When you plan the celebrations for your marriage, one of the key elements that will impact a lot of other decisions is how many people you want to come, and deciding who gets those wedding invitations.
This could go a few different ways – you could work out how many people you want to have and pick that number to bring, or you could make a list of guests you want and find a way to fit them all. Most people, of course, will do a bit of both, coming up with a list then cutting names to get the fit right.
Realistically you will already have an idea of the size of celebration you want when you are working all of this out. Your budget will also impact the number of wedding invitations you can send out. Remember, even they all fit in the same venue, every extra person is an extra chair to hire, an extra meal to have cooked and more drinks to pay for.
There will always be conflict about the number of guests – and especially the identity of guests! You and your partner may want different friends there, and both sets of parents might also want some input. If you want to limit numbers, you need to be firm, with yourself and with other people.
Coming up with your list for wedding invitations
A good way to make the list is to work out how close family members need to be to get on the guestlist, then write down everyone who fits that criteria. Then make a list of close mutual friends, and then each of you can make a list of close friends they want to bring. Look at each other’s lists to make sure that no-one is missed who should get one of your wedding invitations.
You should also talk to your parents to make sure you haven’t missed anyone and see if they have ideas about who should be invite. You may find that you and your partner’s parents are suggesting guests that you don’t really know or don’t want to bring, but they might also remind you of some old family friends who you really do want to be there.
Cutting the numbers down
After you have a long list of names it’s time to work out how many you can realistically bring. For this you will need to talk to your venue and all your various caterers to work out how many you can fit and how many people you can realistically afford to bring. In most cases you’ll find that you need to bring down the numbers before wedding invitations go out.
One easy way to do this (if you haven’t made the decision already) is to make the reception adults only. This will save you from needing to provide entertainment, chairs and food for your family and friends kids.
If you still have too many people then it’s time to get ruthless. Anyone you are only considering out of guilt needs to go – wedding invitations should be reserved for people you are excited to have. If you are having doubts about some people, get rid of them too. If your parents put up resistance, explain the size and budgetary constraints.
In the end you need to remember that it is your big day, and you decide who is close enough to you to get wedding invitations. You should be able to celebrate surrounded by your family and friends, and nobody who you don’t really like or is only there because it would be awkward not to bring them. So get your guestlist ready and send out those wedding invitations!