The List of Infinite Proportions
Alright, I just have to take a minute and rant here, because this has really been pissing me off.
I have been engaged for nearly a month now and I don't have a big budget for my wedding. Knowing this, I have been researching as much as I possibly can about cutting costs and budgeting. That seems logical, right? I have read every article and website I have been able to dig up about the topic.
In fairness I must say that (despite a great deal of repeating the same unoriginal things over and over again) I have found a lot of helpful hints and ideas that I hadn't considered before and quite a few that I will be implementing.
However, there is one particular idea that I have seen pop up on literally every article and it makes me mad to see it.
Cutting the guest list.
Excuse me? Do the people who write these articles simply not have many friends? Or small families? Or families that don't much care? Because, let me tell you, my fiance and I do not fall into any of those categories.
We both have larger families (my dearest especially) and plenty of friends. Not to mention that we are both active members of our church and since my fiance is the organist, nearly everyone in the congregation feels they should be invited because they've all known him for years.
(I should note that the church folks are being handled a bit differently than family and friends and that explanation will be a different article later on.)
Are any of these article writers part of a community like that? I hardly think so because if they were, they would know better than to constantly (always) suggest we cut the list.
So, you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to prove them all wrong by having my awesome wedding and still including everyone.
I'll tell you why.
Alright, so not every single person needs a plus one. Especially if they know a bunch of other people who are going to be there and you already have a big list. That makes sense. I get that.
But cutting plus ones completely as I have seen suggested? I think that's a terrible idea. Yes, it's an honor to be invited to a wedding, but if it's for a friend who's family and other friends I don't know? I'm less likely to go if I can't bring someone with me.
Personally, I have a terrible time talking to strangers and there's no way the bride or groom is going to be able to spend a lot of time with me because there are 100+ other guests there. So I know I would end up sitting quietly at the table for hours and end up leaving early because I don't want to dance by myself. Am I the only one? I doubt it.
So what's my solution to plus ones? Take the individuals into consideration.
For example, one of my uncles recently passed away and I know my aunt is having a hard time with it. I plan to call and talk to her to ask if she would like to bring someone along because I know she has several friends that have been helping her though it. I know she'll love being around her family, but she might need that extra support. I do not plan on addressing the invitation with plus one lest it cause her more grief to not see my uncle's name there, but she will know that the option is hers.
On the other hand, I know several of my work friends haven't had a relationship in years so I do not plan on offering them plus ones. For one thing, all the friends from work I will invite are friends with each other already and there will be plenty of them. However, I do plan on talking individually to the ones who might want a plus one to see if they would really prefer that.
Let me just say, meaning no offense to anyone who has or is planning to exclude children from their wedding, I hate this idea and practice.
In my mind, children are a huge part of the family, as much as any parent or sibling or uncle. Without them, the family will cease to exist! Why exclude them? To save on a few meals? And in the process either cost their parents more money because they have to pay for babysitting or alienate them because they are either offended that you don't want their children there or because they don't have the money to pay for flights, gas, babysitting, a gift, hotel, etc all in one day.
Call me crazy, but if you actually don't want them there, don't invite them. The family unit is a whole package. Either take it all or don't take any. Plus, if you plan on not inviting kids to keep your most hated relatives away for the above listed reasons, it will probably backfire. Just sayin'.
My fiance and I are very family oriented and we never even considered this as a possibility. Heck, we have three of my four nephews lined up to be part of the ceremony and my niece and his youngest sister are two of my bridesmaids. Why would we say kids can't come? Especially to the party after.
Plus (bonus!) if you have happy kids at the ceremony and reception you can get some of the most adorable pictures. Seriously, who doesn't love those kinds of pictures?
Those Friends Who Won't Be Friends In Another Year (or Five)
This cut baffled me at first, I gotta admit. If you're not going to be friends with them a year or five from now, why are they currently your friends? Call me crazy, but that sounds like a very counter productive waste of energy.
My friends are my friends. We all have very different jobs and lives. We all have very different personalities. We all have very different goals. We are spread across the country further now than we have ever been, but they are my friends. They are now, they will be ten years from now, and they will still be sixty years from now when we're causing mayhem in the nursing home. (Lol.)
Being friends means you stick around through all the crap so you can enjoy the good times after and distance doesn't matter.
Do you think people should be cut?
My guest list is pushing 300. That's not including all the cousins we don't think will show. But they'll still get invited. Why? because they're family. It's polite to at least send them a card going 'hey by the way, we're getting married, just so ya know'.
And (bonus!) if they do come, not only will it rock to have them there, but we'll get another gift.
Yeah, so, not really seeing the upside of cutting the guest list.