Thursday, March 12, 2009

Snip, Trim and Cut: Four Tips to Help You Narrow Your Guest List

Think every guest doesn’t add to your budget’s bottom line? Think again. Each guest you invite means you have to pay for one more invitation, one more reply card and envelope, one more stamp, one, possibly two more dinners with drinks, one, possibly two more favors, additional table room, additional chairs or chair covers, additional cake … need I go on?

Unless you don’t plan for seating and feeding every guest, you will likely be concerned with how many people you invite, and thus … have to cut. American Greetings lists helpful steps for creating your guest list and here are four tips to help you snip, trim and cut that list once you have.

1. The Long-lost Friend Invite
If you haven’t seen someone in more than three years, consider giving them the axe. You might have been the dearest of friends in grade school, but you won’t have an opportunity to visit with them during your wedding anyway. If it is someone you feel you should invite, then call them and ask them to meet you for lunch or dinner. If you still feel a kindred friendship with them after you meet up again, then invite them. Otherwise … snip, snip, snip.

2. The Office Party Invite
Unless you socialize outside of work with your colleagues, consider slashing their names right off the top of your list. I know it can be a touchy subject, especially when they bring it up or ask you about your wedding plans at work. Tell them as soon as possible that you and your fiancé have agreed to have a small wedding and that neither of you will be able to invite friends from work. They might be hurt initially, especially if they feel close to you, but they will appreciate your honesty and will still be anxious to talk about your wedding at the water cooler!

3. The Mother-of-the-Groom’s Third-Cousin Invite
Although many wedding experts advise you to cut your wedding guest list into thirds (one-third for your family, one-third for your fiancé’s family and one-third for you as a couple), I disagree. I was happy to read recently that I was not alone.

Remember, this is your wedding. Your parents invited who they wanted to attend their wedding didn’t they? Well, ok, don’t tell them I said it like that, but do keep in mind that you want your closest friends and family members with you … not your mother’s former co-worker or your groom’s dad’s golfing buddy.

4. The Plus-1 Invite
Contrary to what many bride-to-be’s believe, you do not have to invite a guest for your single friends. When I got married, I only invited married friends, engaged friends, or long-term boyfriends/girlfriends. I made an exception for guests who had to travel out of state to attend my wedding (no one wants to fly on an airplane or drive a long distance and sleep in a hotel room alone!) and for single guests who would not know anyone else there.

Other people suggest not inviting children and cutting out all relatives past a pre-set “distance.” The important thing to remember is for you and your future spouse to be on the same page and to cut guests accordingly. They say what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger … the same goes for planning your wedding. Be fair. Be consistent. And get to snipping!

Did you have to cut guests from your guest list? If so, how did you do it? How did you deal with family members who might not have agreed with you?

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