A wedding is a celebration, not a party and yes there is a difference. Parties can be impromptu gatherings, remind me of college and frankly life should be a big party. A celebration has reason, ritual and is an occasion. As a couple we celebrate the commitment we make to each other in front of our closest friends and family. As guests we celebrate the couple’s love and show our support in witnessing their vows. How do you choose who will join you in your celebration while keeping your budget intact?
Creating the guest list is a daunting task. The best advice I have ever been given was to look at your list and think of inviting everyone on it to an intimate dinner party in your own home. If you and your fiancé aren’t comfortable inviting them into your home and don’t think you could carry on the required one to two hour conversation over dinner, then they probably don’t need to be at your wedding.
Our guests were very important to us and creating our guest list was not easy. Both families had the requisite family invites and we had our friends that “had” to be there. We also had a small venue and an even smaller budget to work with. We did leave lots of friends out and honestly (and I don’t mean to offend) those that were present were exactly those that we wanted to be there. Give or take a few surprises but what’s a wedding without some surprises? While there were a few that were invited that couldn’t make it and a few mistakes made on our part with misses, we knew that everyone that wanted to celebrate with us was there in spirit. It is very awkward to face people when you attended their wedding but they weren’t invited to yours. Chances are they understand they went through the same dilemmas when creating their list.
Ultimately the people present at your wedding are there because you asked them; the final decision is up to you. Your budget will need to reflect the number of invited guests. Simply put, the more you invite the more it will cost. Don’t invite 300 people and think you can get away with the same budget for 50. Create your budget so that you treat your guests right. While they haven’t made quite the investment you have in the day, most likely they had to travel, get a hotel room and will bring a gift for you to enjoy the rest of your life. Your day will be enjoyable because, well, you’re getting married but you are somewhat responsible for the care of your guests as well.
The number of guests you invite to your wedding will have a direct effect on the investment you will make. Simply put, the bigger the list, the more it will cost. Does your third cousin twice removed need to be there just because they are family, probably not. Does your Grandmother need to be there, of course! By trimming the list down you will be able to not only have a more intimate celebration but you will also save on the reception costs. Fewer mouths to feed and liquor up, a smaller cake and fewer rentals and centerpieces will give you some room in your budget to splurge elsewhere.
So when it comes time to create that dreaded list stay true to your vision (and budget). Best of luck to you!
Check back tomorrow for some Recessionita tips on venue choices.