Tag Archives: wedding guests

Let’s be ReaLISTic

Creating your guest list is no different from many other projects as you will start with a monumental idea only to realize the need for a more practical outcome. Whether you are planning a small, intimate ceremony or one to which you invite hundreds, there are some that should NEVER be included and others whom there is no obligation to extend an invitation to.  Here are just a few of those….

Certainly, there are people you see often and seemingly know every detail of your life, whether your manicurist, co-worker, boss etc. Therefore, you have had conversations about your upcoming marriage and perhaps each aspect of the planning process. However, neither that knowledge nor the amount of time spent together necessitate an invite.

There is no need to include all members of your family as, most likely, you have relatives with whom you don’t keep in contact with unless via holiday cards or see every few years if you happen to pass through their town or attend a family reunion. A great way to include them in your celebration (while alleviating feelings of guilt) is to send them an announcement along with a photo and personalized note.

It goes without saying that you exes belong in the “should NEVER be invited” category even if you have been apart for years and remain friends. Perhaps he/they has moved on as well but there is no assurance that seemingly long gone emotions won’t be stirred up. However, you can likely guarantee that his/their attendance would create an uncomfortable situation for your fiancé.

Plus ones are often expected to be included as some feel more comfortable attending an event which is a celebration of love, happiness and unity with their significant other rather than going alone. Of course, you should encourage your close family and friends to bring a guest. However, if you are not including certain relatives or others with whom you spend much of your time, there is no requirement to surround yourself with people you have never met.

Friends from high school with whom you only exchange occasional hellos with on social media, neighbors and friends of friends also fall into the “should NEVER be invited” category as you would not expect them to attend, mind if they didn’t or notice if they did. Also, it may seem as if their inclusion is merely an attempt to get more gifts as many do feel obliged to respond to an invitation in such a manner.

Chances are that you have heard all about weddings that you were not invited to and probably didn’t even give a second of thought to it. It is your day to be surrounded by those who mean the most to you. Including many who are either strangers or acquaintances casts a shadow over the value of ones you hold nearest and dearest.

First of All

When wedding planning, regardless of the hours spent or attention paid to details, it is almost guaranteed there will be glitches and unexpected occurrences you won’t be prepared for. Neither micromanaging nor being completely obsessed will ensure flawlessness.

You can easily be consumed with every facet which detracts from the joy when walking down the aisle as you may obsess thinking of every detail you are seeing. It is not a reflection of your lack of love and should not make you question your decision. It should instead be a sign that you need to take a deep breath, relax and realize that, even if everything that could go wrong does, you’ve made the absolutely right choice for you.

Despite having a photographer, some guests will want to take photos or videos on their phones and get in the way of the professional shots. One recommendation is to include in your invitations that there is a “no photos” policy. It is simple to kindly say that photos will be distributed once developed but someone has been hired to take on the task and, while you appreciate the interest and effort, you have control of that aspect.

Often, you will have a recently married friend who is now an expert on everything involved and suddenly become a dispensary of unwanted/inappropriate advice without regard to the fact that it is YOUR day. Sweetly tell her that, while her wedding was lovely and you appreciate her advice, you have a different style and have made choices that are perfect for you.

Unfortunately you will likely find someone who is consumed with jealousy and bitterness over their own relationship history. The best way to handle him/her is to have a private conversation, ask if they would like a particular song played or find other small ways to make them feel special and included.

No wedding will be exactly as you’ve dreamed of but it will always turn out perfect in the end and it is the mishaps that you can look back on which make it even more than what you imagined.  

I’d Rather be Apart from You

Each guest at your wedding realizes their meaning solely based on having been invited (even those who are plus ones). A kind gesture is to take it a step further to both demonstrate your personalities and uniquely individualizes your union from any other.

  1. As each person arrives, have a fresh flower pin or hair clip for women and miniature boutonniere for the men each with a personalized name tag. Doing so shows thoughtfulness and creates a sense of congruency for group photos.
  2. Rather than a rose or sand ceremony, plant the seeds of your favorite flower together during your ceremony. It’s a fantastic recognition of the new journey you are embarking on and will serve as a reminder as you watch it grow and flourish.
  3. Provide a variety of colored pennant flags as your guests enter along with markers so as to write a single word on. It will fill the gap prior to the ceremony beginning but, more importantly, while you typically imagine leaving the venue to flower petals or rice, your married life will begin with waving of personalized and handwritten wishes.
  4. Rather than opting for typical banners, consider making your own. While needing to know the dimensions in order to hang them, the options are limitless in terms of what they could show. You could create collages of images with all of those you invited to make them feel appreciated or solely two of special moments with your fiancé.

When you start to plan your wedding, your mind goes immediately to what you’ve seen on TV, what you grew up dreaming of etc., but there are so many ways you can blend both tradition and personalization in ways that not only make it feel like your special day but also as if a very special day for each of your invitees.

My Site is Set on You

Likely, your initial thought when choosing who to celebrate your marriage with is to include everyone who has ever meant anything to you in your life. Then reality sets in, you realize your fiancé has a guest list as well and that, as the number goes up, so do your expenses, forcing you to reallocate your budget.

There are many reasons for selecting a venue among those being a place with sentimental value, somewhere you just happened upon and had a feeling about or a location which may not be your first choice but will accommodate the numbers of guests you have invited.

While every person you do invite most likely hopes to attend, not everyone will be able to. Some may immediately let you know via your RSVP cards but others cannot predict unforeseen circumstances and cannot inform you until much closer to the date.

One thing to consider is the number of guests coming from out-of-town. If they are family or very close to you, the likeliness of attendance is much higher than if they are friends from college for example. Typically, when averaging the two, approximately 55% of those coming from different locations will actually be present.

Local invitees are much more prone to commemorate your day with you so expect relatively 90% of those to attend. However, something may occur which keeps them from attending as well.

Therefore, your site should be chosen not by the capacity it is able to accommodate according to the number of invitations you send out (given it is not significantly less) but rather by what feels right and seems to be the ideal location. After all, if your heart is set on one particular place, modifications can always be made so as to execute what you’ve dreamed of.