In writing this post I don’t want to come off as mean, bitchy or ungrateful. Let’s face it–wedding planning can be super stressful and a lot to manage. Aside from the fun parts of trying on dresses, tasting cakes and looking at flowers there are difficult parts of planning as well. For me the most difficult part was the guest list. This caused the most stress, pain and worry in the whole process! I’m writing this post now because we are so close to Valentine’s Day and a lot of people get engaged around that time. This might help future brides and grooms and their potential guests!
When you get engaged you’re excited, elated and you want to share the good news with everyone! Then it comes down to planning details and the biggest thing to consider is your budget. Money is everything especially when you don’t have much to spare. We planned our wedding on a very tight budget and every guest counts. Each person equals $$$. That’s just the honest reality.
I was put into many awkward situations and I hate to disappoint people and have a hard time saying no. I never want to be perceived as mean, or heartless. As a wedding guest or person who knows an engaged couple, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Don’t ask if you’re invited. Especially don’t ask over social media. Like on an Instagram comment. That puts the couple in a very awkward situation because if you are not invited they then have to very carefully tell you “no”publicly. And then everyone feels bad. And awkward. Also, don’t ask over text. Just don’t ask. Be patient and wait for an invitation, if you don’t get one that unfortunately means you are not invited. Don’t take it as an insult. The couple most likely has certain constraints whether it be budget, venue capacity limits or even other financial contributors having a say over the guest list.
2. RSVP ASAP. Once you get that invitation respond as soon as you can. One of my friends didn’t even let the RSVP card go inside her house. She immediately opened the envelope, took a pen out of her purse, checked the appropriate box, sealed the return envelope and dropped it back in the mail box. Done. Easy. I know this because she told me. I know not everyone can know right away as soon as the invitation is in their hands like that but as soon as you check your calendar and know if you can make it or not, send that card. A proper invitation should include a response card and self-addressed stamped envelope for your convenience. It is very stressful for the couple to have to hound their invitees for a response. And the couple needs to know exactly how many guests are coming about a month before the wedding so they can tell the venue, florist, caterer, bakery, to make favors etc. You are very important, so respond quickly!
3. Don’t ask to bring extra people. Again, it’s awkward and difficult to say no. Then you decide to bring extras anyway. Or you didn’t ask ahead of time and just brought extra guests anyway. There are a certain amount of people invited for a reason. If you are allotted 1 guest then that’s all you get. Don’t decide to show up on the wedding day with three guests. That is a real thing that happened at my wedding. I noticed. Again, each guest = $$$. There are capacity limits or budget limits. Please be considerate to the bride and groom and their family. For each guest accounted for there is a chair at the ceremony and reception reserved. Plates, glasses, certain amount of cake and food. Certain amount of centerpieces ordered for each table. The reception is set up a certain way to accommodate a certain amount of people. You are asked to RSVP a certain amount of people for a reason.
4. If you are only coming to the ceremony state that in your response. A few people only came to the ceremony but did not tell us ahead of time that they could not stay for the reception. So the chair, food, cake, drinks, silverware etc. that was paid for especially for you? Potentially wasted.
5. If you RSVP yes, do everything in your power to make it to that wedding. Again, preparations were made and money was spent for you to be there. Because you said you would be there. Don’t just randomly decide not to go just because you don’t feel like it. If something comes up and you suddenly can’t go because of work, illness or some other serious issue — that is totally understandable.
Overall, I think our wedding was wonderful, a really good day and it ran smoothly. I think the people who didn’t come made up for the unexpected extra guests. We didn’t go over budget and I don’t think anything was wasted. We had an amazing time and it flew by! It looked like our guests were having a lot of fun. I got comments from people after saying they had a blast. And that was the point. To celebrate our union with family and friends and just have good time.