WHO SHOULD YOU INVITE TO YOUR WEDDING?
It’s a pretty important question. And a party isn’t a party without guests, so it’s one you’ll need to tackle head on. The earlier you address it, the better off you’ll be. In more ways than one.
The number of people you invite to your wedding has a bearing on so many things, not least of all the cost, but also the style of venue and quality of food and drink. These days, weddings come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, as do budgets. As such, guest list management is a modern day wedding planning conundrum and one of the most frequently talked about sources of stress.
Unless the sky’s the limit and budget isn’t an issue, you’ll probably find yourselves weighing up the pros and cons associated with inviting a larger number of people (which might mean compromising on certain things), verses offering the best of everything to a smaller number of guests.
Does bigger equal better or is less actually more?
It’s rarely ever as straight forward as creating a list of all the people you want to celebrate with. Of course it’s very much a personal choice and not unlike so many other aspects of wedding planning, how you choose to construct your guest list boils down to a question of priorities.
Are there people you feel you HAVE to invite?
How do you decide who does and does not make the cut?
Whose choice is it anyway?
Rather than browsing through your Facebook ‘friends’, begin by making a list of the special people in your lives who you couldn’t dream of getting married without. Draw up this list before seeking anyone else’s approval or involvement.
It’s not a family reunion. Don’t feel obliged to invite anyone in your family who you haven’t spoken to for years. The same rule applies to so called friends who you haven’t kept in touch with.
If the capacity of your venue is limited or budget is a consideration, strike work colleagues of the list and suggest a separate soiree. The same applies to neighbours, who may want to wish you well especially if you see and speak to them on a regular basis. Why not enjoy a couple of meals out or a few celebratory drinks evenings after work during the build up to your big day?
Do not feel obliged to invite anyone to your wedding just because you attended theirs! Unless of course they are actively part of your current friendship group.
You do not need to offer a plus one to anyone who isn’t in a serious relationship or whose partner you have never met.
You might also want to draw the line at inviting friends of either sets of Parents you haven’t actually met.
If one or both sets of Parents are separated or divorced and one or both of them is with somebody new, the same rule should apply. To reduce the risk of any anxiousness or awkward feelings on the day, if either of you haven’t met your Parents’ new partners yet, make a point of doing so before the wedding.
If your Parents are contributing to the cost of the wedding they should almost certainly be allowed to bring a guest but if you are unsure how one might react if the other beings a new partner along, be sure to have a conversation with them about it first.
If either of your Parents are technically single or are in a relationship which is not yet defined, it is NOT appropriate for them to bring a plus one. Your wedding is not a place for a first or second date!
By far the most often talked about dilemma during consultations with clients is the question of whether or not children should be invited to a wedding. The answer is rarely ever straight forward.
I believe that whilst planning a wedding, every element should be considered from the perspective of your guests and would argue that most little people (or Parents of them for that matter) do not enjoy weddings. The prospect of sitting through a ceremony followed by a drinks reception, dinner AND speeches is almost certainly enough to reduce the average five year old to tears. Unless of course you are happy to pay someone to keep them entertained, in which case a specialist wedding creche facility is the perfect solution. However, you can eradicate the need for this completely by stating gently but firmly on your wedding invitation, guest information or wedding website that children are not invited. By allowing plenty of notice, you will be giving Parents the chance to organise child care and they will probably thank you for enabling them to enjoy a child free day and evening.
If you are to have an adults only wedding, decide what qualifies someone as an adult and sick to it. Unless a guest is nursing a baby, draw the line and be firm.
Once you have decided, let people know. Be clear. Only include the names of the people within each household who ARE actually invited to your wedding.
Please remember… it is only awkward if someone DOESN’T respect your decisions!
With over a decade of experience in planning weddings and events, I’m incredibly proud to be regarded as one of the most sought after wedding planners in the U.K. Learn more about me, my philosophy and experience here.
If you are about to embark on planning your wedding and are even just a tiny bit concerned or anxious about any of the points referred to in this article, an Inspiration Hour with me could be ALL the help you need.
In just one hour with me, I’ll ensure you fully understand all the things you need to consider, helping you to avoid some of the pitfalls you may otherwise encounter.
You will receive a comprehensive wedding planning checklist – a step by step guide to planning your own perfect day.
Also, based on my knowledge of how much things truly cost and what represents exceptional value for money, I will guide you to ensure you are able to optimise your budget and reduce the risk of making any costly mistakes which you may otherwise later regret.
To arrange your Inspiration Hour, simply call me on 07561 107888 or 01482 871053