From the moment your fiancé pops “the question”, your brain begins to explode in a million directions. Rightfully so! After all, if you responded with “YES!” (which we are hoping for the sake of this post you did!), then you’ve just opened the door to a whole new, exciting chapter of your life! So naturally, there are some big decisions that follow!
"This ring is gorgeous! Who will I show first?!"
"When do I get to go dress shopping? I can't wait!"
"Where are we going to have the wedding? Time to hop on Pinterest!
"What flavor should our wedding cake be? I'm ready for my free tasting!"
And then, the heaviest question crosses your mind:
"WHO will I invite to our wedding?"
For me, this was the hardest decision to make. I had family that was as close as a distant neighbor and I had family that was all the way across the country on the West Coast. There were the friends that I was really close to in high school and there were the friends that sort of drifted away after college. There were even friends who I’d consider family before claiming somebody who was actually blood-related! (Side-note: we all have them- so you don’t have to feel bad for admitting that might be true!)
As you sit down to make your initial list, you might notice that you’re list is already bigger than your high school’s graduating class- and you haven’t even added in your fiancé’s side of the family, let alone his friends. Depending on your budget- that might be ok! Or it might be frightening. So you go back and do a quick edit to scratch off the people who you could leave off… but then feelings start playing on your emotions and before you know it- your list is bigger than when you started the edit.
So, I’m here to help! There are a few SIMPLE questions that can help you narrow down your list. Get your pen ready & let’s begin!
Magical Question #1:
Have you spoken in the past year? (I’m not talking about writing “Happy Birthday!” on their Facebook wall or “liking” their social media posts here and there. I’m talking about an engaging conversation about something meaningful to you!) If not, scratch them off.
Magical Question #2:
Do you still hang out with them outside of obligatory functions (work, family gatherings, meetings, etc)? If not, scratch them off.
Magical Question #3 (and #4ish):
Can you imagine your big day without them? (Can you imagine reminiscing your wedding day with them a year down the road?) If not, scratch them off.
YOUR wedding is YOUR day.
It’s the ONE day where ANYTHING you want- goes – traditional or not. Invite the people who will be happy to come to your wedding to support you and your future spouse. Invite the ones who are genuinely happy that you have found your soul mate.
I see a lot of brides who struggle with the whole “What if I don’t invite somebody and their feelings get hurt?” and my answer to that (as harsh as it sounds) is that maybe they aren’t really your friend. People who care about you understand that you can’t please everybody and that maybe your budget doesn’t allow for it. People who truly care are still going to be happy for you- whether or not they’re a part of all the festivities. Think about it- the majority of people get married in their 20s or 30s. There are a LOT of people that you meet in a lifetime- there’s no way it would be possible to invite every single person who you’ve had the pleasure of knowing for the past 2 or 3 decades.
One last thought- sometimes when it comes to a wedding, an intimate crowd is best. On your wedding day, EVERYBODY wants to talk to you, offer their best wishes, hear all about your plans for the future- and they should. They’re excited for you, not to mention the fact that some have traveled several miles and made sacrifices to make it to your big day. As the newlyweds, it’s considerate to give them the opportunity to spend just a few moments with you and for you to show them your appreciation for their support. It’s much harder to do so when the crowd is larger.
Now that your guest list is done, you can scratch that off your to-do list and move on to your next decision... what invitations are you going to order! :)
If you have any other helpful tips for narrowing down your guest list, feel free to leave them in the comments below! :)