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Old 11-28-2008, 02:08 PM
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Wedding Guest List Help :(



I know that many of you are married so I'm hoping you can provide some insight! So we really don't want a big wedding, we've planned to invite 140, no more. We wrote our list and cut it down, and then we picked our reception area, etc, etc. But now people are coming out of the woodwork and it's getting so confusing.

We decided that we were not going to feel obligated to invite people who we haven't talked to in a year, or haven't seen in two years. Of course this rule could not apply to family (although in some instances I really wish it could). But now all these old friends of ours are adding me on facebook (stupid facebook) and pretty much acting as if they should be invited. Worst of all an old friend who I haven't heard from in 2 years, or seen in 3 and a half years, has invited me to her wedding a month before mine!

My guest list is at its max, and I can think of at least 12 ppl who think they are going to be invited on top of that who will not be invited. I'm a 'nice' person so I'm having a hard time dealing with rejecting people. I really don't want my wedding to be a family or grad reunion!

Another thing...there is a bunch of our family (I'm thinking cousins and some friends) who are not seeing anyone. I've read on all these wedding forums that you do not have to allow everyone to have a guest. Honestly, I want to allow them to bring a guest, but at the same time I don't want them to feel as if they have to find someone to bring as a date. I can think of 10 other people I'd rather have there.

It's funny because everything else is falling so nicely into place, and I haven't been stressed out about anything else (this is a HUGE accomplishment, I am a high-strung, high-stress person).

How on earth am I suppose to handle all these people who think they should be invited?
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:34 PM
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Well I'm not married but I've had a lot of experience with other friends planning weddings. DO NOT feel obligated to invite anyone who has hinted to you that they think they should be invited. That is incredibly rude! I have been in many situations where a couple I know got engaged and I never hinted to any of them that I wanted to be invited to their wedding. Some I was invited to, some I wasn't. I was not offended at the ones I was not invited to because ultimately, it is their decision.

Also, you are not at all obligated to allow some guests to bring an SO/other guest. Whenever I get a wedding invitation I ALWAYS check to see if it says just my name, or my name and guest, and rsvp accordingly. It is also incredibly rude to put more people on an RSVP than were invited.

Bottom line is, this is YOUR day. You call the shots!
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:40 AM
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I don't know if it's common, but it's happened a couple of times where I was invited to the wedding ceremony but not the reception dinner after...=S So if anything, can you do that? But that would mean you would have to have 2 different sets of invitations and sure, some people might feel shafted, but hey, it's rude if they "make" you invite them to the wedding if they're not even that close in the first place.

You shouldn't feel obligated to invite people to your special day.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by sedated_xtc View Post
I don't know if it's common, but it's happened a couple of times where I was invited to the wedding ceremony but not the reception dinner after...=S So if anything, can you do that? But that would mean you would have to have 2 different sets of invitations and sure, some people might feel shafted, but hey, it's rude if they "make" you invite them to the wedding if they're not even that close in the first place.

You shouldn't feel obligated to invite people to your special day.
^ ITA
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sedated_xtc View Post
I don't know if it's common, but it's happened a couple of times where I was invited to the wedding ceremony but not the reception dinner after...=S So if anything, can you do that? But that would mean you would have to have 2 different sets of invitations and sure, some people might feel shafted, but hey, it's rude if they "make" you invite them to the wedding if they're not even that close in the first place.

You shouldn't feel obligated to invite people to your special day.
Please don't invite people to the ceremony and not the reception. It is just bad etiquette and really tacky. If you were planning a very small, intimate reception (immediate family only), you could get away with it possibly, but 140 people does not fall into this category.

Don't worry about not being able to invite everybody under the sun to your wedding. People understand that money doesn't grow on trees.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:38 AM
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I agree. Sorry I would not invite people just to the wedding unless it was strictly a super small intimate affair... which 140 is not.

For those who think that facebook friends = friends IRL even if you used to be... well that is their problem. I wouldn't feel bad about not inviting people you weren't planning to originally. You want people there who you feel close to and speak to on a regular basis.

And agree with others.... don't stress about it! It should be fun. People will get over it. And quite frankly, who wants to go to persons wedding they haven't seen in years anyways? Not me. Unless I am good friends with a person, I don't feel the need to be at their wedding.
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:33 AM
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We invited less people to the ceremony, family and close friends. For the reception, his parents invited every single person they knew against my wishes. We had about 400 people at the reception. I knew about 20. I suggest eloping.
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Old 11-30-2008, 10:48 AM
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That's why i'm so glad that my fiance is from Tunisia and his parents have never left the country and never will!

In England it's normal to have just close family and friends for the ceremony and sit-down meal afterwards and then invite more people for the evening reception.

I definitely wouldn't invite anybody to my wedding that i didn't want there. I think i'm just going to go on holiday to Vegas and do it then. People might think it's tacky but it's quick and without all that hassle!
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Old 11-30-2008, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sedated_xtc View Post
I don't know if it's common, but it's happened a couple of times where I was invited to the wedding ceremony but not the reception dinner after...=S So if anything, can you do that? But that would mean you would have to have 2 different sets of invitations and sure, some people might feel shafted, but hey, it's rude if they "make" you invite them to the wedding if they're not even that close in the first place.

You shouldn't feel obligated to invite people to your special day.
This is incredibly tacky, in my opinion. To the person being invited, it's basically saying you are expecting a gift but don't want to shell out money for them to celebrate with you.

With the friend thing, I think you are right on with only inviting people who play an important role in your life. You can extend invites to local friends 6 weeks before the wedding if you know that many out of town relatives can't attend, which might be a good compromise. But really, this day is about surrounding yourself with a community to celebrate your marriage, and there is nothing wrong with being selective about who you want to be there with you.

With family and guests-- with anyone who was in a relationship that was stable, we included the girlfriend/boyfriend/partner on the invite, and for people who were single and not seeing anyone seriously, we just put them on the invite. Our wedding was very small, we only invited 100 people, and we made sure to personally connect with any single friends to see if having a guest was important to them-- and if yes, we did.

Try not to stress too much about it, and don't feel the need to explain a lack of invitation to someone you haven't spoken to in 2 or more years.

Good luck planning everything!
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:06 PM
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This is incredibly tacky, in my opinion. To the person being invited, it's basically saying you are expecting a gift but don't want to shell out money for them to celebrate with you.

With the friend thing, I think you are right on with only inviting people who play an important role in your life. You can extend invites to local friends 6 weeks before the wedding if you know that many out of town relatives can't attend, which might be a good compromise. But really, this day is about surrounding yourself with a community to celebrate your marriage, and there is nothing wrong with being selective about who you want to be there with you.

With family and guests-- with anyone who was in a relationship that was stable, we included the girlfriend/boyfriend/partner on the invite, and for people who were single and not seeing anyone seriously, we just put them on the invite. Our wedding was very small, we only invited 100 people, and we made sure to personally connect with any single friends to see if having a guest was important to them-- and if yes, we did.

Try not to stress too much about it, and don't feel the need to explain a lack of invitation to someone you haven't spoken to in 2 or more years.

Good luck planning everything!
^ ITA. I've been married for almost 5 months now. We had a large wedding so we didn't have the same problem with "people coming out of the woodwork." However, we did invite some friends that weren't seriously seeing anyone without a guest. As long as they knew someone else at the wedding, I thought this was justifiable because they still had friends and other acquaintances that they could converse with. At the end of the day, it is your decision. Surround yourself with the people you love, not the people who love to be at weddings. What other motivation would some of these long lost friends have for contacting you now after all of this time? ( A friend of mine had this happen as well). Just something to think about. Congrats on your upcoming wedding! It goes by so fast, enjoy it all!
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:17 PM
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^^ Agreed.

Invite who you want, otherwise you will just be annoyed on YOUR (not anyone else's) big day.

Congrats!
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:49 PM
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My advice.. ask yourself who's going to be important to you (or in your life) 5 or even 10 years from now. I got married 10 years ago, and I don't know where my maid of honor is today. So, just decide who's important to you and confidently stick to your decision. It will be okay. If they are real friends, they'll understand. Which makes me think of one of my favorite quotes:

Be who you are and say what you mean. Those that mind don't matter, and those who matter won't mind. (I'm not sure of the author now, as I have it memorized)

That's something I work on everday....
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:13 PM
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That's why I don't have a facebook, I'm soooo not into the fair-weather friends. There is no way anyone friend should expect an invitation to that kind of event nor should feel insulted if you do not invite them. Our food/drink alone was upwards of $120 per person, why on earth would should you spend that on someone who probably couldn't pick your fiance out of a lineup? I stressed over the invitations because if I invited everyone that "knows I'm getting married" I would have spent the next 5 years paying off a wedding rather than starting a life.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:29 PM
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My advice.. ask yourself who's going to be important to you (or in your life) 5 or even 10 years from now. I got married 10 years ago, and I don't know where my maid of honor is today. So, just decide who's important to you and confidently stick to your decision. It will be okay. If they are real friends, they'll understand. Which makes me think of one of my favorite quotes:

Be who you are and say what you mean. Those that mind don't matter, and those who matter won't mind. (I'm not sure of the author now, as I have it memorized)

That's something I work on everday....
Very good points. I have been married for 5 years... and still can tell you every person that was at my wedding and where they are now. My 4 attendants I still speak to on a weekly basis even though none of us live near each other.


And OT- I LOVE that quote... may have to steal it ;)
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sedated_xtc View Post
I don't know if it's common, but it's happened a couple of times where I was invited to the wedding ceremony but not the reception dinner after...=S So if anything, can you do that? But that would mean you would have to have 2 different sets of invitations and sure, some people might feel shafted, but hey, it's rude if they "make" you invite them to the wedding if they're not even that close in the first place.

You shouldn't feel obligated to invite people to your special day.
I have seen the reverse quite often: private ceremony and larger reception
I don't find it rude or tacky, but it may be a cultural difference.

OP, it's your day! I know you feel pressure to make everyone happy, but if there's ever a day that you should focus on what you want, this is the one!
Whenever I am super-stressed or busy, I try to step back and pick my battles. Otherwise it is too exhausting.
Maybe you can have your MOH or a close family member deal with the indelicate things like calling people for RSVPs and confirming that they do not bring a date if they were not given a "plus one".
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:18 PM
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I'm busy planning a wedding right now (I'm the maid of honor so the pressure is on for me as well as the bride), so this is all a very useful read...

I also wanted to add to the fact that you should not feel like you have to invite anyone you haven't spoken to in awhile, and that the reverse is true as well...I was invited to around 5-6 weddings in 2008 by people whom I have not spoken to in years, and whom I did not consider close friends at all. I felt really weird, and pretty guilty, when I declined their invitations. Most people aren't too fond of going to weddings unless they know either the bride and groom well.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:01 AM
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We invited less people to the ceremony, family and close friends. For the reception, his parents invited every single person they knew against my wishes. We had about 400 people at the reception. I knew about 20. I suggest eloping.

Sounds a lot like my wedding. Small and intimate ceremony, large party filled reception (I knew less than half) and both my hubby and I still agree, we should have just went to Hawaii (eloping).
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:55 PM
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I got married last year and we struggled a lot with the guest list as the wedding was in my hometown and I didn't want to leave anyone out. We ended up limiting the ceremony and dinner to family and close friends, then opened up the dance to anyone who wanted to show up. It worked out really well and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:10 AM
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The custom here is to have the church wedding ceremony in the AM. The reception is in the PM, at a completely different venue.

IMO it is not a big deal or "tacky" to invite acquaintances to just the ceremony, especially people whom you aren't close to or have not seen in years. The good thing about the ceremony is that you don't need to worry about RSVPs either (if you're having it in a decent sized church/temple).

However if you are having your ceremony and the reception at the same venue then I can see why it would be considered rude to invite someone to one and not the other, especially if it entails them having to travel a distance to come to your wedding.
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