As we've discussed before, there's nothing easy about making a guest list for a wedding, especially when you have rather restricted numbers.
There's always politics, family obligations and favours to deal with first, then come the close friends and the plus-ones, and often those things mean there are a number of people leftover who you want at your wedding but can't really make space for.
These are the periphery guests - people who are on the waitlist to get an invite in case those people expected to attend can't make it.
Is it insulting to be a periphery guest? Maybe I would've thought so before I started planning a wedding, but now that I'm going through the whole wedding planning thing, I really don't think it is insulting, and I hope others don't think so either.
A periphery guest is still someone the bride and groom want at the wedding, but maybe they just don't have the numbers to include everyone. It's not an insult, it's just a circumstance.
Sometimes that circumstance sucks, and in my experience, there are a lot of people I want at our wedding who we couldn't squeeze in, and now, with less than four weeks to go, it's likely too last minute to say, "Hey, we have room now? Think you can book time off work to come to our wedding next month?"
And right now, quite a few of our expected guests, some who've even RSVP'd as attending, can no longer make it to our wedding. My mom told me to expect a lot of this, but it's still disappointing and a bit nerve-wracking, especially when we need to have a certain minimal number of guests attending in order to match our caterer's menu.
It's also unexpected because a few months ago, David and I were going over our guestlist and nearly pulling out our hair because we were way over 100 guests. We thought we were going to be way-over, closer to 115. Now we're wondering if we can even get 85!
It's become more complicated and stressful than I thought, but for the opposite reason I originally expected to be worrying about.
Slowly but surely, I've been able to reach out and invite some of our periphery guests and some can make it, but for others it's too late, which is unfortunate for everyone because I'd love to see them, and I'm sure they feel a bit like the second-round draft pick. No one wants to be second.
But the thing is, periphery guests aren't second to, or necessarily less wanted than, originally invited guests; they just got beat to the punch by politics, like family members, plus-ones and yes, some best friends that will undoubtedly be invited.
Maybe we just need to visualize the whole scenario in a way that people can relate to.
Think about a wedding guest list as a basketball team roster. When we the bride and groom have starter players fail to show up to the game or get injured on the court, they need the players on the bench to step up and get in the game.
Everyone counts, and everyone's important.
So, periphery guests, it's not that you didn't make the team; you're just on the bench, and we hope you're always ready to go in and play, because you never know when you might get the nod to step up.
And we might just need you to finish the game.
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