- 10 years ago
- Wedding: July 2008
Reading all these posts about unwanted guests makes me feel better about the politics of the guest list. All the space in the planning books given over to this issue made me wonder what the big deal was, until I started talking about it with my FI, my mom, my sister (who has been married four years).
Right up front, FI and I sat down and developed a list of guidelines for invitees. For instance, decide at what point you invite or don’t invite family (immediate family, aunts and uncles, cousins…? We chose immediate family, aunts and uncles, and only cousins that we see socially a few times a year).
The the issue of friends. Obviously there are some really close friends who have to be there. Then there are people you see a few times a year; people that you have lunch with at work but don’t see socially; people that you would love to see socially but never get around to it… We decided that however much we like some people, we shouldn’t invite them to the wedding just because we keep intending to have them over for dinner and never do.
Then there are family friends. We let my parents know (they believe they are footing the whole bill) that while of course we would like them to invite their close friends, we preferred not to have people there that we actually didn’t know. They have been really good about this; the list of their friends looks more like a list of people who have been family friends through our childhoods (pseudo-aunts and uncles) and a few of my mom’s girlfriends that I know pretty well.
Our biggest issue was probably the kids – my FI has two teenagers. We went around and around over the issue of kids in general and their friends in particular. We finally decided that we would invite their friends if we could consider their parents to be our friends, and therefore invite the parents as well. This worked out good for his son, as we see his friends’ parents socially. Not enough that we had them on the guest list as friends, but we get together a few times a year to have dinner, play cards, and talk. Honestly we always intend to see them more… and probably should. We are not really friends with any of the parents of his daughters’ friends though… still talking about what to do about that.
And then there is the issue of single friends. Do you invite their significant others? Do you invite them to bring a random guest if they have no significant other? We decided that if we knew their guy or girl friend well enough to put their name on the invitation, we would invite them. No "and guest."
I though that after all this planning, we would be golden… and in most cases, where a sticky guest issue comes up, we have just explained our pre-established and well thought out rules and that takes care of it. There have been (and are still) surprises though, and situations that we didn’t think about, and the rules are evolving somewhat. We are sending save-the-dates in early February, and the wedding is in July, so we have a few more months to agonize and second-guess the list.
Does anybody care to share their rules for inviting? Anybody have any suggestions on the issue of teenage children?