OK so we’ve all had a good chuckle at the classic not invited meme! I mean, come on, who wouldn’t find them funny? Well, anyone not invited to the wedding, that’s who! Which brings us to that age old thorny issue, how to tell someone you don’t want to see them on your big day?
From the moment you announce your engagement you’ll be inundated by congratulations and well-wishers; all asking the question – when’s the big day, I want to put it in my diary. For many friends and family there can be an automatic assumption they will receive a wedding invitation. One thing’s for certain it’s impossible to invite all – there won’t be the budget or space for this, so how do you decide WHO to invite and how do you politely tell others, “you’re not invited”?
Keeping numbers at a more intimate level means you are in a better place to enjoy the enjoy wedding day luxuries you’ve always dreamed of. So, whether you choose luxury wedding cards, rustic wedding invitations or traditional wedding invitations, swathes of big beautiful flowers or simple dainty posies, the finest foods or bangers and mash, a stately home venue or a local hall – it’s your wedding; so don’t feel obliged to invite the world and his wife, at the expense of everything else.
So, if you want to avoid wagging tongues, the whispered, “my friend didn’t invite me to the wedding’ moaning or “I bet you weren’t invited to this lavish do” gossip, you need to be ruthlessly efficient and organised. That’s where good ‘Wedmin’ comes into its own. It ensures a stress free run up to the big day. Here are our wedmin tips to ensure the guest list doesn’t become a quagmire of offence and misery!
First, ask yourself: how many people should I invite to my wedding? This will boil down to how many guests you can afford to invite. If numbers aren’t an issue, then your guest list can be a large as you want. But if your budget is smaller, then set strict parameters with regard to wedding numbers right from the start. The key is to plan your wedding guest list CAREFULLY, before you even think about embarking upon creating that bespoke wedding stationery or sending out those wedding RSVP cards. Once you have agreed maximum numbers, STICK TO THIS NUMBER!
2. MAKE A LIST, THEN WHITTLE IT DOWN
Sit down and make a list. Add as many friends and family names you can think of. Don’t forget, if you have financial help to pay for your wedding – traditionally this is a role that’s been taken on by the parents of the bride – then it’s only fair you offer them some input into your guest list.
Once this ‘long list’ is made, look at it closely. Some names you will easily be able to weed out. For example, acquaintances you’ve met a handful of times, or people who live halfway across the world, who you haven’t seen in a while. We also suggest crossing out anyone you haven’t spoken to in the last couple of years.
What about co-workers, who you see every day? If you socialise with them outside work on a regular basis, then keep them on the list, but if not, their names can be removed.
Plus ones? Another potentially tricky area. Unless you know that plus one well, we suggest not inviting them. The wedding is about you - a good friend will understand this.
And don’t fall into the trap of keeping a guilt name on the list! So what if someone invited you to their wedding 5 years ago! If your lives have gone separate ways, you are under no obligation to invite them.
Be sensitive to family dynamics. No one wants to start a family feud! For instance, you might not have seen Great Aunt Agatha in years, but if she is an important figure in the family, then it might be politic to invite her. Equally, don’t leave out one member from a particular family group. Invite them all, or none at all! In short, use your judgement wisely here.
4. A-LIST AND B-LIST
Divide your whittled down list into A List and B List. The former will consist of guests you wish to be there under any circumstances – your best, dearest, closest friends and relations. Send them Save The Date wedding cards as soon as possible, to ensure they have your special day firmly inked into their diaries.
The B-List will be good friends and slightly more distant relatives; in short, the people who you would like, if space and budget allow, to attend the big day.
Ask yourself, do you really want other people’s children taking up precious space and number allocation? This is where your wedding day stationery can take the strain. By printing clearly on your wedding information card that the day is child free, any misunderstandings on the subject can be avoided.
Wedding invitation information cards: “We regret children are not invited”
6. STAGGER THE INVITES
Send out invitations to you’re A-List, with an RSVP wedding card that has a clear response date. We suggest at least 8 weeks prior to the big day. If people from the A-List are unable to make your date, you can start sending out invitations to the B-List. Just remember to stick to the one in, one out rule, to avoid going over your maximum numbers.
7. MAKE THE GUEST LIST PRIVATE
There’s nothing worse than making your list public. Not only does it allow those who haven’t been invited to feel aggrieved not to be on it, it also encourages people to look and see who is going and then make their attendance decision based on this!
Following our tips should avoid any ‘you’re not invited to wedding’ drama. But, if you do unexpectedly bump into a would-be guest we suggest you do everything you can to avoid a confrontation. Be evasive, blame the budget, blame the venue, blame the family – in short do all you can not to fall out with friends or family. We also recommend reading wedding ‘bible’, The Knot, which offers some diplomatic words to use when navigating any tricky ‘when you’re not invited’ conversations!