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Inviting your guests is one of the greatest moments of your wedding preparation. And yet (I speak from experience) it can sometimes cause you so many stress and sleepless nights! Wedding is a social event and of course it is your day but some people (especially the older generations) may have a totally different opinion on this matter and would want to do the things completely different from you!
So what can you do to avoid the necessary stress? Here are my 7 ways to manage your wedding guest list!
1. Make a must-invite list
If you’re organizing the wedding by yourself the best thing to do is not to ask opinions of other people. The thing is, if you do people will start saying the thing you should do and often the opinions will be contradictory between them or with yours. So sit down with your fiancé and decide for yourself: who do you want to see on the best day of your life? Let your fiancé do the same. The cross-check the lists: the people who are on the both lists get invited anyway!
2. Work with percentages
Another good tip that I’ve learned is if you do other people invite their own guests to your wedding (like your mother), work with percentages or numbers. Tell your mother she can invite up to 10% (for example) of total guest number. Or 20 people max (again just an example). This will give your mother freedom to invite people she wants but at the same time she will not start asking every single person she knows!
3. Invite your family members per ’rounds’
I don’t have a big family but my fiancé does so it was really hard for us to figure out the good way to manage that. The thing with family is that it doesn’t count per person but per ‘family round’. You have the closest (parents), grandparents, then brothers and sisters, then aunts and uncles, then cousins and nieces and then other family. So if you want to invite 1 cousin – you have to invite all of your cousins! If you want to keep a small wedding, make sure you invite family from certain rounds: this way you will be able to explain your choice to uninvited family and no one will be offended!
4. Work and colleagues
Inviting your colleagues to your wedding is a tricky thing: on one hand, work is 100% business and wedding is 100% private but sometimes the fields get mixed. I suggest you do the following:
- invite your colleagues who you see more as friends or
- invite your colleagues if etiquette requires you to and this invitation will be beneficial for your carrier.
5. One year rule
As to friends, you can refer to one year rule: have you spoken to this person in a year? Yes? Will you still be seeing this person in a year? Yes? Then invite him/her!
6. The plus-ones
Another tough decision: do you invite your friends alone or with +1? I think the best thing to do here is to invite couples that you had social contacts with, when you know or have at least met the partner. Unless the people are married, I don’t think you can invite your friend and not his/her wife/husband!
The last tip is to relax! I know myself how stressful it can be to manage your guest list but you should always remember that and enjoy your wedding preparation!