Post # 1
We started working on the guest list, which is the part I have feared the most out of this whole process. Fiance and I decided both for budget reasons and shooting-for-a-more-intimate-wedding reason, to invite 120 with the goal of 100 showing. I am just feeling terrible about a) the friends I can’t invite and b) the friends I know my parents can’t invite. Our parents are being amazing – we are basically splitting the wedding 3 ways with them, so are splitting the guest list 40/40/40 (I have way too many people on my list though so am stealing 5 of FI’s spots and 5 of my parents’). I know this is ‘just how it goes’ with weddings, but I have a problem with guilt anyway 😉 so it’s super tough on me.
How did you all deal with this?
Post # 3
Hey, I’m going through this too. I voted “other” because we originally set our guest list at 100. FI wasn’t really happy with that number so we upped to 120. It’s still really tough though, there are so many people we’re not going to be able to invite at all. And our “b list” has grown significantly. When people ask, I tell them that we’re having a small wedding and our venue is pretty small too. Or, I avoid talking about my wedding at all.
Post # 4
Thanks – yes this is exactly where we are. We started with 100 and I asked if we could invite 120 (instead of 100 exactly) instead of having a B list. I realize unless we plan on having 200, people are going to get left out no matter what, but drawing the line is SO hard.
Post # 5
i voted other–i felt really bad about not inviting some of my friends, but i have a huge family and most of the cuts we made to the list were my friends because of it…but honestly, no one has said a thing to me about it. i’ve talked to people since who weren’t invited, and some asked about the planning beforehand but after they would have gotten invitations so they knew they weren’t invited…so i assume they just understood that we couldn’t invite everyone we wanted.
Post # 6
I repeated over and over again that I was having a small wedding, and that seemed to get through to people. I’m sure that some people were upset, but no more than a handful expressed this to me. However, my wedding was VERY small (35 people). I think that if I was expecting that I would be invited to someone’s wedding, was told it was small, and then learned that 120 people were invited, I may still be upset. To me, 120 invites is not small.
On the flip side, though, one person who knew that my wedding was “small” was upset that she was not invited—until she learned that I did mean only 35 people by “small”! I think she had assumed that small still meant a 120 person wedding, and she would have expected to be invited to a wedding of that size (but not to my itty bitty one).
Post # 7
I have said to a few friends that it is family only.
Post # 8
We upped our list because its FH’s family. I still think we could have cut it a bit, but then we would have been the outcast of the family. Their family does not look kindly upon cutting the guest list too much. Someone tried that this summer and they are still talking about it. We did cut down on friends that were borderline however
Post # 9
yeah I think we will be telling people we’re trying to have “less than 100” since I already know at least 10 of the people on our 120 list won’t come (live out of country, too old to travel, etc). I totally hear what you are saying, and just said to a friend this morning that if we decided to up it to 150, the people who are STILL excluded would then really feel worse bc that is so clearly not small. 🙂
I’ve told some friends we’re aiming for 100 and they have literally LAUGHED in my face saying it’s impossible (my inital ‘wish list’ of friends only to invite came to 70. 70! And I’m 32 years old, this is not a who’s-who, it’s my actual friends!). I guess it’s all relative because people who know me realize “how small” 100 is.
Post # 10
Ugh…I feel for you. Unfortunately, we’re not having a small wedding (300+), so I can’t use excuses like that. I’ve just given up and am inviting everybody. If I hwere in your shoes, though, I’d just explain that you’re trying to have equal numbers from oth sides and are trying to keep it small. It’s funny how family you’ve only met a few times suddenly become REALLY excited to attend your wedding.
Post # 11
I hate this part :/ I just tell people we have limited space and that we’re at capacity. It’s a 200 person wedding so it’s hard to say that it’s small but we have huge families so the number of friends and family friends who can be invited is pretty small.
Post # 12
Here’s how we approached it. We ended up inviting about 110 people (including some courtesy invites for out-of-state family members who won’t travel), and are expecting 85-90 to show:
1) We are paying for the wedding ourselves, so we felt no obligation to invite friends of our parents unless we are also close with them.
2) We planned a semi-destination wedding (about a 2-3 hour drive for most guests), which is just far enough to require a hotel stay. We also planned the wedding for Friday afternoon (because we want to have more time to spend with guests on Saturday), so guests need to take Friday off to attend. We didn’t do this to keep the guest list low, but it does mean that only those who really want to be there will come.
3) We are not inviting family members whom we do not feel close to (i.e., those we rarely or never speak to). This includes some first cousins whom we do not keep in touch with.
4) We kept the “work friends” list to a minimum – if we do not socialize with them outside of the office, they didn’t make the list.
5) No “plus-ones” for single friends who are not in a relationship.
6) No kids, except for our seven nieces and nephews, who are in the wedding. (They are our wedding party; no adults. :))
7) From the moment we started planning, we stressed that we are having an “intimate” wedding. And we refrained from discussing it around anyone who would not be invited.
Bottom line, we will be surrounded solely by people we know and LIKE at our wedding, and we will spend the entire weekend with those who are closest to us. I can’t wait!
Post # 13
Good rules – most of which we are also following…no kids.. no +1s.. no family members we aren’t close with..no work friends.
The rule that actually ‘solved’ the problem (or rather, cut my own personal friends list from 70 to 30) is this: if we haven’t seen you or socialized with you enough in the last 2 years that we have been dating that you haven’t even met Fiance, we can’t invite you. I am trying to follow a “he doesn’t have to meet anyone for the first time at our wedding” guideline and that seems to be working so far with my list AND my mom’s list getting us right to our target. It means there are old friends whose weddings I went to that I won’t invite, and will feel terrible telling them this, but hopefully with the rule they will understand.
Post # 14
I think that’s a great rule! Come to think of it, we mostly followed that one, too. Bottom line, neither one of us wanted to feel like we were surrounded by strangers at our own wedding. Though I did make one exception for my best friend from grade school, who I reconnected with on Facebook and is coming from across the country (by herself) and has never met my FH.
Post # 15
We ended up inviting all of our “bubble” people and just sucking up and dealing with the added cost. There were maybe 14 extra people, although I could’ve invited a lot more than that… but we wanted a smaller-ish wedding. So I think we did a combo of keep the guest list small but also invited the bubble people. 🙂
Post # 16
Update: I had my first conversation last night telling a friend/old roommate I can’t invite her (I’ve seen her once since her wedding in 2007, which was when we lived together, so she hasn’t met Fiance yet). She said “When I heard you got engaged, I thought to myself ‘how is MissBoston going to do this?! She has 1000 friends!’ so I totally understand – and please tell me where you are registered when the time comes”.
I feel a bit better today – hopefully that’s how most conversations will go (I told her I would think about telling her where we are registered!)
Thanks for the thoughtful replies, Bees. 🙂