GUEST LIST DISCUSSIONS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON


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Of all the difficult decisions involved in planning a wedding, finalizing the guest list is one of the trickiest. During this delicate balancing act comes the realization of just how many people we are either unwilling or unable to invite. Since many of the people who won’t make the list are people you need to maintain a healthy relationship with, such as extended family, let’s explore the best ways to keep the peace, and avoid awkward conversations during the holiday season.  

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Early In The Planning Process: Host a Destination Wedding
If you’re early in the planning process and are finding yourself feeling uncomfortable with the inevitable discussions of guest lists, consider the idea of a destination wedding.

If your wedding is on a tropical island or on the cliff sides of Ireland,  everyone may want to join the fun, but the logistics of travel narrows the guest list down significantly. Chances are you will still get some complaints for not making your wedding more accessible, but in the end your decision to have a dream wedding in a stunningly beautiful location is one that is easy to understand without further explanation.

Although, if you do decide on a destination wedding, be sure that the intimate feel is exactly what you’ve been hoping for. While this option allows you to invite as many people as you want, knowing that only a handful will actually attend, there is a high probability that a few friends, that you truly want to be there, will not be able to make it.

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Half Way Through The Planning Process: Have a Post-Wedding Party
If you’re feeling uncomfortable with leaving Aunt Susie off the guest list, but don’t have the space or capacity to invite her, consider having a post-wedding party. Although some people’s motivation to attend your wedding may be driven by a desire to feel included, most of your friends and family simply want the opportunity to celebrate with you. After taking a few weeks to relax and enjoy the married life, a fun way to include those guests that couldn’t make it is to have a post wedding party. During this time, you could highlight your honeymoon and focus on them being a part of your journey into marriage.

Some great ideas for a relaxed get-together include:

  • A potluck at yours or a relative’s home

  • Dinner at a local restaurant

  • BBQ at a nearby park

  • Cocktail hour

  • Brunch

Maintaining a laid-back atmosphere keeps expenses to a minimum, and removes the obligation people may feel to bring a wedding gift, all the while giving them the chance to share in the moment by spending some quality time with the happy newlyweds. This way when questions arise about your wedding, they will be with genuine interest rather than bitter undertones from feeling left out.

No Time For Changes or Additions: Wow Them with Logistics  

If your event is quickly approaching in 2019 and you’re worried about the questions this holiday season may bring, it’s time to cut to the chase.

Unless someone has gone through the effort of planning a wedding, they are completely clueless when it comes to the ins and outs of wedding planning. In their minds, it’s as simple as adding an extra table and sending out a few more slips of paper in the mail. Obviously, this isn’t the case, but the only way for them to understand is for you to explain it to them. If you are prepared to be upfront with your budget, the limitations of your venue, the cost per person and the amount of time and effort you spent planning, most people will come away with more knowledge about the process and a deeper respect for your decision.

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A No-Regrets Guest List

With all the stress of planning a wedding, it can be difficult not to become overwhelmed with expectant guests. Try to remember that most people have limited knowledge of proper wedding etiquette and it’s natural for feelings to be a bit hurt when that wedding invitation never comes. If you understand where they are coming from, and deliver your explanation in the most polite way possible, you can both come away feeling better about the outcome.

So, craft your guest list in a way that makes you feel comfortable, and head to your holiday parties with no fear and no regrets, knowing you are prepared for any wedding related questions that come your way!


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Paul Bolton