Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Guest List Blues.

So it's been a while since I've done some wedding talk and I figured today was as good as any to get some things off my chest.

For one, Matt and I rock. I'm pretty sure we're one of the easiest couples to please and to work with and yes that does sound a bit arrogant but really, I think we are. We don't have any ideas set in stone so we're super flexible with people's ideas and proposals and we're nice.

So with that said, in the past month we've managed to hire a photographer, meet with a potential florist (meeting with another one this weekend) and booked a hotel block for our friends to stay in. Pretty much we're right on track (so people stop telling me how soon August 28th is, I know when it is, haha) where we want to be and we're slowly checking more things off our to-do list and it's awesome.

I love that we're doing so much together and being so efficient and it's just all sorts of sweetness. However, what's not so sweet and what I've been dreading since we first got engaged? THE GUEST LIST.

We've already sort of worked on the guest list before but now we really have to get serious since Save the Dates go out next month and I'm having heart palpitations just thinking about it. I feel bad because I've freaked out on Matt saying how it just sucks because there are so many people I want there and we can only afford so many and yeah I'm a whiner sometimes.

Basically we both have huge families and have kept in touch with a lot of friends and yeah narrowing it down has just been difficult to say the least and I tend to freak out and whine and complain and wish that we'd magically get more money to invite more people but I know that's just not happening.

So in the meantime I love everything about our wedding except the guest list. How did you/will you/should I get over the guest list blues? Maybe just start picking names from a hat, haha?

However, when I'm not freaking out about the guest list I'll be making Matt practice some dance moves with me, because I need some serious help and hello I can't step on his feet during our first dance!




happy wednesday!

*I realized I say "So" a lot and as an English minor I should be ashamed, but umm yeah I'm not.

36 comments:

Kate said...

I'm excited to hear people's advice on this. I'm not even engaged yet and I'm already dreading this task. Oh to have an unlimited budget! I can barely afford for myself and my love to be there at this point!

Shannon Patterson said...

My wedding is two months away, and somehow people keep getting randomly added to the guest list by my mom and my fiancee's mom, so I totally feel for you.

What we have done is set a solid number of people who are invited to everything, and then for the others (my mom's friends, neighbours, etc), we are inviting them only to the wedding and the reception, not dinner. The dinner is where the biggest expense is in my area. Maybe you can do that, too. It really depends on where your guests live, though.

Andrea said...

I'm not engaged and the idea of making a guest list stresses me out. My family is huge, and part of my family is really close and other part isn't, but I'd hate to leave them out (plus obviously his family and our friends). Lots of luck!

Mandy said...

I have a cousin getting married next weekend. It started out as a small, just immediate family wedding with around 60 people and has now escalated to over 150 because of my aunt and the brides mom adding people. Its been quite frustrating for my cousin.

Grace said...

The guest list can be tough. What about having a separate event after the wedding that everyone is invited to? It could be something at your parents house or a park. Light food, maybe even just desserts and everyone could celebrate your recent marriage. I'm sure your friends will understand that it is just not possible for you to invite everyone. Ooooo...or maybe they could donate to the "help me have a bigger guest list fund!" haha

Doniree said...

I like the idea of putting everyone's names on a dartboard and throwing darts at them.

Seriously though - sorry this is such a battle, I've definitely heard of the Guest List Blues before. Just take your time and keep breathing and remember you don't have to please EVERYONE. :)

rachel said...

UGH. I got stressed out just reading this. i'm right at that place where we're ironing out our list and i'm SO STRESSED. it's hard because i don't want anyones feelings hurt, and at the same time... i'm not a millionaire. it sucks and i wish i could just invite everyone.

hang in there though, lady. you can always have a big party or something after so the people that couldn't be there can celebrate with you!

hang in there! xoxox

SG said...

I feel your pain, we are budgeting for 90 people and at first the guest list was only 100 so that was great, now it's at 110 and slowly growing...oh and this is AFTER we've already sent save the dates. It will be interesting to see how many guests we actually end up with. Good luck!

Kay* said...

i'm not engaged, have never been married so this is strictly my opinion (& i'm sure others will say oh - easier said than done)...(and i'm lucky that my circle is small so a guest list will not be stressful) but my advice is - invite the people you REALLY TRULY feel like you would miss if they were not there. that you can't imagine NOT being there. that you would regret not being there...

some people, yeah they are your friends but would you truly miss and regret them not being there? i think that might knock a few people off your list. after this if your list is still large then you know this is what's important to you & perhaps cut back in other areas that aren't so important to you so you can afford to accommodate more people. like maybe less expensive favors (or no favors)? or smaller/less ornate flower arrangements, or maybe just a cake instead of a full sweets table...

people know that you are a young couple so they should understand the financial restraints. if they don't - well boo for them!

exciting exciting! & congrats on your progress so far!

tea for tessa said...

I'm not engaged yet, but my boyfriend and I talk about this quite a bit. I agree with Kay*. It's so hard because you want to include everyone. We want people there who will be genuinely happy for us and people that we will want to drag into our future together as a couple. That's what it's really all about.

I also feel like we will be extremely easy to work with. I have never had dreams about a wedding or anything, I just know I want hydrangeas for my floral selection ha ha.

Best of luck! You still have plenty of time! Plus, the best efforts are normally cranked out during the end of the run!

Sweet Pea's mommy said...

i understand completely. we are having the same issue and like you I do wish that more money would 'magically' appear for me to do more inviting. the only thing I can suggest is having a party either before (engagement party) or after the wedding to include all the people you are unable to invite. if it's after the wedding you can show a slide show of the ceremony so people can see the 'magic'happen and still not feel as left out. also - the best way to scale back is to think, would you spend $50+ on a gift for this person? invite them over to dinner? then they should/n't come.
its a hard job, but someone's gotta be cutthroat about it.

Rachel said...

I wish I could give you advice, but BF & I have already decided that when we get married we want it so small & low key that besides family, only my two best friends & their husbands & BFs best friend and wife will be invited. Scary I know.

Steph the WonderWorrier said...

I think the Guest List really is the hardest part. I know for my best friend, it's been tough narrowing it down, and now she's just resigned to having a huge list (which for me is like, cray-cray money-wise, but it's HER day, hers and her family's money, so whatever!)

I think what I would do is tackle it really systematically. Begin with a fresh piece of paper, 1 each for you and for Matt. You need to start listing people in literally, order of importance. Mom, Dad, Siblings, other direct family you are in touch with who need to be there; family friends you grew up with who are important to your parents; friends you've been close with for a long time; acquintances who you want to invite; co-workers you want to invite.

Then you need to assess and see who is important to BOTH you and Matt? Who needs to share in your wedding, because they will be in your life for the forseeable future? I think sometimes we get caught up with our 'friends', 'acquintances' and 'co-workers' thinking you want them at your wedding because you're currently (or were) close and since they're around when you're planning your wedding, how can you not invite them? But it's important to remember it's not just some fun party to invite people to, but an event that costs nearly $100 a person on your dime (that's a general number) and that represents you and Matt together forever. So you can definitely make cuts for people who yes, you like them in your everyday life, but they aren't explicitly important to BOTH you and Matt and haven't been a part of your relationship, so they don't need to be a part of your wedding day.

It's a little.. harsh sounding, perhaps... but it's sort of what you have to do to cut down on the list if you need to cut it down.

KellyGrrl said...

My mother in law kept trying to invite her friends without talking to us first.... We had to put our collective foot down and tell her absolutely not. We had very limited space and we care more about OUR friends being there than HER friends...

KellyGrrl said...

Oh - and we just sent announcements to extended family that we were pretty sure wouldn't travel all the way out here anyway... That way we could invite the friends we wanted without the worry of "what if they actually COME?"

Lacey Bean said...

I really have no advice on this. Guest lists SUCK. We wanted 150, we're probably going to have closer to 180 because my parents kept adding people, and we had to add people like Dave's sister's in-laws. Who I barely know/see. It's dumb. You have to do what you can afford. And honestly if that means cutting people that you really want there, let them know why. They may be hurt, but if you're honest about it up front and don't wait until the save the dates/invites go out, it'll be a little better.

michelle woo said...

I'm dealing with the same thing. While I'm able to invite all of my family and close friends, there are people such as co-workers whom I really REALLY want to invite and just don't know if I can. It sucks because these are the people who hear my wedding talk the most. But my friend who recently got married told me that you should invite 20% more people than your ideal guest list. I'm kinda skeptical. I really think all the people who we invite will actually come. Yes, we're just so popular, jk.

Nora said...

Well, I haven't had to deal with this yet but I've watched my friends deal with it.

It involved a lot of editing, compromising and etc.

My only suggestion as an outsider: don't feel bad. People will understand and if they don't? They weren't a friend in the first place (okay, well, that's a bit drastic, but I think you know what I mean.) Perhaps if they are local friends that you can't invite, suggest a wine & cheese event post-wedding to share pictures, stories and honeymoon tales. They will appreciate being included!

Good luck; I know it's a tough thing for all couples to deal with.

Hugs!

Deutlich said...

oh gosh, i bet that if i ever get married -- that'll be the worst part for me too. I don't have the big family issue.. but pruning ANY guest list sucks butt.

With that said, I'd tootally recommend doing it like you'd pack for a backpacking trip to Europe. You start off with a full suitcase. Let it sit overnight. Examine it the next day. Take stuff out that you really DON'T totally need. Rinse and repeat.

So, start w/the guest list that you'd love, then start clipping away at the edges, if you will.

I bet it'll get easier w/each day.

Kim Thomas said...

My family is huge and I was so overwhelmed by the Guest list I ended up cutting out everyone other than family and best friends.

EP said...

I completely feel you on this. We've been working on our guest list, and it is becoming SO DRAMATIC that I've just stopped dealing with it. I know I need to get back onto the bandwagon but this? Is probably the most challenging part of wedding planning.

At least y'all have a location picked out and a date! (:

Jane said...

1. The only reason people say "oh, that's so soon!" is either a.) they want to pressure you into choosing them as a vendor or b.) they are accustomed to psycho brides who are frantically planning their 2012 weddings. Ignore them.

2. I feel you on the guest list. We had to cut out cousins that we no longer talk to and not allow kids, even though we originally wanted to have families attend. Also, we finally had to tell our parents that we'd love to have some of the people they want to add, but that we'd also like to be able to afford a photographer and food. Going over the budget with them helped a lot. They seem to think twice before trying to add people now. I realized I had (finally) gotten my mom on board when she talked about having a backyard BBQ for more distant family members and kids that we won't be able to invite. :)

As a final note, remember that a lot of people (even ones you think would be definite yeses) *will* RSVP that they can't make it. About 70% of the people you invite will actually show up, so the numbers may not be as bad as you think.

And as a second final note... Don't stress! It will be a WONDERFUL day, no matter what. You are the most lovable couple ever, and people will understand that you can't invite everyone who loves you because that would involve like a million people and the entire internet.

Sarah said...

Being as though I am not married or engaged I don't have any helpful hints but I hope you guys figure out a way to have all your loved ones in one room without spending a fortune.
that has got to be a tough task. (I know, no help at all-just best wishes)

d said...

Hahaha, I say 'so' and 'um' all the time.

I think the main thing when looking at a guest list is just being a little bit ruthless (for lack of a better word). Money is money, and your wedding is your wedding, you will only do it once, so just do what you can and everyone else will have to understand. It's hard to shut people out, but ultimately, it comes down to the age old saying that you can't please everybody all of the time.

Now, I mean, good luck with that because I am a total people-pleaser and will probably have 37 bridesmaids and 800 people at my wedding.

Hillary said...

I'm sorry lady, I have no advice. I hated doing our guest list because everyone had different opinions about who should be invited. I think we redid our list about 4 times before we made it final.

Ameena said...

Just resign yourself to the fact that you will forget someone you probably should have invited...and there will be someone who calls you on it. You can't worry about it. It will happen. We had 400+ guests and we still got grief over the guest list!

I am in So Cal too. Nice to "meet" another Angeleno!

Leah said...

Guests lists ... I'm not even engaged and they already stress me out.

You need wine. And chocolate. And cupcakes. Only then should you tackle the guest list.

(On the contrary, last week my bff and her fiance did their list in an hour - she wrote a long comment about the process in my recent blog post that may be helpful.)

Susan said...

It really is the most stressful part. We are so on top of things, but we haven't notified anyone about the wedding via save the dates because we can't finalize that stupid guest list!

Ali said...

You two DO rock. You guys seem to have such a relaxed energy (I'm sure this will be proven whenever I meet the man!). I just love it.

Oh, the guest list. I was talking about this with a co-worker of mine (who literally just got married) and we were saying how it's so hard to decide who to invite. You'll figure it out and make the best decisions. Because you guys rock.

Allison M. said...

I know nothing about creating a guest list other than don't feel obligated to invite ANYONE. Even if you were invited to their wedding, will you see them in a few years? if the answer is no, i say cut them.

then again, what do I know? Nothing.
See you for sure in February!

Andhari said...

Urgh I have to make events a lot and have this problem whenever we have to make a more private ones and "selecting" the crowds. I loathe it since I want everyone to be there.

But I'm sure you can decide so much better than me, you're a great lucky person to have so many people you love in your life :)

Ps. I said "so" a lot too, I blame it on english being not my first language :D

Bayjb said...

Guest lists at a wedding are a disaster. I know you guys will work through it but the amount of stress it's caused family members makes me want to elope!

Freckles said...

I don't know that I've actually commented on anything wedding related for you, so let me start by saying I am so happy for you two.

Ultimately you need to make sure that any decision you two make is one that will make you two happy. I know that is sort of vague, but don't make decisions based on making others happy. This is your day and no one elses.

Sorry, I know that's not much help.

nicoleantoinette said...

Annnnd the couple crush grows.

Julie Q said...

hehe, since gus and I were only 24 years old when we got hitched, we blamed it on us being silly young kids when we didn't invite certain people. looking back- obviously i wish i had invited more people- but you gotta live in the now and do whatever you want!

alyndabear said...

Oh Katelin, this is exactly where J & I are at right now - only we're thinking WAY ahead because the wedding isn't going to be until next year!

I had my parents write 2 lists for us. One for EVERYONE they could think of that we would invite - and one for the ones that are pretty relevant in our lives, that makes the list narrower. Jason got his parents to do the same. We looked at both of those, then added in OUR additions (friends/colleagues and that) and it's made the whole shebang a lot easier.

And it's true - you can always have a party AFTER the honeymoon to celebrate more if you need to!

We're trying to limit it to 80-90, and I think we'll be ok. Ha! Says me now... watch me freak out in 2 months! ;-)

Good luck! x