Facing the Inevitable: The Guest List

So the time has come.

Inside that beautifully presented brown paper package are my Save The Dates which will be going out next week, a year ahead of the wedding.  I have been so looking forward to this marker- the year countdown- and I’m excited about our nearest and dearest receiving a little taster of our wedding, marking the date on their calendars and generally looking forward to the day. (Or just sticking the card in a drawer and forgetting about it- probably more likely.)

But of course, not everyone can or will receive a Save The Date.

Sigh.

Paul and I first attempted a guest list a week or so in to being engaged.  Being the eejit that he is, he didn’t understand why we had to do this 16 months ahead of the wedding until I *gently* explained that without a rough idea of numbers, we wouldn’t know what size venue we’d need, would we darling? In the end I had to rugby tackle him to the sofa, hide the remote control and bribe him with the promise of a curry after, but we finally put pen to paper, and, at opposite ends of the sofa made a list each of our closest friends and family- those without a whom a wedding wouldn’t/couldn’t go ahead, and those who we would love to have there if budget and space allowed. The Essentials and the Hopefully Maybes.

To my surprise our numbers were pretty similar; roughly 45-50 Essentials and a further 15-30 Hopefully Maybes each.  From that we were able to establish that we needed a venue suitable for between 100 and 150, Paul’s hopes of a small wedding were put to bed, and the lists were then promptly filed away… out of sight and out of mind… until now.

Our problem is we both hate disappointing people.  We’re big softies, we like to be liked; Paul even more so than me.  No matter how much I vowed that I would be ruthless when it came to my own wedding, now that I’m here it’s just so hard to do.  The fear of disappointing people or damaging friendships is immense.  I’m able to be ruthless about his side, but of course I know that isn’t fair. We are doing our best to try and keep the numbers as balanced as possible.

In making decisions there are only really two rules:

  • No babies/toddlers/small children (new-borns an obvious exception).
  • No-one invited to the day who we haven’t both met.

But of course there are exceptions to the rules.  I have cousins in Germany who would be travelling over especially and by that point there will be a toddler and a 1-year old.  I can’t expect them to find a babysitter in a foreign country.  Then of course there are the partners of friends, some of whom neither of us have met, but who have been in said relationship for long enough to be worthy of an invite.  What about work colleagues? They are a huge part of our lives, especially when working in a small team, but I am yet to meet Paul’s and he is yet to meet mine…. Dilemmas!!! Unfortunately it’s looking more and more like we’re going to have to have separate day and evening guests.

Image via Night Deposits

I always said I wouldn’t have evening guests.  In my experience it makes you feel inferior and I’d hate for anyone to feel that way.  But we don’t want and neither can we afford a wedding for 150.  We have pretty much accepted that having evening guests is going to be the only way we can extend an invite to everybody that deserves one.  We know that the price to pay will be that some evening guests don’t come.  Our venue is at least an hour’s drive away for most people, and not everyone will want to pay for a hotel room for only 4 or 5 hours of soirée.  But I’m hoping that the promise of free booze and a mighty good time will lure the majority… We shall see.

But back to the Save The Dates.  We’ve come to realise that nothing has to be set in stone with a year to go. We are yet to get catering and furniture hire quotes and so, erring on the side of caution, the Save The Dates will be going only to those without whom a wedding can’t/won’t go ahead.  Once we have a clearer idea of how much it’s going to cost to feed and seat people, we will hopefully be able to invite a few more, and they will receive a proper invite when they go out in the New Year.  Who wants a crappy Save The Date anyway?

It’s perilous stuff this, planning a wedding.

And for those of you wondering, here’s a sneak peak of what’s inside that brown package.  I want them to be a surprise for the recipients (some of whom will be reading), but I shall do a full post on them and the fabulous lady who made them next week.

So come on then, what are/were your guest list dilemmas?  Anyone out there who finds being ruthless easy? Let’s talk… it’ll make me feel better!

In the meantime, have a fab weekend one and all.

Sama xxx

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