Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Guest List Etiquette

Party Guest Image by Inslee Haynes, via Pinterest
Finalizing your guest list for a wedding or any big event can be tricky. There are always lots of opinions on the topic, and it may not be 100% up to you. Here are a few guest-list questions that have come up as friends of mine have planned their big days:

Q: My fiancé and I want to keep the wedding small, but he comes from a huge family. How can we limit our guest list without offending cousins, aunts, and uncles?
A: This is a tricky situation, but one that can definitely be overcome. If your groom is close to his family, it's worth having some in-person conversations about your wedding. Have dinner with his aunt and uncle and explain that you'll be thinking of them, but you're really trying to keep the wedding very small. Handling the situation in person and being up front will save some hurt feelings later down the line. As an alternative, if you're keeping your nuptials very intimate, consider allowing your parents or someone close to you to host a "Introducing the new Mr. & Mrs." cocktail party or small picnic. This will allow more distant relatives and family friends to be involved in some way.

Q: My coworkers talk as if they're invited to my wedding. How do I break it to them that they didn't make the cut?
A: We spend 8-10 hours with our coworkers each day, and in some cases our coworkers become great friends. It makes sense that they'd want to play a role in your special day if they do consider you a close friend, but don't feel obligated to invite everyone you work with. It's absolutely appropriate to subtly drop hints that you're keeping things small, or diplomatically let them know that you can't wait to show them pictures (because you've obviously booked the most amazing photographer!) and it will be so fun to relive the special moments with them.

Q: A dear friend has offered to throw a bridal shower in my hometown, but my new in-laws live far away. Should I add them to the invite list? I don't want them to feel obligated to attend. 
A: Bridal showers are typically a girly occasion, and you'd hate for your future mother-in-law, sister-in-law, etc. to feel left out. In this case, it's the thought that counts.  It's a nice gesture to give them a call and let them know that although you'd love for them to be there, they do not need to feel obligated to fly cross-country or send a gift.

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