Yep. I'm going to talk about it. And by "it" I mean the one thing that often causes tension and drama between families when planning a wedding. The guest list. Who makes the cut and who doesn't? If you haven't argued about this, then good for you... and please share your tips. If you have had arguments about this, or at least a tense convo with your mom about who is on her "must have" list of friends and co-workers, then let's talk about solutions.
At first I hesitated about writing about this topic. But thanks to the encouragement of my friend, Mrs. Jessica Haro, I felt compelled to write. After all, there could be many of you out there dealing with this right now! Originally, it felt a little taboo to speak about such a topic on such a light and happy blog. However, this is the reality of the situation: There are some people in your family and friend groups that just wont make the cut. Period. Not to mention inviting children and offering a +1 to your single guests. There many reasons why not all of the people you want to be at your wedding can be there. The main reason for me (and most) is the cost. We have a very conservative budget, and every person means more food, drinks, tables, table cloths, silverware, chairs, etc. etc. etc. And on the "plus 1" topic, I think it's great if one of my single friends is all of a sudden dating someone super special, and in that case they should bring a date. But if they're not seriously dating someone, then I am not offering a plus one. What are your thoughts on this?
Back in September when Vinnie first proposed, we joked about how big our wedding would be because he is Italian and I'm Greek/Irish. You've seen my Big Fat Greek Wedding right? Well there's a scene where the parents of the bride say, "we're just having the family over for dinner." Then over 100 people show up! Well, at our engagement party we had 50 friends and family over for a casual bbq/brunch. We joked about how if that was any hint as to what the head count for our wedding we may be, then we're in trouble.
Well, the time has come to confirm the final list (we are 10 months out) and I'm happy to say it hasn't been as bad as I anticipated. Both of our parents have been very cooperative. And thanks to some fantastic resources online, and friends' advice the process has been fight-free (knock on wood). Here are some guidelines that helped me from weddingplanning.com
Simple Wedding Guest List Steps Recapped:
Determine how large or small you want your wedding to be
Determine how many wedding guests you really can afford by estimating the wedding costs and the "per guest" expenses like catering
Determine how many guests your wedding ceremony and reception locations can hold
Compile the "Big" list of all of the guests that you would like to invite to your wedding
Edit the "Big" wedding guest list down to meet the established budget and capacity limits - This will be List "A"
Create a "B' list of wedding guests that you would like to invite but could not
Send wedding invitations to the "A" list of wedding guests
- As "A" list RSVPs come in you will be able to determine how many guests from the "B" list you can invite
Or you can follow this formula :)
What I also have to be prepared for are guests who RSVP with a plus one when it's not offered. If that ends up happening I plan on just being upfront and honest about our headcount. These are our friends and family and I expect that they'll understand. I have heard funny and uncomfortable stories from brides that had guests bring a date and multiple children without asking! Does anyone have a story they'd like to share and how they handled the situation?
Now let's talk about something a little more light :) Because this fabulous blog is photo inspired, I will leave you with some place card inspiration! If you haven't noticed yet, I'm a little non-traditional; I love finding unique personal touches.
The inspiration below reminds me of the color palette of my venue, The Hotel Maya. I'm loving the mosaic tiles with guests' names. And the clementines would be a super easy and cute DIY project!
And of course, I had to throw in some succulent inspiration. Notice how the grey and yellow keeps popping up.... I think I may have found my favorite color inspiration.
Thanks for reading! If you have a funny story about your guest list experience, please share by leaving a comment! See you next Tuesday!