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Your Wedding List
Collect the Information
Most little girls dream about their perfect wedding with lots of guests, an extravagant dress and beautiful flowers. Unfortunately the dream and the costs involved don’t always meet eye to eye.
Having a sit-down meal as well as providing the drinks or have an open bar can add up to a massive amount at the end of the day. Just removing a few people from your list can already save quite a couple of pounds.
It is important to first know where your reception will be and what the capacity of the venue is. Before you book the venue make sure it will be able to accommodate your desired amount of guests. All the guests should fit comfortably as there is nothing worse than a cramped space where people can’t move around. If you prefer a more intimate wedding reception you should only invite close family and friends. Most people have either planned their own or their children’s weddings before and they usually understand the costs involved, but make sure you are prepared for those who will feel offended for not being invited.
Create the List and Mail the Invitations
The next step is to create a list. On this first list you can add everyone you would like to have at your wedding and even those you don’t really want, but feel you probably should invite. The numbers can add up very quickly.
Now you start eliminating. It is always easier with the ones you don’t particularly want at the ceremony. Take a marker and cross off the ones that you can do without. Circle or put an asterisk at the names of the people you definitely want to attend. This normally includes some very close friends, your immediate family and other family you are close to.
It is important to discuss this with your partner as he or she will also have some people that they really want to attend. Many of these people are usually, in any case part of your wedding party, either as parents, siblings or bridesmaids and grooms-men.
There is a good chance that you will still have too many guests on your list even after you have eliminated some. Take some time to first work on your budget and other important arrangements before you look at your list again. Once you know exactly what all the costs involved would be, you will have a better idea of the absolute maximum amount of guests you can invite.
Get together with your partner and your respective families and find out from them who they feel should be at the wedding. Make a list according to priority. Even if it is a bit longer than expected, it is still fine as there will be people who won’t be able to attend.
It is always good to book a few extra places for those guests that never RSVP or want to bring an additional guest.
You will be ready to mail your invitations now.
Who Shouldn't be Invited?
Most people will understand why you didn't invite them, but there will always be those few who would be offended or hurt.
If this is going to bother you there might be a few creative ways to get around it. Couples usually invite their friends and acquaintances and business contacts don't really expect to be invited. The upset ones are usually those family members that you seldom see and don't really have a relationship with, but when it comes to weddings they believe as family they somehow have the right to be at the wedding.
Other times you can still manage to invite all the aunts and uncles, but not all the cousins and their spouses and children. The cousins might not even be concerned, but the aunts and uncles might be greatly offended if you don't invite their off-springs and all further generations.
I personally drew the line when it came to those cousins I last saw when I was 5 years old and couldn't even remember what they looked like. I only invited cousins whom I also considered friends and had regular contact with.
The other thing people get really upset about is when you say, No Children, on your invitation. I think my dad was upset with me about this till the day he died. Honestly I can't see why people find it very easy to get babysitters for their kids when they want to go out, but they can't seem to manage it for a wedding. I have children and I never felt offended if an invitation said No Children. If I couldn't get somebody to baby sit, I declined the invitation. You have to cater separately for kids and they just eat too much bad food and get sick. Children very seldom really find weddings something they love attending.
As I said earlier if you really want to keep everybody happy - and there are no guarantees - there might be a few ways to do that.
Creative Ways to Keep the Uninvited Happy.
I can't guarantee this will work, but at least you will feel that you made an effort.
The best way to ensure you will have a really small wedding is to get married far away from home. An island wedding might cost you less than catering for the entire family at your wedding and you will have the added bonus of already being at your honeymoon venue. They can't expect you to pay for their accommodation and flights so it is an easy way out.
Get married in the middle of the week, early in the morning. Make sure it is term time to take care of the No Children problem.
Have a pre-wedding party for all the long lost cousins, business connections and acquaintances. Everybody brings their own drinks and you provide a meal. Lots of interesting breads and spreads and filling soup or curry will be far cheaper than a catered reception. This is if you have the space to accommodate them all. Parents usually have larger houses. If necessary split it in two, one at your parents' house and one at that of your spouse-to-be.
Invite everybody to the church or venue where the actual ceremony will be, but only the very close family and friends to the reception. Don't be angry with those who don't bring gifts if they were only invited for the ceremony.
A wonderful way to get everybody to share in your happiness is to hire a large space and ask all the guests to bring something to eat. You can arrange for a cash bar and the DJ. You can explain on the invitation that you would like to share your special day with all your family and friends and instead of bringing gifts they should rather spend the money on the food they are bringing. With all the money you will save, you can buy your own gifts that you actually want. Who needs 6 toasters and strange vases from eccentric aunts?
As I said, no guarantees, but maybe one of the ideas can work for you or inspire another brilliant plan.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
The Most Important
It is your day and that of your spouse-to-be. Do what makes you happy. You don't really owe anybody anything. A wedding is a personal affair and is at the end of the day, an experience you want to share with those who are most dear to you.
Don't allow the uninvited to spoil it for you! They will soon forget and move on to somebody else to gossip about.