Contributed by Donna Turner
Did you know that creating the wedding guest list is the most stressful task that you have to create for your special day?
Wedding celebrations held prior to the wedding day are meant to heightened the engagement period, honor the couple and allow you the time to spend quality time of joy with your closest relatives and friends before the “craziness” of the wedding day.
Certain rules of decorum should be kept in mind for all wedding related functions. Note that the terminology has more bearing on the correct etiquette for each event. For instance, engagement party verses “a celebration in the honor of” or a shower verses a luncheon, dinner or tea amidst extended friends.
Here are some basic guidelines to follow for creating the Wedding Guest list:
The wedding guest list offers the biggest opportunity to create hurt feelings. Everyone is excited about your wedding and wants to be included as one who is important to the couple. Culling the list has to be done with great sensitivity because you don’t want to offend the feelings of anyone. I always recommend the first order of business is to define your vision for the wedding and share it with both families in writing. If you are set on a wedding with 80 people in attendance then those parameters should be communicated. Both families will know from the beginning that there will be limitations to the guest list.
This is not a guaranteed method to avoid problems, but it does set initial boundaries. Creating these initial boundaries will quickly put in check the possibility of going off in the wrong direction.
Prepare your list with consideration. Most pre-wedding parties are intimate affairs made up of family and close friends. Attending a wedding celebration builds excitement leading up to your wedding and provides the guest an unspoken guarantee that they will be honored with a wedding invitation to witness your big day. According to the Emily Post Institute, it is misleading and unacceptable to invite guests to parties and then not invite them to your wedding. Be sensitive to your single friends. From college age on, your single guests should be extended an “and guest” invitation. Your wedding is a party. Your wedding is a celebration. Those single friends would like to be comfortable and enjoy the entertainment along with you. It’s no fun sitting alone and watch others dance and have a good time.
Remember the wedding guest list is fluid. It will expand and contract. However, by giving your families initial parameters, you will set the tone for your wedding. Knowing that the guidelines are in place, hopefully all will be inclined to be sensitive about who they should request to be invited.