So you're getting married?!
In today's world, most people are hiring a wedding planner, to ease the stress of wedding planning. However, your wedding planner cannot create your guest list. They can ensure that the invitations are sent out, but you and your spouse will be responsible for creating a guest list.
One of the first things you should confirm when starting the wedding planning process is THE GUEST LIST. It is also one of the most stressful introductory things and probably one of the only things that you will continue to stress about until the day of the wedding.
KEY TIP: Your guest count is pretty much how you control your budget. Let it humble you.
Your guest count determines your venue because you need to know how big or how small of a venue is needed and if the venue can accommodate the amount of guest needed.
Your guest count determines your food budget with your caterer and figuring out if you wanted plated dinners vs. buffet.
Venue and food are the 2 main things you will need to confirm so that everything else can go smoothly.
Well where does the headache come in?
Narrowing down those lucky friends, family, and +1s.
You’d be surprised how many people come out of nowhere and expect to be invited to your wedding. People you haven't seen or talked to IN YEARS!
It all starts when you post it on social media. You’re basically sending a public invitation right then. Not only are you inviting all the well wishes of congratulations, but you’re basically inviting the expectations that anyone who has ever known you any parts of your life is getting invited. They will hit you up and reminisce on whatever small history you have and tell you how they’ve been staying updated and following your life all the time in-between and then end with how they would love to be there to witness the glorious occasion or straight up ask "will I get an invitation?!". Meanwhile you’re like, “oh”.
If you or your husband is anything like my husband who actually keeps in touch with EVERYONE from EVERY life event dating back to day care up to now as an adult, narrowing down will be an issue for you both.
So how do you narrow down?
Disclaimer: All I can do is share with you the best practice that worked for my husband and me.
We agreed on a final count that we felt would be fair, which was originally 150, but we upped it to 200 (keep reading to find out why).
Now, my husband originally had 120 by himself which I quickly told him he would have to figure it out because if he is not keeping in touch with 120 people everyday then somebody can be let go.
Yes, I was ruthless lol. It is necessary if you don’t want to spend your whole salary on one day when you have a lifetime to spend together.
My list was fairly short, when I narrowed down my list I only had 30 people on my list and that included their +1s.
My husband’s list was broken by category: family, college friends, frat brothers, work friends, etc.
While he was dealing with narrowing down his list, I had my own things going on.
Your parents and their friends will try to take over your guest list if you let them. Don't do it, plan ahead.
My parents had people inviting themselves on their end, and would bring it to me inquiring about what to do.
Now, I actually had a strategy to my guest list and I made a point to NOT post the details of everything on social media. Little did I know that I should have extended that plan to my parents so that they would know how to handle those situations.
Long story short, since my list was just that short I made a deal with my parents.They could invite 50 people of their own AND pay for those 50 people to eat. They too had to narrow down and have a process of elimination.
I was actually talking to one of my friend’s who is going through this process now and being stressed about her mom and the fact that she wants to give a guest limit but invite all of HER friends and it’s making my friend’s (the bride) list shorter and shorter for her own friends.
The way I eliminated all that was to give everyone a limit that was within the amount of guests that were agreed on with my husband and I and within our imaginary budget.
I honestly think that over 150 is just too many and it becomes a show at that point. It’s no longer intimate and it becomes less about the two of you and more about the people invited. You begin to make every decision based on what you want people to say or not to say about the wedding.
This day is really about the bride and groom. Do not allow outside sources ruin this moment for you. Do not live outside your means, because finances is the leading cause of divorce. In my opinion the less the better. Stick to the necessities!
I am the most EXTRA, lover of bling and all things glam, and I definitely have expensive taste. If I got EVERYTHING that I dreamed and wanted for my wedding, my wedding would have been really close to a million dollars! However, when it came to the wedding, I stuck to what was necessary! I was very cautious of what I could and could not live without.
Another issue we came across was RSVPs. After having people beg for and insinuate their invitations, we had people texting and calling us to tell us that they would not make the wedding due to the cost of flights, starting a new job, and more! We had 50 people change their RSVPs 2 weeks before our wedding. Imagine that!
It's funny, because I really thought I was eliminating that issue when I allowed people to RSVP once they received the Save The Dates 6 months in advance. I actually made it to where in order to receive an invitation, you had to RSVP so that I could get an estimate guest count and wouldn't waste a dime sending an invitation to someone I knew wouldn't be able to attend AND wouldn't send a gift (come on nah...sometimes you just know who you dealing with.)
Luckily, I had flexible vendors that were able to accommodate the changes with no problem, but I understand that this is not the case for most vendors.
Nonetheless, like I said before, the guest list process can be tough and is only the introduction to the type of issues that could arise during the wedding planning process.
You definitely find out who your friends are lol.
Process of elimination and confirming final guest count is KEY to control your budget.
Parents will want to add to the guest list, jump ahead and give them a max number of people they want to invite and leave it up to them.
Don't feel pressured to invite people because they ask if they are invited to the wedding.
Just know that not everyone will RSVP and think that a text or verbal agreement will confirm their attendance and in the same breath people will RSVP and not show up, so just know that.
Most importantly, do NOT start your life in debt, yes it's a special day, but it is only ONE DAY!
HAPPY WEDDING PLANNING!
Do you have any advice to other Millennial Wives to Be? Comment below! Don't forget to "Like" this post if you found it useful.