We often speak with brides who are in the last few days/ weeks before their wedding day, they think their planning is done and their guest list is finalized, but a rogue family member calls up and asks why great aunt Catherine hasn’t been invited. Wanting to keep the peace, the bride gives in and invites the distant relative, messing up the seating plan and adding to the final wedding budget. Not a great start to your special day!
The big question here is why? Why do we try and accommodate the wants and needs of family and friends, over our own? The answers are far reaching, but here are some tips on how to approach the guest list to ensure the people who mean the most to you are included:
- Will they be in your life for the next ten years? A simple question to ask ourselves when culling a guest list is will that person be a part of my life into the future? Are they someone who I speak with often? Do they add something to my life, which is likely to remain the same for years to come? From work friends, to great aunties you see at Christmas, ask yourself are they in for the long haul, of not, drop them from the list.
- Both make a list and compare. Interestingly when asked to make a list of whom they would like to invite to the wedding men and women behave very differently. Woman tend to want to accommodate distant relatives, or mum’s best friend, as they know this will keep the peace and it is the ‘right thing to do’. Men on the other hand add people who they like to be around, their golfing buddy or best friend from high school. Once you have the list, pick a maximum number then work through the list and negotiate the final count. After all marriage is all about compromise, isn’t it?
- Is Dad paying for the wedding? If this is the case, you need to make clear with Dad from the start that you only want people at the wedding who mean something to you and who will contribute to your special day. If that means reducing the numbers so only the key people in your life attend, then great idea. This works on two fronts, firstly with less numbers the wedding will cost less for Dad and secondly, with a restricted guest list you will only be surrounded by the important people in your life.
- Children. The question of children at weddings always is a tricky one. Your sister has a 6-month-old baby, who will sit quietly in a stroller for the majority of the day and not disturb anyone, whereas you best friend has 6 year-old twin boys with more energy that humanly possible. How do you get around this situation? It’s your wedding and your choice, if you want to invite the children of your family and friends, be prepared to set up a kids corner, hire a babysitter for the day or have a wedding full of noise and energy!
- Don’t feel obligated. The bottom line is it is your day and your future that you are celebrating and you shouldn’t feel obligated to invite anyone you are not 100% sure about.
Happy wedding planning!