It is very important to remember in all this wonderful rush of madness and twinkly things that the most important thing is to promise yourself to your loved one for life. Weddings seem to bring about a strange transformation of normally sane people, into people obsessed with different shades of pink, or whether you have a sufficient amount of ‘bling’ or lace on a wedding dress, or morning suit! I myself have a full blown case of attention to detail overload, and am thoroughly enjoying it!
Hopefully you will have surrounded yourself with helpful and efficient people to bring your dream vision to reality, without too many fatalities along the way! We would love to be a part of this for you, to help to take some of the stress out, knowing that when your invitations go out, you can sit back and know that they have been professionally made, attention to detail has been uppermost, and that your guests will get a glimpse of the most magical day of your lives so far, and will want to be a part of it for you (and have something pretty to stick to their fridge door!)
How Many Invitations?
Remember that you normally only need one Invitation and RSVP per household. So, if you have 50 guests, and they are all cosily coupled up, that’s just 25 invites and RSVP’s, 50 name places, 5 table numbers if you want them, and probably 25 Order of Services, as people often share them.
To Save the Date or Not?
This is a relatively new phenomenon from our friends in the States. Typically sent out 8-6 months ahead of the wedding, it is a simple one sided piece of paper telling everyone to...well...Save The Date! If you are getting married when people would typically be away (half terms, summer holidays), then it might be prudent. The only note of caution here is that if you have sent someone a Save The Date, and then found that budget restrictions, or human nature (!) mean that you no longer want to invite them, or no longer want to invite them for the whole day, it can be a little awkward. You will know your guest list better than anyone. People that you really want to be there will know when you are getting married, and not book their holidays then anyway.
Does Bristly Auntie Gladys Really Have to Come?
Ahh, Auntie Gladys. We all have one. You can’t invite so-and-so without inviting the other one, and if SHE comes, well, 2nd cousin Alberta won’t come, and THEN what will happen??! I suspect the answer is, that the world will go on turning, and you will have a nice day regardless!
It is always awkward to have to trim a guest list. Most of us don’t have unlimited budgets, or space. But how many times are you planning on doing this? Just the once hopefully. Be Bridezilla-ish if you need to be, it is YOUR day, (ok, and his too), so thinking about polite rejections for people that you just don’t want, but might be pressured into, will pay dividends in the joy division later on.
Maybe something along the lines of; “We are only having X number of people, because of budget constraints, but we would love you to celebrate with us, so maybe we could all go out for dinner once we are back from honeymoon?”
Or “We are having an alcohol free wedding” (that has been known to sort the wheat from the chaff!)
So much for family.
Friends, or colleagues are tricky too. You’ve talked about your wedding, shown the girls at work Pinterest boards, but now, crunching the numbers, you find that half of your places are going to Aunt Gladys and her entourage, the other half to David’s step family from Adelaide....no room for the girls at work.
Hmm. Evening only? That way they get to see you in your dress (it’s mostly the thing that we care about anyway!), and have a good boogie, and maybe meet someone nice from Adelaide! Or be honest, show them the numbers, say you’d love to invite them all, but don’t want to pick any favourites. Maybe they could arrange a night out for you, or join your hen night. Would they invite you to their wedding? Would you feel slighted if they didn’t? You should be surrounded by people you love, not feel obliged to!
When To Send
Once you have whittled down your guest list, palmed off Great Aunt Gladys, figured out that by inviting the girls from work to the evening only you can save half a million pounds, then you will have a guest list you can be reasonably sure of. This will in turn mean you will know your budgets. There are hundreds of online budgeting tools for weddings, and are a great idea, as costs stack up quickly.
So having decided on your preferred guests, they should receive their invitations 4-6 months before the wedding. Make sure that you have an ‘RSVP By’ date, so that you will know definitely if someone isn’t coming (more room for Jane from marketing!) In practise, people are very slow to respond, or sometimes don’t respond at all, assuming that you will know they are coming, and which of their family they will be bringing. Make it as easy as possible for them – send an envelope with the RSVP, already addressed to yourself, with a stamp if you are feeling particularly generous!
Children At Weddings
This may be a little contentious! For some, having children running up the aisle as the bride makes her entrance is all part of the charm. For some, they want the man from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to round them up and keep them quiet. Wherever you stand on this issue, be strong, it is your day, your decision. A child still needs feeding, and at an average cost of £75 per place at the table these days, it may be something to think about if young Jemima and Toby will only eat waffles and peas. Parents will understand. There are lots of services which offer nannying for children, which is a fabulous option if budget permits, everyone wins, and no-one feels that Jemima and Toby have been sidelined.