Weddings are such an exciting time for not only you and your partner, but also for your close friends and family.
When you get engaged you are both on cloud 9, with the masses of Facebook congratulatory messages/ posts and engagement ring likes!
So that’s what can help you- is your friend ‘Alice’ really that close to you? or when you sit down and think about it… is ‘Alice’ only ever there with the obligatory Facebook posts i.e Happy birthday, comments on a cute picture of your dog that you post etc…
Were you close to friends at school, but could class them more as acquaintances nowadays rather than good friends?
Now, if you have a budget that is endless and don’t have to consider costs for every person there then who to invite is perhaps less of an ‘ordeal’ for you, but if you are paying for the wedding entirely yourselves or you have a small budget then it’s really important that you get the guest list right.
You and your partner will know the people who you absolutely couldn’t get married without them being there, which is great because you can get them in your absolutely list but when it comes to people you have perhaps lost contact with or don’t speak to anymore then don’t feel obliged to have to invite them (at least not to the day ceremony).
Work colleagues: Now even though you probably spend more time with your work colleagues than you do your friends and family (even your husband to be) there is nothing to say that you must invite your work colleagues to your wedding. Yes, it’s fine to get excited with them at work, let them hear all the wedding updates, let them discuss with you whether the blush or powder pink works better for napkins, but don’t feel that they have to be invited to your wedding, the majority of couples invite close work colleagues to the evening celebrations, however that isn’t definitive that they need to be invited and to be honest most of them wont be expecting an invite.
Family: The deciding factor with regards to family is down to you and your partner, now your parents may want to invite particular people that you don’t feel the need to invite, the only exception and times you may need to be lenient is if your parents/ partners parents are footing the bill. If they are willing to pay then maybe let them have a small say. If you and your partner are paying then you don’t have to consider anyone that you don’t want there, it’s a big expense a wedding it must be perfect for you!
Friends: Friends is generally the grey area, where there are no ‘rules’ as such- you and your partner may have lots of friends, particularly if you are a sociable couple- maybe play sports, socialise in many groups, so when it comes to the big day it’s inevitable that many of those friends will get the cut! On your big day you have to be cut throat otherwise you’ll have a never ending guest list and a never ending bill. You will know deep down exactly who should be there, if you see people regularly and they make as much effort to be a part of your life as you make to be in theirs then it’s a no question that they will be invited, people come and go, so if you have flaky friends then extend the invite solely to the evening reception. The aim is that you don’t exclude people, but you have the important ones all day! It would generally be nice to invite couples whose wedding you have recently attended also.
Children at weddings… Now what to do? If you want a child free affair then that is your choice- it doesn’t matter what guests or friends/ family opinion is on the matter- it’s your day and it’s what you want! If you couldn’t bear the thought of little Jack screaming whilst you are saying your vows or spilling at the wedding breakfast then it’s simple no children! But you must bear in mind the feelings of those guests who go everywhere with their little ones and be tactful in delivering the news:
On the invitations address only to the parents, you could be very straight and say that this is an adults only occasion, or only very close family children (nieces, nephew, own children etc) or make it clear in a way that will allow your guests to think that it’s a good idea to have adults only… There are many versus and quotes that can depict ‘NO CHILDREN’ without being too blunt and upsetting guests for example…
In order to allow our guests, including parents an evening of relaxation and enjoyment we have chosen that our wedding day will be an adult only occasion. We hope that this advance notice means you will still be able to share our big day and will enjoy having a glass of bubbly and taking the evening off!
Plus ones- there’s a lot of taboo around correctness when it comes to plus ones at weddings, if your wedding budget is tight and you’re struggling over inviting plus ones for your friends then consider inviting friends in a group, seat people who know each other together and consider inviting their plus ones to the evening reception.
With plus ones it could help you to decide who to invite on length of time that your guests have been with their partner, if they have been together years and attend occasions together then it would come as standard that they be invited together, alternatively if they have been together ‘5 minutes’ then you may not want them on your wedding photographs. Your wedding guests should appreciate your decision and not question.
There we have it, a small insight into wedding guests- try to picture if ‘Alice’ wasn’t there on the day, do you think that she would be missed? or would you happily not miss her?
I once heard a saying, if I wouldn’t invite you around for a cup of tea then I won’t pay £50 for your lunch at my wedding breakfast, which I think is a great way to look at things, the people at your wedding will be a reminder of your day and they will be on many of your official wedding photographs so make sure that you are happy with your guests. I think it’s safe to say that many brides and grooms take a more relaxed approach towards the evening wedding guests, traditionally evening celebrations are less informal and therefore couples tend not to be as worried about plus ones etc.
Just have the most amazing day with the people who mean everything to you and your husband to be and be surrounded by the people you love and you can’t go far wrong! Just remember that when you send out your save the dates to only send them to day guests otherwise guests who are only invited to the evening will believe that they are invited to the full day (it will just avoid disappointment and any animosity when they receive their evening only invitation)