The hardest part of wedding planning

Something New


Where do I even begin with this one?

Let's just say, out of everything I've done so far for my July wedding, the guest list is by far the most stressful piece of work I've had to deal with. Seriously, it's a nightmare.

I just returned yesterday from eight days on Vancouver Island where I got a lot of things done for the wedding in person. Basically, there's nothing left for me to book, and not much left to do.

I ordered my cakes, my flowers, set my menu, got a DJ and a bartending service, booked a commissioner, met with my photographer and my decorator, rented chairs/chair covers, etc. and got a lot of dÉcor collected and started on.

But one thing we can't really do yet is solidify a guest list - that won't happen until likely the end of May.

To start, we set a 100-guest limit. I knew that would be an issue for me because I have a huge family: I have 16 aunts and uncles and 30-plus cousins.

I also have a huge circle of friends due to moving around the province since I was 18, so I have a big family and a big friend base, and that's not even starting with David's side, so booking 100 was a risk for both of us, but it had to happen to keep costs down. Also, our venue isn't huge and if we want any sort of a dance floor, we have to steer clear of having more than 120 or so guests.

When we did a count of 'for-sures' the other night, we were at roughly 96, and that's not including about 30 members of David's non-immediate family we haven't heard from yet. His family is from Nova Scotia, so likely not all 30 of those guests will make it, but still, what if they do?

Since things are so tight, obviously we have to be pretty stern with who was say yes to, and it's not easy. In fact it's really hard, especially when people ask, "I'm invited, right?" Wrong. How do you even break that gently?

It's almost impossible to set a guest list and not hurt people's feelings, and that's difficult to do day-after-day. You feel like a big jerk.

I'm hoping that these friends and family members who aren't invited understand how small our wedding is, and we can't bring everyone, even though we'd love to have everyone there. We have a tight budget, a really tight budget, and if we bring everyone we wanted we'd have 200+ guests. I shudder thinking of the cost of THAT wedding.

The worst part is having more than a few circles of friends. If you invite one of that circle, you have to invite them all, which is why I've left out some friends I'd really otherwise want to see at my wedding. Friend groups are a package deal. It's all or nothing, and in a few cases I've been forced to pick nothing or end up way over my limit.

Another thing I didn't realize was how quickly seats would be filled up, mostly because I wasn't thinking about all the boyfriends/fiancÉs/husbands my friends now have, on top of other guests and their plus-ones. At my last count, just spouses of my friends counted up to 12, if not more. I guess this is the cost I pay for marrying at the age of 30.

Ugh.

Another issue with guest lists? People pressuring you to invite so-and-so because they think they should be there even though you don't. And trust me, I've gotten into a few fights with a few people about this and it's gotten ugly.

Having 100 guests might seem like a big wedding to some, but it's a TINY wedding for my family, and there are more than a few outspoken people in my family who think other family members should go, too when I don't necessarily agree.

Sorry folks, we have to draw a line somewhere or else it'll be like World War Z at my wedding.

We need to keep putting our feet down and saying, "It's OUR wedding" but people don't tend to care, and the closer it gets to our wedding, the more people don't care that it's our wedding. I dread the next five months.

Did I mention we didn't want any children going to our wedding and now there are like, 12 going against our will?

If that doesn't sum things up about the nightmare that is a wedding guest list, I don't know what does.

These are the things that make me consider scrapping it all and getting eloped.

Hawaii, anyone?

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