Wait, who are you inviting? And oh- surprise- I’m going to bring a date!
Yes. It’s time to talk about… the guest list. After our budget creation, our next order of business was the guest list. The guest list is honestly one of the hardest aspects of your wedding. You have glorious friends and family but, the question remains- can you afford to invite EVERYONE?
In most cases, it’s no. But, remember that doesn’t mean you don’t love someone. It simply means that your pocket book isn’t that deep. Being on the other side of weddings has taught me probably the most important note in planning my own wedding. Every guest, you pay for. You pay for their food, drinks and overall experience. Every guest has a dollar sign attached to their name. Yes, it’s a black and white way of looking at the guest list- but it’s true. Additionally, venues often have a cap of guest that you can invite. For instance, our venue only holds 150 guests.
Now, here we are. Shea and I want an intimate wedding. To be honest, I never really thought I would be the, “I want to get married in a princess dress and dance the night away” type of girl. Planning weddings is what I do. I deal with clients on a daily basis and help others plan their weddings. The last thing I really wanted to do was spend the money and plan my own wedding. One night, after a few glasses of champagne, champ is by far my favorite, my father and I made a bet. I had told my family for years that I wanted to get married in a vintage 50’s dress at the courthouse. Maybe some rice would be thrown, and we would dine at our favorite restaurant for the reception. I was confident that this was my vision. So, my father and I shook on it. Now, here I am engaged- planning a wedding. Why you ask? Well, when I told my mother about my courthouse plans she replied, “Weddings aren’t just for you. They are for your friends and family.” I understand what she said- they are a celebration. Now here I am planning our wedding, and well I am glad I changed my vision. Sorry Dad. Although my vision has changed, I still want to create an intimate celebration, like I had dreamed of, with just our close family and friends.
We chose the number 120. We made a deal that we will not go over. And honestly, I won’t let it happen. Shea wrote down a list of his family and friends. I created my own list. Currently we are around 100. But, we are both noticing that as our time goes by, our parents and even ourselves; realize we left a few loved ones off. Over the next year, I’m sure it will grow and we will need to create a Plan B list. What is a Plan B list? Well, as RSVPs return, you will realize that some guests will not be able to attend. Well, hello Plan B. Do you have a distant family member that you would like to invite but had to prioritize, well put them on the Plan B list. Simple and effective, I promise you.
As for dates, ohhhhhh wedding dates. As a planner, this is my advice: If a wedding guest has a serious significant other and will not know anyone at the wedding- give them a plus one. If you are inviting a close group of gal pals that you can all place at a table- have them enjoy and celebrate together. Be decisive, and don’t be afraid to write in the number of guests allotted on the RSVP card. I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve worked where we are short chairs, table seating, or even meals due to the surprise date. Be as precise and detailed as possible to limit mistakes and unknown factors on your day of.
Only time will tell what changes will be made in our guest list. Our guest list may not be set in stone until Save the Dates go out, but there is one thing we do know, that we want to spend our wedding days with those we love and not go in debt doing it.