One of the challenges we encountered during our wedding preparations was making the guest list -- and limiting the number.
It was quite a challenge in the sense that on my part, the bride, my families from both parents are particularly close. At the onset, hubby and I wanted only 100 guests -- that's like 50/50. But when I did a tally of relatives to invite, my list went to about 40, not counting friends. His? It was just above 10, as most of his relatives are in the province and couldn't make it.
We looked at our (relatively small) budget and saw that we could extend up to 150 max. That would count some of my friends and colleagues, as well as his (well, 50 spots were enough for him to fill). Then my dad invited his friends from high school. People whom I don't even know! What the --?!
So here are a few things we've learned about handling the guest list:
1. Invite only those close to you. So that's family and a handful of friends. Kids could be left with the babysitter. But of course you should include those who have a particular role in the ceremony -- flower girls, bridesmaids and the lot. If you could also do away with colleagues then do so (in hubby's case, he just invited his boss, no other office mates). And if you could do away with exes, then that's fine. Unless of course you want them to see you in full, blushing regalia...
2. Don't invite those who live far and would have to make time and spend money to go to the wedding. But this one is a case-to-case basis. For us, if they don't have any participation in the ceremony, we decided not to send an invite. Moreso if it had been a long time since we had communicated with each other.
3. Be firm in your decisions. This was the hardest for me, especially with my dad because he was the one who wanted to invite the whole neighborhood to our wedding (well, being the first to wed in the brood didn't help). There is the right time to say "NO." But if you couldn't say it, well you could enlist the help of another family member to do it for you, in this case my mom.
4. Make a worksheet of your guest list. You can use the MS Excel program in your computer or make a table and list all the names of your guests. Indicate also whether you will invite them during the ceremony, reception, or both. And don't lose the list. ;)
These are just some of the things we've learned through experience. I'm pretty sure you will have some of your own learnings, too, as you go through your preparations. If you have a clannish family like mine, better brace yourself for some rough waves with planning the guest list.
Photo credit: Write1 by woodsy, from sxc.hu