Sunday, March 8, 2009

Best man, best woman and all the other guests - how do you choose?

You have only been engaged 48 hours and all ready you feel the stress.Your twelfth cousin, twice removed is expecting to be invited to your wedding. Many years ago when weddings cost a lot less and the bride and groom were 21 with very little to say about the ceremony, you just allowed the mothers to make all the plans.

Well now times have changed and as you find your ‘season’, ask both sets of parents and your fiancée to create a guest list. I know this can be daunting, but I promise you if you don’t do this early, an aunt here, or a co-worker there can create a guest list to rival the inauguration.

Here are some helpful suggestions on how to invite those special people to share your day while keeping your number realistic. Remember – Budget, venue, number of guest, in that order.

Your budget is set, and you don’t want to go over it. You’ve picked your venue and that number – the magic number is all the venue can hold. How do you choose – Rank your guests.

I know it sounds horrible, but believe me it’s necessary and if anyone tells you they haven’t done this for their wedding, don’t believe them.

A’s are your closest family and friends. These are the people that you absolutely can’t live without them sharing your day.

B’s are relatives, co-workers, sorority/fraternity brothers and other assorted people you’ve not seen on a pretty regular basis. Only YOU can determine what ‘regular basis’ means.

Make sure that your parents and fiancé have given you their lists and before you chop off uncle Lou. If he’s already on your mom’s list, take him off yours and like magic…one space has just opened. This is also the time when you have to decide if your going to invite people as single, plus one and do you invite small children.

Don’t forget that your bridal party needs a seat at your reception too.

Speaking of your bridal party…

Just because you’ve been in every cousins wedding since you were 16 doesn’t mean that they want to be in yours. Don’t feel as if you must ‘repay the favor’ an invite them to participate, unless you want to.

Who are the key players?
Maid/Matron of Honor, and a Best Man. These are usually your best friend or closest person in your life. It could also mean your future ‘in-law’ if you have an especially close relationship. It’s completely up to you. Now because friendships blur, don’t be surprised to see a ‘best woman’ or a ‘man standing up for the bride’.
Feel free to have bridesmaids and groomsmen, but the number no longer have to match. You don’t need it to be 1:1, nor does it have to be 12:12. Remember this is a wedding, not a football team. If you have an odd number that’s ok – really!

If you really want to limit the number that attend, because of money or simply because you just can’t say no to anyone try this:

Elope – City Hall or Las Vegas, or anywhere in between. Just you, your fiancé.
Small Intimate Ceremony – Only you and your closest family and friends. OR
Destination Wedding – not a lot of people will travel to Italy but you still may have more than you can afford if you have it in Aruba. Still traveling far away will limit the people that will attend.
Either small and intimate or destination, you can then have a big party after to celebrate. That party can range from something formal to a blowout party. Something super casual and relaxed.

No matter which way you choose, I’m sure it will be beautiful and filled with fun memories.

Until next time…


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