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Inviting guests to your wedding

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So you’re in the process of choosing your Long Island wedding venue. It’s the biggest job you have, yet there are still many decisions to make. The people you invite is one of the most important things to consider. The amount of people you invite will be determined by your budget, your venue, and really, who you actually want there vs. who you’re obligated to invite. The guest list is usually one of the most stressful aspects to planning your wedding. There can be a lot of friction and difficulty caused by deciding the guest list, so do your best to handle this with as much sensitivity and thought as possible.  Here are a few points to mull over when deciding the guest list.

Size of your wedding

This is the first thing to consider. When you picture your wedding, do you envision a huge event with all the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding? Or do you picture a more intimate setting with just you and a small guest list of just the special people in your life. Chances are, if this is the first wedding for both of your families, you have a pretty good idea already that this is going to be a larger scale wedding whether you like that or not. Make sure to set your budget and then figure out your guest list. If you do it in the opposite order, you are almost assured to go to over budget.

Remember, It’s your wedding!

Make the most of this opportunity. You are going to want to have the people who matter the most be there for your special day. Be prepared, your parents will want their friends to attend, maybe their boss, and other various people you don’t know at all. Make sure to remember that it is your wedding, so you have the right to share your reservations to your dad inviting his accountant or your mom inviting the organist from church. Keep in mind, your parents will have some “must have” guests. But there are some areas where you can take a stand. And if you are flexible with them, they’ll understand why you’re inviting someone who seems random to them. Check the budget, handle your parents with sensitivity, but always remember it’s your wedding.

Who is paying for your Long Island wedding?

This is a huge factor when determining the guest list. If your parents are paying for most or all of this, then chances are they will feel entitled to invite who they want. If you and your future spouse are paying, then you have complete say in who’s coming or not. If your parents are paying, then let them invite anyone they want. Unless you are having an intimate wedding. However, if they are paying for an intimate wedding, they should have good sense on who to invite and who to leave off the list.

Creating the guest list

As stated before, the Long Island wedding venue you choose, as well as your budget determines the size of your guestlist. You always want to plan for a few more, but don’t go overboard because all of a sudden you’ll outgrow your budget and your venue!  Here are some additional tips to follow when choosing your guest list.

  1. Generally the total number of guests you can have will be halved and the bride’s side accorded half the number and the groom’s the other half.
  2. If you and your spouse have a common circle of friends , you may want to give your parents a little more leeway with their invitees.
  3. Keep in mind none of this is set in stone. If the groom doesn’t have as many people to invite, it’s not necessary for him to start thinking up people to bring so that the parties are even. it makes more sense to let the bride invite more if she has more she’d like to be there. Or vice versa.
  4. The bride and groom should come up with their own lists separately, then meet up and go through the sifting process together.

You are probably going to go through several versions of your guest list until coming to the final list. More than anything it will help to determine the ball park number of guests you’ll be looking at. This will help you determine which Long Island wedding venue you will choose. Once you choose the best wedding venue on Long Island, you can focus in on the maximum number of guests.

Tips for drawing up a guest list

Make two columns, one for the name of the family, the other for the number expected. Thus you will have a row comprising entries such as –  Mr. & Mrs. Parker (and family) and the corresponding entry – 2 (or 4 as is the case). And so on. After due modifications and fine tuning, this list helps you arrive at two things simultaneously – the first column total will indicate the number of invitations you will require and the total of the second column will indicate your total number of guests.

  1. Start with the people closest to you i.e. your immediate family – parents, the couple’s own children (if any), siblings, nieces and nephews, grandparents.
  2. Next is the extended family i.e. aunts, uncles, cousins, their children (if necessary)
  3. Then come the close family friends and the couple’s friends, both individual and common
  4. Finally come the couple’s colleagues/ co-workers, employers and the parent’s colleagues

If your’s is a very intimate wedding or you have a very large family (immediate and extended), you may want to stick exclusively to the first two categories. If you’re planning a larger wedding, feel ‘the more the merrier’ and you have the budget to accommodate it, then you will be able to go the whole hog.

It is also possible, especially if your wedding is on a weekday, that not all whom you invite will be able to attend, either due to work or other commitments. If they reply sufficiently in advance, letting you know, you could have a reserve invitation list handy. As long as you don’t leave it too late to mail, thereby drawing attention to the fact that they are a second choice, the recipients will be happy to oblige.