We suggest who you must invite
Having a hard time deciding who should be invited to your wedding? Are you and your fiancé unsure of who should get the last few seats? Well, you are not alone. Many wedding couples confront the conundrum of the wedding guest list.
Oftentimes, it’s not just your betrothed you’ll have to bargain with. Your mom may be hinting at a few of her own must-attends, and your soon-to-be in-laws will likely have people they want to see in attendance as well.
With all of these considerations, how do you nail down that list with plenty of time to spare, all while keeping everyone’s feelings in mind? We have a few suggestions that may be helpful so you can get those invites addressed and in the mail on time.
First, you need to know how many people you can afford to invite. Knowing your budget will give you a great starting point to determine just how many guests you will actually be able to comfortably accommodate. With a total in hand, you now can move forward to the names list.
Who Gets to Invite Whom
This is where the challenge comes into play. Some things you and your fiancé need to talk about when considering how to divide the guest list may include:
– How involved do you want each of your families to be?
– Is one family footing the bill for most of the wedding?
– How large are each of your families?
These questions should be discussed openly between the two of you. Being on the same page before even discussing the guest list with your respective families can help to keep things running smoothly.
This may be one of the first real tests in problem-solving for the two of you as a couple. So open up, share, compromise, and stand strong as team.
How to Divide the List
Some couples like to divide the number of guests they can afford evenly in half. If your families are of equal size, this may be the easiest option. If one of you has a large family, and the other a smaller circle, you may have to get creative in how you view the term “even.”
Early on, decide whether you each can use your allotted spaces as you see fit, or if you need to develop a ranking system for each set of guests and narrow it from there.
For instance, each of you could look at your own lists and identify your guests in terms of “Must Invite,” “Would Like to Invite,” and “Maybe Invite.” Start with the “Must Invites” and negotiate from there.
This will probably require some compromise, but then, that is one of the foundations of a healthy marriage!
Another area that may weigh heavily on who has a hand in adding to the guest list is who’s paying for what. If one or both of the families are heavily involved in financing your wedding, you may want to divide the list by thirds or even fourths, if need be.
Weddings are a family affair. Family doesn’t just apply to your gene pool, but people who are a part of your support system and have been truly significant in your life. For most couples, these people are:
– Immediate family members
– Close members of your extended family
– Your best friends
– Your good friends
You still may need to set some limits with these groups. For example, you may want to set a rule of inviting your family tree up to your first cousins and no further, with a few slots reserved for exceptions.
Just remember, if you two agree on a formula such as this, you both need to stand firm and stick to it. Abiding by this rule can help to minimize the chances of any hurt feelings.
You and your fiancé also may need to talk about the friends list. Your definition of best or good friend may vary widely from theirs. Generally, you want to have friends who you interact with on a regular basis.
Don’t guilt yourself into thinking you have to invite your coworker from three years ago because she invited you to hers. If you haven’t spoken to her in a couple of years, you don’t need to feel obligated.
For everyone on the list above, you should include spouses, long-term partners, and fiancés in your count. Know that you are under no obligation to allow any of the singles in this group to bring dates, especially if you’ve got a tight guest list. Just make it clear on the invitation by leaving out “and guest” when addressing the envelope.
You can minimize the risk of disagreements with your fiancé, parents, or in-laws over the guest list by having some ground rules in place. A frank discussion with you two agreeing on some basic guidelines is the best approach.
When everyone knows the plan, the list can be made peacefully and with a focus on the people with whom you get to share the day.