Ok so last weeks blog was all about things pre engagement, however this blog will go into the engagement aftermath! I know that sounds a tad sinister and weddings should be anything but.. BUT wedding planning and weddings are two very different things as I very quickly found out!
Inevitably the first question people will ask when they see your brand new sparkler is ‘Have you set a date?’ And honestly, there are SO MANY THINGS you have to do before you get to that stage, so unless you have a Bernard’s Watch (in which case please share..) then this is frankly a rather stupid question (in my opinion.)
I remember getting back from Antigua and sitting in the back garden having wine and nibbles with Callum’s family whilst discussing all things wedding. The very first topic that was brought up was the guest list- dur dur durrrrr! Something everyone dreads. Callum and I hadn’t thought about this at all yet, we hadn’t thought about anything yet to be fair! As you can imagine after a couple glasses of wine, it got into a huge debate with everyone having their own view on guestlist do’s and dont’s. So let me fill you in on a few ‘rules’ we threw out the window!
- You have to have plus ones for people invited to the day.
- You have to have plus ones for people invited to the evening.
- You have to invite all children.
- You have to invite no children.
- You have to invite ‘parents friends’.
- You can’t have evening only guests when they’re travelling long distances. (Where do you draw the line!? Lancashire? Kent? Ireland? Spain? Italy? America? Australia!??? Yes this is a handful of places our guests are travelling from!)
I’m sure there are many more but my point is.. At the end of the day, your wedding day is not a people pleasing exercise! It is quite possibly your only opportunity to get all your loved ones in one place for a celebration.
We are inviting a lot of people to our wedding and fortunately we chose a more forgiving venue in terms of guest numbers. Although having our reception in a marquee does help with numbers, we have still had to upsize it mid planning! Remember a guest list doesn’t just mean these are the friendly faces you will see on your big day.. these are the friendly faces you will have to seat, feed, water (ALOT!) There are chairs, tables, cutlery, crockery, glassware, tablecloths, napkins and favours if you chose to have them. Inviting one extra person adds a whole set of costs (the rough figure escapes me but basically it’s not cheap) and this goes for evening guests as well as day!
In terms of pulling together your own guestlist.. I suggest a spreadsheet. Being a Buyer and Callum being in Account Management means we both hyper organised and love a good spreadsheet! We started tabs for different categories; Immediate family consisting of parents and siblings. Close family; grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Cousins; as we have a lot! Then we moved on the specials. These are our god parents, close family friends etc etc. Then we had our close friends and a tab for evening guests. When you break it down like this, it becomes much more manageable. You are able to look at which area is weighing down your numbers, where you can cut and where you can’t. Doing this process so early on, I also found that we were less likely to miss anyone (we still managed to forget to count ourselves for a while!) and it was kind of always a work in progress with people dropping off and new friends being added on.
A couple of decisions Callum and I made were really tough and we both worried about upsetting people close to us. However, when you are in the situation of wedding planning yourself, you realise what truly matters and what doesn’t. Stick to your guns! If people don’t agree with your decisions and kick up a fuss then that is a reflection on them and not you. We have multiple friends planning their weddings at the same time, a couple whom have a venue limit of 100 total. Including evening (which seems impossible!) Another friend who is also struggling with numbers is not able to invite some of the mutual friends we have. People have invited us to their evening whereas we have invited them for the day or vice versa. It doesn’t matter! Be excited! We are all going to have a fabulous time! (probably more so the later on in the day it gets..)
And on that note.. I am off to hand deliver my final few invites (ahhhhh! its becoming real!) to the cousins over dinner and lots of drinks!
Have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. I will be enjoying mine with Callum, Teddy and our new addition Agnes! x