If I were to ask you what you were struggling with the most when planning your wedding what would you say? Money? Yeah sure, that seems to be a big one, but I bet I can top it!
I went out and asked several couples, past and present, what is the most stressful part of planning a wedding. The answer,
THE GUEST LIST AND SEATING CHART
I couldn’t believe how many people had this as their answer, and the more I thought back to planning my own wedding I totally get why this is such an issue. Especially since this also factors into your bottom line, another wedding planning stressor. That solution is for another day!
Now, the solution, or should I say recommendation to this is a 2 parter so you will have to come back on the how to create your seating chart, I definitely have some tricks up my sleeve on that one.
QUESTION: WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART OF PLANNING A WEDDING?
When deciding who to invite to your wedding, there is one thing you should think about, who is paying, or contributing monetarily to this wedding? If your parents are helping you with the financial part, you will need to come to terms with the fact that they will have their own invite list. This all in its own can be a huge stress, so hopefully some of these tips will help. It does help to create these lists together as a couple because then you are dealing with twice the amount of lists and then it starts to get a bit complicated.
DETERMINE YOUR TRIBE
First you will want to write down your tribe, your circle, your ride or dies. This will be your closets friends, immediately family members, the people you see and speak to on a regular basis. You know the ones that WOULD ABSOLUTELY BE INVITED. This is the easy list; sorry it only gets harder from here.
Next, jot down all your extended family members, you know the ones you only see at birthdays, weddings and funerals. You will want to make a note of any cousin, niece/nephew that is over the age of 16 whether they live at home, away at college or on their own. Here is where things start to get hairy. Traditionally, anyone over the age of 18 not living at home gets a +1. Only you can determine if that is an option for those family members. With a huge Italian family, I had this exact issue. I had 15 cousins, 1st cousins and family friends that were between the ages of 18-25 that were not married, living on their own and in limbo about whether to offer up a +1. So, what do you do?
Ask yourself these questions,
Do they have a serious bf/gf that the family knows?
Are they of legal age?
Are they the type of person that would bring a random person?
Sometimes, it’s helpful to get your parents involved in this. They may be able to help with this. I did have a few cousins that were single and were just invited as part of their immediate family, addressed to the Rocca Family, party of 5. In my opinion, this is the worst part about the invite list.
WORK & RANDOS
The next list is the list of all your work peeps, school friends, past sports besties (the ones not already listed in your tribe list), neighbors, old babysitters. These are the people, who at some point, were important enough in your life to warrant them actually being thought of for this list. Your ballet teacher growing up that was more like a big sis, your first college roomie, the boy next door (not the romantic one obviously). Regardless of your current status with this person, put their name down.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
The final list is your parents list. Now I am sure you have already gotten them involved at this point especially since you probably did not know you had a great aunt Sandy for the family list. This list is all the people, who you probably do not know like your mom’s boss or your dad’s fishing buddy (ok you may know him). These are the people in your parent’s life that they want to show you off to and brag that their perfect child is getting married. You on the other hand could care less whether they come or not.
Alright, you have your lists made YIKES that’s a lot of people. Get to counting, if you are under your desired guest list BOOM your done! Task complete, now go check out who should receive a Save the Date and get your order on.
Don’t worry, for the other 95% of you it’s time to cut your list, well at least split it. Keep in mind, about 25-30% of your invited guests will not come and with COVID and all the restrictions, that number has increased to about 45-50%. However, you can not solely rely on these numbers JUST IN CASE. They are there to use as a guide ONLY.
Your first 2 lists are pretty much locked in, you could possibly have some wiggle room with family members, but chances are you already tried weeding out anyone that you could. Best option would be to remove the +1s from any family member that could attend with their immediate family or household.
The first list to weed out is your parents list. You will want to have a sit down them to determine if their guests are really necessary. Even though they are contributing, this is still your wedding. Maybe you can compromise and offer 1 table (8-10 people) and they can determine who to cut from that list. The next list to start cutting is the WORK AND RANDOS list. Really think about where you are now with these people and determine if you MUST cut your list, then put them on the B List. What is a B List? Well, this is the list of people that you have that you are only going to invite if you get enough RSVPs back that cannot come. You will want to rank this list; just in case you do not get the chance to invite everyone on it. Therefore, it is so important to order additional invitations when it comes time to ordering.
WOW, that was a lot of information in one blog post, but don’t worry when you break it down you will start to realize that “cutting the list” may not be as stressful as you think.
Agh, who am I kidding this part SUCKS, but you have to do it and unfortunately only you can determine who will make the list. Good luck my friend!