Choosing the guest list for your wedding can be a task fraught with stress and drama. Who gets final say on numbers? Do you have to invite children? What about long lost relatives we never see? Will my tattooed, punk rock friends get on with my much more conservative family? How about just inviting some people for the evening? Will people be offended if they’re not included in the whole day? Are we allowing +1s?
There are so many questions and many, many concerns surrounding who to have (and not have) at your wedding. In fact I’m sure a lot of you are now starting to see the benefits of eloping!
The short answer to all those questions is that you should invite who you want to, but unfortunately weddings are never as simple as that. It may well be ‘your big day’ but there are other people’s feelings to consider too, like your parents. As I mentioned when we discussed the budget, they have probably been looking forward to this day since you were born and will want to be involved in the plans.
You have to remember that not too long ago a wedding was pretty much the parents’ party that they threw to celebrate their daughter getting married. A lot of the major decisions (such as the guest list) for their own weddings would have been made by their parents, so don’t seem too surprised if they want some input.
The way we got around this for our wedding was that we actually had two celebrations. The first was the main wedding where we invited our closest family and friends (which was still about 120 people!) and when we returned from our honeymoon my parent’s threw a second wedding party for all their friends in their back garden. It was actually a great idea. I got to wear my dress again, my dad did his speech for a second time and we cut another cake. In many ways we all enjoyed it a lot more than our actual wedding day because it was so much more laid back.
So just how do you start to compile a list of wedding guests? Well, my advice would be to sit down and write down everyone you’d like to invite – friends, family, co-workers, everyone. Get your fiancé and both sets of parents to do the same. Then split the master list into two – an A-list and a back up B-list for if you have any extra space or someone can’t make it. The final number will usually be down to how many you can afford to feed and how many your venue actually holds.
When I saw Courtney and Cori’s wedding for the first time I let out a little squeak of approval. Not only did these guys have a carnival themed wedding at a theme park but the bride used Hello Kitty (my favourite!) throughout her amazing outfit! Her shoes, nails and bouquet (!!) all had Hello Kitty on them. Is this the cutest thing ever or what?
The wedding took place at Rainbows End Theme Park in New Zealand. “We wanted to capture that feeling love gives you in the pit of your stomach”, began the bride “What’s better than a carnival full of love, laughter, rides and sweet treats?”
“Cori and I are not your normal couple, we don’t sweat the small stuff and have the most amazing relaxed relationship full of laughter and smiles.That thrill and excitement you feel when your riding a roller coaster is what it feels like everyday in our relationship so we wanted to have everyone feel it with us! We could not of had a sit down white tablecloth wedding as that is just not us.”
Rowena and Cain were married in Dingle, Ireland. They only had €7000 to spend but still managed to create a gorgeous and meaningful day with a little imagination and a lot of elbow grease!
“Our theme was Dia de Los Muertos meets the Owl and the Pussycat”, explained the bride. “Bright, vintage, musical, quirky and memorable. This theme ran throughout from the vintage style Save the Date cards complete with his ‘n hers skulls, the wedding invitations which were made from real 7inch records, the Sailor Jerry style wedding programme which had old style tattoos on it, the wedding cake and bridesmaids’ dresses. The reception tables had painted sugar skulls on with ladybird books, filled tea cups, birdcages and flowers in jars.”
Rowena bought her dress second-hand from eBay and had it customised into a 1930 style. She fell in love with the dresses of that time period after watching one too many movies set in that era!
“In Ireland, weddings still tend to be quite traditional and never really deviate from each other”, she continued. “We wanted to have something different and therefore memorable, one of those weddings that stands out and looks like something from a film or from a magazine. I decided early on that I would not follow any of the ‘rules’ that brides and grooms feel compelled to adhere to. I never went to any wedding shops, I didn’t have fresh flowers, we didn’t have a DJ or a first dance, there was no set seating and nobody gave me away. The whole day was very off the cuff yet totally relaxed.”
Kelsey and Sean’s beautiful Autumn wedding was held at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. They wanted their day to be simple and a reflection of who they are.
“We wanted our wedding to be simple and to be fun time for all of our family and friends,” wrote the bride. “Though a lot of time was spent on the planning and logistics, the most important part to us was that we would get to spend a great night with everyone we love and share with them the love we have for each other.”
“We did pretty much all of the planning and implementation ourselves. Even though it was stressful at times, I think it ended up making the whole day even more meaningful. We also worked with the most amazing vendors EVER. When you have a wedding you end up spending quite a bit of money, so it was important to us that the majority of our business went to local, independent businesses. Not only did they all do a great job, but they were such wonderful people to work with!”
The beautiful wedding of Anna and Luke took place at Victorian Marriage Registry, Melbourne followed by a casual lunch at Golden Orchids Malaysian Restaurant (where they had their first date!) and an evening reception at North Fitzroy Star. Nothing about this wedding was traditional. The bride wore a non-wedding dress from theoutnet.com, the cakes and desserts were made by their loved ones instead of a wedding cake and instead of an expensive wedding car they either walked or caught taxi’s from place to place.
“Our theme was ‘do whatever we want’,” explained Anna. “We based all our decisions around doing things we loved, in places we loved, with people we loved. We never really get it when people say they want a wedding that is ‘very us’. Of course it’s going to be very you – you’re the one making all the decisions!”
“When we got engaged our married friends had a lot of advice for us”, she continued. “Over and over again we heard them say ‘the day goes so quickly’, ‘you’ll hardly remember it’, and ‘it was hard to spend time with everyone’. Those words really stuck with us when we were planning our day.”
I don’t know about you but I sure am ready for spring. This freezing cold weather can quite frankly do one. In fact I’ve pretty much been hibernating this
week month and not leaving the centrally heated cocoon that is our house unless absolutely necessary…
However, it was necessary to venture in to town on Tuesday because I’m in dire need of some new clobber for my trip to Palm Springs next month. I lucked out with two beauties from Ted Baker, the vernal pattern on this dress and skirt instantly makes me feel better.
The main reason for my trip to the Californian desert is to hang out with Gala and Shauna (it’s been too long) and work on some projects and plans for Blogcademy 2014. We’ve also decided to do a FREE live broadcast while we’re there, on Sunday 9th February at 11am PST/ 2pm EST/ 7pm GMT!
During the livestream we’ll be answering all your burning blogging and business questions. You can either submit them beforehand by emailing us, or simply ask them live as we go along. Sign up here to join us.
Bring on the sunshine, I can’t bloody wait!
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