In a perfect world, my guest list would include family, friends, neighbors, our families’ friends, friends of friends, our families’ neighbors and all of our coworkers, but it all comes down to the budget and the venue.
Having a backyard wedding will limit the space. Both coming from big families, we weren’t left with much space for friends or coworkers. This was the challenge. How do we decide who stays and who gets cut? Luckily, we share most of the same friends, and work at the same place so our decisions were mutual.
We each created a list of family members and then added our mutual friends, leaving some wiggle room for last minute additions/subtractions. The truth is your guest list might not be final until invitations go out or even a few weeks before the wedding.
Some friends of friends this past October invited us 2 weeks prior to their wedding due to some last minute back outs. This was great for us and great for them because we got to share their day and they didn’t have to pay for empty plates. So don’t bummed if someone bails at the last minute, there are always fill ins.
Our one issue, we would rather have 20 of our closest friends than 10 of our closest friends and their dates (strangers). Conundrum….how do you tell people they can’t bring guest without sounding rude or cheap? After talking to a few single friends they seemed to have no problem flying solo and our married friends explained how to avoid drama by simply stating the size constraints.
Other than just taking friends’ advice, I did find a book called the Anti-Bride Etiquette Guide on accident while browsing the aisles of Marshalls. The book includes a section called “sticky situations” in each chapter to help with working around those situations you may not want to deal with, much like not adding your single friends latest squeeze or your Aunt’s five children to the guest list. You can also find it at Amazon but not at the bargain Marshalls had.
This is in fact OUR wedding and it is ultimately our decision who makes the list. We are paying for this as well so when our parents start adding their friends and neighbors we need to shut that down fast. Again, the idea is to have a “quaint, backyard wedding with OUR CLOSEST family and friends.”
Our total is somewhere around 115 people which includes my family, his family, our joint friends, our separate friends, a few coworkers and our wedding party. This is pushing the backyard limit so some creativity might be necessary when setting up the ceremony/reception. The idea is to have both in the same space.
Next will be to figure out a set up and options for bad weather…