Friday, October 2, 2009

Guest list woes

Our engagement party is starting to overwhelm me - there will be close to 75 people there!
Oh, people with small families - I envy you sometimes! My local family adds up really quickly, between my aunts, uncles, cousins, their kids, our second cousins, etc. Then there are our friends from college, all of whom are dating people or married, and we are now friends with their significant others.
We couldn't keep our wedding at 75-80 guests even if we wanted to. Our engagement party? The only members of Mark's family coming are his parents and sister.
There is one huge guilt complex I have over the wedding guest list and that is my friends from high school. I know that I'm inviting three of them. The other 7? I don't know. I've kept in touch with a few of them. Some of them annoy me now (not you, high school friend reading the blog, it's the other ones). And I don't go home that often to see them, but I'm close enough to home that nobody has felt the need to make an effort to keep in touch. The ones I'm still close with are mostly the ones that left town.
Since getting engaged, I've been a worse friend. I've been avoiding them, because I don't want to answer wedding questions. I've had a couple other friends ask "am I invited to your wedding?" and fortunately the answer has been yes for those people. And I'm seeing them on Saturday, so what do I say when asked? "We're keeping it small" is a total lie, so I'm not saying it. Saying, "unfortunately, because our families are enormous, there isn't a lot of room for friends so we are mostly inviting only our close mutual friends" is a little less of a lie, and is in fact mostly true. Is that offensive or will they understand that because they don't know Mark very well (they've met a few times), they aren't on the list?


  1. This has been a huge problem for us as well. Why does your family have to be so big??? I feel kinda bad because Matt was unable to invite many friends to the wedding because his family is so huge. For me, it was the opposite. I will have only a handful of family members there, but many friends. We tried to keep the percentage even, but Matt will have more seats at our wedding. I think Matt has explained the situation to his friends. The guest list was very difficult for us as well. I still kinda feel bad about friends I left off the list.

  2. I would just say you don't know how many people you can invite yet. I wouldn't say, "we are only inviting close friends and you don't make the cut." Plus who knows, things might change between now and when you sent out the invites--you wouldn't want to say yes or no now.

  3. Fully agree with Margaret! Just say you haven't figured out guest list and capacity and all that yet, but only if you are asked an awkward question that requires such an answer. Although, that mostly only works until a few months before the wedding... I avoided a few people during wedding planning, and it taught me that I don't want to be the kind of person that people fear will assume (or even just ask whether) I'm invited to their wedding and therefore make them feel awkward. Also, it is very freeing to be post-wedding and not feel like you are evaluating people partly on whether they make the cut to come to your wedding, or feel like you can't make new friends because then you might have to (because you want to) try to squeeze them in.

    Also, I suggest you keep your mind open about who you will and won't invite. We made changes all through almost up until a few weeks before the wedding (because we went and made a new friend despite trying not to, and also my husband ran into an old close friend he'd lost touch with and decided he'd really made a mistake not inviting that friend) and we still came away feeling there might be a couple of people we probably should have invited but didn't.

  4. oh guest list woes. i feel ya. our list is just bursting at the seams due to both our large families. good luck making the cuts. i agree to not commit to anyone that's not family until closer to the day, though

  5. I am at a loss, for even if we only invte family (immidate family, aunts uncles and cousins) its still OVER 200 people...and it's not like you can invite some cousins and exclude others... We have considered doing immidate family only, but neither of us want just our parents, step parents, sibling and step-siblings being alone together for any length of time! And I want a real wedding, I don't want to elope!