the wedding chronicles | decision #12

THE GUEST LIST

based on my wedding planning experience, i think it’s a safe thing to say that the guest list very easily goes hand-in-hand with the venue.  as such this post probably could have come much earlier in the wedding chronicles, but better late than never.  🙂  i think it’s possible to think of it this way:  either your guest list dictates your venue or your venue dictates your guest list.  do we think this assessment is fair?  in my opinion it is because if you are in love with a particular space but it only can hold 100 people, then the guest list is 100.  on the other hand if you and your fiance(e) have humongous families and you know at least 200 people will be there, well then you’re going to need a ceremony and reception site big enough to fit them all, and that requirement in and of itself may eliminate certain locations.  again, sometimes your wedding decisions can be very logical.

as far as things go for phillip and me, we do have larger families and lots of out-of-town guests but also lots of locals since the event is taking place in phillip’s hometown of peachtree city.  so me?  i’m hopeful that most of the folks who received save-the-dates (and have invitations on the way in january) will be able to join us.  for our venues we’re paying for a minimum number of guests, so if at least that many if not a few more show i’ll be quite happy.  with that being said, i have heard from other couples who are recently engaged/married a statistic that about 30% of your guests won’t be able to make it.  well that’s just too bad, right?  but it also is a fact of life and is what it is.  regardless, understanding that a certain percentage of people won’t be able to join you in your big day can sometimes cause a little uncertainty as far as choosing a location.  do you pick a place that will fit a maximum of 70% of your guest list (if we’re going off this statistic) or do you book a venue that will hold 70%+ in the wonderful event that most of your guests can come?  that decision i leave up to you.  we are okay with having a minimum and then, if necessary, paying extra if we go over that amount.  however, if that is not your style, you’ll need to be more mindful about the venue you choose.  make sense?  i think so, too.

now, once you’ve picked the venue and know the acceptable guest count, it’s time to start deciding on who in your life will be so lucky as to make it onto that exclusive guest list!  as far as the andrich family side of the guest list goes, my mother and father were very quickly able to put it together since they’d already done so for my brother kyle and his wedding with kari a few years ago.  nice, right?  right!  however, i realize you might not be so lucky.  as we all know, things can sometimes get a bit sensitive when it comes to family matters, and since every family is very unique and very different, my advice to you is to trust your gut.  who from your family do you really want there?  how many “layers” deep into the family tree can you really afford to go?  again, sometimes the cost per guest can help you make these decisions, and i really think that is a-okay.

after picking out family (which for us naturally came first), you then start moving onto friends.  friends could mean coworkers, childhood companions, college cronies, so on and so forth.  my opinion as far as the category of “friends guests” goes is to invite the people whose friendships you treasure, those people you miss when you haven’t seen them in some time and those people who have true joy in their hearts for you and your fiance(e).  sometimes this decision is black-and-white, but you may likely find that for some people the choice may be a little more gray, especially if you’re getting married a little later in life.  do you invite certain friends from college because you were besties then but hardly talk nowadays?  what about that former roommate?  and don’t even ask me to figure out how to navigate the waters when it comes to people who work with you.  that one really could be difficult to handle, and i wish you the best of luck in that regard.

now, after choosing friends and family, i will say in all honesty that one of the maybe most unexpected parts about putting together the guest list (unless you’re in-the-know with someone who has already walked this path) is understanding that your parents are likely going to want to invite people with whom you directly have little interaction but with whom they very much want to be there.  one example that is very relatable is parents of childhood friends.  think fellow pto members that saw you grow up, neighborhood friends, church members, etc…even if those people aren’t able to make it, they’ll be extremely flattered and touched to receive an invitation.  and, if they are able to come, i bet you’ll be beaming to see them in the receiving line.  your wedding day, although all about you and your significant other, is also a very important event to many people that have been in your life in many ways and for many years.  so i advise you to be sensitive but also practical as far as who to include on the guest list in this regard.

now, i know this post has been a lengthy one but think it requires a good bit of attention since it can sometimes become a very heated topic during your wedding planning process.  do make the choice about your guest list and venue for what you ultimately want but also be prepared to possibly make certain concessions and compromises.

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