Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wedding Guest Lists Dos and Don'ts

Maneuvering the intricacies of setting up your wedding guest list, not insulting anyone, and actually getting the wedding reception mix that you want is not an easy task. You've set the number of guests that you want to send invitations to... Now you have to determine what, if any, situations will arise that will alter your plans - and not necessarily for the better.

Here are some wedding guest list tips that will help you steer clear of a wedding disaster story.

Do appoint a "list master." Once you've put your list together, designate one person in charge of all changes and updates rather than letting everyone make changes to the same document. I suggest a close friend or relative who is not easily cowed by your or your groom's parents, siblings and others who might want to “add so and so - no one will notice." The list master should only report to you, as it is your wedding.

Don't invite more people than you can afford. A smaller party is better if it is within your wedding budget. Also don't invite more people than your venue can accommodate. What will you do if they all decide they have to come and you are fined and possibly shut down because you broke occupancy regulations?

Do check your list for spelling and address errors. It's better to call and verify now than to take a guess and get the invitation back in the mail later. Enlist your parents and friends to help with this task.

Don't invite people to your wedding who you hope won't come! A wedding invitation is extended sincerely and hospitably. If you don't want someone to come to your wedding, don't ask him or her. Once that invitation is extended, you have essentially reserved a place for that person to be a part of your wedding.

Do invite live-in partners and spouses of invited guests. NO exceptions. You are not required, however, to allow single people to bring a guest or invite children to your wedding, nor should you be pressured into doing so. Your invitations will convey exactly who is invited. Here is an excellent site to show you how to word your invitations and response cards so that there is no mistaking whom you are inviting to your wedding.

Don't be surprised if people willfully ignore what you say. If some people want to bring their kids, they will. I hope you have friends who understand that adults mean adults. I was in a small wedding where I wasn't allowed to bring a date but one of the other guests showed up at the wedding reception with her boyfriend, his parents, brother and three sisters. Since the wedding was on a tight budget, six unexpected guests put quite a squeeze on the room space, the wedding favors, place cards, tables and even food. (To add insult to injury, one of the sisters caught the bridal bouquet.)

If something untoward happens, grin and bear it, but try to avoid these problems before they arise by being specific and clear in your invitations to your guests.

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