some of the uncomfortable decisions you’ll have to make, and your guest list is certainly one of them. In some cultures inviting everyone, including those with whom you’ve only shared awkward hello’s on the way to work, is an entirely normal practice. However, more and more couples are now opting for intimate weddings. This change is due mainly to the cost of having a larger number of guests. We’ve compiled a list of the 15 rules for your wedding guest list that should help you decide what is best for you.
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First and foremost you and your fiancé must decide on the number of guests to invite in total, taking into account the reception venue size and your budget. Most couples prefer the idea of taking half of the guest list each—so the friends and family of either side, with some exceptions being made for guests of parents. If you're going to allow your parents access to your guest list make sure that you set some rules and boundaries. Make sure they understand it is your day and not there's... so your mum's hairdresser won't be sat at the top table!
2. When did I last see you?
If you have to remember the last time you spoke to a person but feel obligated to invite them, it’s probably best to keep them off the list. You want to look at your pictures after the wedding and recognise everyone there rather than squinting at the photo trying to remember a name! If you are unsure about who to invite e.g. a person you may have lost contact with but still think of fondly, it may be a good idea to meet up with them for a drink. That way you can see if you can rebuild the relationship and decide if you want them there on your special day.
3. You were invited to there wedding
It’s also important that you don’t feel pressured to invite people just because they invited you to theirs. Everyone has different reasons for inviting people to their wedding and you don't know there's for inviting you. If you weren't good friends before, it's likely they won't mind being missed off the list.
4. Who absolutely MUST be there
The easiest part of organising the wedding guest list will be to count those who you know you couldn’t get married without. Think about who you can picture looking at when you walk down the aisle, once you have these names written down you can start to think about the extra people you would love to celebrate with.
5. Plus Ones
Once you’ve invited your friends and family, you may start to take notice of the single friends and family members. Do you let them bring a date or make them fly solo and just stick them on the single’s table? The fact is a plus one isn’t completely necessary and a single’s table can work. Explain to your guests that your budget doesn't make room for extra guests while including table games on their table to help break the ice! You never know, sparks may fly between them.
6. Work Colleagues
You work with them every day, you chat to most of them on social media, but do you want them at your wedding? What about your boss? Will your boss be frosty with you at work because they know you got married and didn’t invite them? The best thing to do is think of it like this: do you socialise with your colleagues (and or boss) outside of work? Would you be friends if you didn’t work together? If the answer is yes then it would probably be a good idea to stick them on the guest list plus their partners. If your relationship is more formal, then it’s best not to make things awkward and keep wedding talk to a minimum.
7. The Ex-List
There have been many examples of future newlyweds inviting their exes to their wedding. This can be easy if you’re good friends or have children together and are on good terms. However it is important that this is discussed; one party may not feel comfortable with the decision to include their ex to the wedding guest list and may feel strongly about it. To resolve the issue, listen to what the other is saying and come to a conclusion together.
8. Kids: yes or no?
How do you not offend people by telling them there are no kids allowed at your wedding? Simple answer: you can’t. Some parents may not be thrilled at the idea of having to leave their little angels at home, while some may be excited for a night off. Whether you invite only the kids of close family and friends, there will have to be a plan. Consider organising a separate kids’ area with a designated sitter not forgetting to add lots of activities to keep them occupied.
9. Social media friends
While we’d all like to believe we have 4, 000 friends, because that’s what it says on Facebook, those in your friendship group who are purely social media based don’t need to be included in your wedding (especially if you haven’t seen them since your school days). Unless you speak to them regularly and can't imagine your day without them, cross off their names. They most likely won't be offended and will probably still 'like' your wedding pictures!
10. Scene stealer's
These people are always great entertainment on a night out, as they’re the ones who fall out of the club at 11.30 due to unwanted dancing on the bar. However, they are certainly not the ideal wedding guests. Trust us the whole bar dancing thing won’t be so cute on your big day.
Let's face it, we all have them! You're probably picturing yours now. For some reason they are in our lives and we can't seem to get rid of them. Well, now is a great opportunity! You may want them to see how happy you are and how beautiful your day is, but that shouldn't be what your day is about. The last thing you want to see in the crowd is your grumpy frenemy, leave them off.
12. "Oh no, [blank] is calling me"
If you do this when you see the phone ring and it is their name, don't invite them. If you feel like that over a phone call, the likelihood is you won't want to spend time giving them pleasantries on your wedding day. There is a reason you let the phone ring out!
13. Have they ever met your partner?
Has this potential guest and your fiancé ever met? If they haven't you really should decide whether they need to be there. After all, it is a day meant for both of you and your partner may feel slightly uncomfortable if they don't know certain people at their wedding. Talk it through and if they really mean a lot to you, invite them round so they can meet each other before the big day.
14 . Do you visit?
When you are in their town, do you visit them? If you find yourself staying where they live, but don't choose to visit them, it is best to leave them off the list. You really have to think about who you absolutely want there, and if you don't make the effort to see them when you're nearby, you're probably not too fussed about seeing them at your wedding either.
15. Must, should, could list
This is a list that will help clarify everything. Write all your names down and then go through them with your partner one by one. Place them in must, should or could list, must being absolute and could being unsure. Go through your wedding budget (cost per head) and see how far down the lists you get. Once your budget will no longer stretch, strike those names off the list.
Creating the wedding guest list can be a thing of nightmares. However, if you take these steps and lots of deep breaths, you will eventually come to a conclusion on who you absolutely want to be there on your big day. Just remember, it is your celebration, and you should celebrate with who YOU want to.
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