The Guest List: When Friends are Family

I think the first thing Genuine and I did after getting engaged was sit down with my laptop, pull up an Excel spreadsheet and begin typing out names for our guest list.

Who do we want to come to our wedding?

I’ve learned a lot about weddings in the past several months, mainly the different traditions. In traditional weddings, the parents of the bride host the wedding. However with many couples opting to get married later and later in life, moving across country and just generally being non-traditional, things have changed a lot.

It wouldn’t make sense for my parents to host the wedding now (though them paying for it would be GREAT!), so Joe and I are hosting our own wedding. We’re pretty much throwing a party for ourselves. This seemed like a given at first, but now it is actually sort of weird to me because I know that isn’t how it’s traditionally done.

Our parents will still be involved, but we are picking the date, time, place and guest list. This makes the guest list difficult.

Some choices are easy: Ex-boyfriends? No. Frenemies? No. Friends I haven’t talked to in years? No. Virtual friends? No. Guests of friends? No.

Some choices are harder: Especially when it comes to friends and family.

Do I eliminate Cousin Pookie I havent seen in years to include my friend from church?

Friends are ever changing and family is permanent, but what if my family are virtual strangers? Sure they will always be my family, but they may also always be family that I never see.

On the other hand, friends are fickle (at least in my experience). There are some people I am close with now that I may not be close with in February. And on a good note, what if some friendships are rekindled before then?

Weddings are a family time, but my friends are like my family.

These thoughts make the guest list particularly difficult.

It’s not that I don’t want people to be there. It’s that I’m not Rockerfeller and I am cutting all sorts of corners to save money for my wedding.

Any wedding budget expert will tell you the easiest way to save money is to cut the list. I’ve realized that for us the decision ultimately comes down to more people and less food or more food and less people.

As much as I want to, I just cannot invite every person I’ve ever met. There are going to have to be some people who see the wedding pictures on Facebook. (Is it bad that I’m okay with that being a cousin I never see and not a close friend from high-school?)

I dont think a person should get an automatic invite just because we happen to share the same last name somewhere along the line. I’ve seen you once in the past 25 years, so it’s a pretty safe bet that I won’t see you in the next 25 years.

Plus, I think about all of my married family and how few weddings I have been invited to over the years. They didn’t feel the need to invite me, so it should be fine if I dont feel the need to invite them. Will anyone be truly upset they weren’t invited to my wedding? Or will I bump into someone in Target one day and introduce my husband and he/she simply say: “Congratulations” without thinking twice that there was a wedding he or she wasn’t invited to?

I mean, honestly. My family is huge and some of my family, I don’t even know their last name! I’m not sure if they’re married. Don’t know if they have kids or how old said kids are. I just feel like, family or no family, if I don’t know you: CUT!

Sigh. This guest list stuff is WORK. I wish I could just throw open the doors and say: anyone who wants to come is welcome!!

That ain’t happening though…

My fiance offered this advice: They say if you wouldn’t invite them to your house for dinner than don’t invite them to the wedding. Problem is, I don’t invite anyone over for dinner. And just because I haven’t doesn’t mean I wouldn’t.

Plus, what if I invite a bunch of people who say they can’t come and then no one shows up?! That’s why I say, the more invited the merrier!

I Google everything and this wedding stuff is no exception. So I searched the internet for some advice and found this helpful article:

How to Cut Your Wedding Guest List (Without Hurting Too Many People’s Feelings)

I also found a cool image online that kind of helps with deciding who makes the cut:

I think I will try this with my current guest list…

I swear, this guest list stuff is a major reason why people just elope and tell the family later. Headache: eliminated!

4 Comments on “The Guest List: When Friends are Family

  1. Girl YES! We got married 28 days after we decided to get married in part to avoid the huge, expensive wedding. For me, food was more important than guest list. I have a huge family, too (36 first cousins). I don’t know some of their first names (automatic out) & last names (also automatic out). It was harder when it came to cousins I see once a year but only at family gatherings versus the ones I keep up with. I knew there would be hurt feelings and the need to extend it to spouses & kids.

    We just invited immediate family and my closest friends. There are some people who will move mountains to be there and some who can’t. But you won’t be getting married in front of just your mom & dad if you invite dozens. LOL Some people will be pissed they weren’t invited (my cousin I haven’t been close to in 5 years showed her entire backside) or in the wedding no matter what you do so in the end you just have to do what makes you and Joe happy. The people who love you most will (should) be happy for you no matter what!


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