Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm Getting Hitched : The Guestlist

I'm sure you have heard before that narrowing down the guest list is one of the hardest things you will have to do in the planning process. Well, I'm here to confirm that unfortunately you heard right! :(
Ever since Clint and I started talking about getting married, we knew that a smaller to medium size wedding was the way we wanted to go.

  • Clint always envisioned an extremely intimate wedding with us, the witnesses, and the minister...I, on the other hand, never wanted a huge wedding, but also have way too many friends to ever go that small. Time for compromise!

  • We are planning on paying for the wedding completely on our own and having a reduced guest list is the number one way for us to stay within our budget.

  • It is very important to us to be able to share quality time with all of our guests.
Ideally we wanted our total count to stay below 100, which means only inviting about 40-50 people if everyone has a guest. So how did we finally come up with our final list? We decided to go the route of sharing this day with only our closest, closest friends and family. Since Clint is in the military keeping his side small was relatively easy. Between deployments, changing duty stations, or returning to civilian life, his friends unfortunately have a tendency to come and go quite often. As bittersweet as it may be, this definitely forces you to hang on to the most important people in life and really cherish those friendships that mean the most. Family wise, his side isn't very big so that helped a lot as well.

 For me, the story is a little different. I am so thankful to be lucky enough to live in the same general vicinity as a majority of many of the great friends I have made over the years. In a perfect world I would be able to invite every friend that I have been so blessed to have, but unfortunately that just wasn't a realistic option for our wedding. I know everything will turn out the way it should be but to be perfectly honestly this was, and still continues to be, a really hard situation. I just really hate the idea of hurting someones feelings unintentionally. Anyway, after lots of thought we finally made decision that I needed to limit myself to the closest 5 (give or take) friends from each period of life: home, sorority, college, and post-college. In terms of family, since I didn't really grow up around many of them it wasn't as difficult of a decision to choose those nearest to me.

 Were our methods the best? Not really sure, but I can sincerely say that we are pretty darn happy with our current guest list. And at the end of the day, that is what matters most right? It definitely wasn't always a breeze to get through, but by staying true to what we wanted for our special day we are on track to achieving exactly that.

 Here are some things I have learned over the process:
  • Figure out your budget and style, and determine a guest list size that will allow you to realistically achieve that. For example, a 5 course plated dinner for 150 people on a $10,000 probably won't work.
  • Decide early on a general number that you do not want to exceed and try to stick with that. It is very easy to let your list balloon out of control.
  • Be flexible! If you can't cut your list anymore, re-prioritize how you spend your money to make that number happen. Consider a daytime wedding, nixing wedding favors, buffet hour d'ourves rather than passed, beer and wine instead of a full open bar...
  • Your closest friends today are just as important, if not more important, than the friend from 3 years ago that you never talk to anymore.
  • It is likely that at least one person's feelings will get hurt. It sucks and isn't an easy feeling, but keep reminding yourself that this day is about you and your fiance. No one else. Do what makes the both of you happy.
  • Don't forget to include plus ones, photographers, DJs, videographers, and yourselves into the number of mouths to feed!
  • Number of guests will limit or expand your venue options.
  • Don't stress too much about it. Enjoy the process and remember that everything will work out the way it should.


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