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The guest list

A wedding is a wonderful affair but you’re footing the bill for everyone you invite. The guest list is important but when you are on a budget it can be hard to know who makes the list! We know you want everyone to share the big day. So, we have 5 ways to cut the guest down so you aren’t overwhelmed.

  1. The first thing you will do to cut your guest list is no kids. Most people will not be offended if you ask that your wedding is kid free. They understand that your big day is a formal affair. Kids can be a great, lively addition to any party but they can also be rude and unpredictable. Kids on the guest list should be limited to only the ones in the wedding party like the ring bearer and flower girl.
  2. The second way to cut the guest list is no plus-ones. If you know you are inviting a lot of single friends you don’t need to also invite whoever they are dating. The exceptions are if they are in a long term relationship or engaged. If they are married and you haven’t met their significant other you need to extend an invitation as well. One way to eliminate confusion is to just state how many seats you have reserved for your friends/family. If the number doesn’t add up to a plus-one then they know they are not invited.

3. The third way to cut the guest list is to not invite co-workers. Unless you are very friendly and close to your co-workers there is no obligation to invite them. If you do decide to invite them to the wedding it’s best to keep the work talk to a minimum.

4. The fourth way of cutting the guest list is to eliminate people you don’t know. You want everyone to share the big day but your parents and in-laws would like to invite but you have no connection with. There’s no shame in saying to them you don’t feel comfortable inviting and paying for people whom you have no interaction with.

5. The final way to cut the guest list is to get over the exes! We know you might be on friendly terms with your ex or your fiance is on great terms with his ex but lets skip any drama that might ensue. Let’s be honest you and your exes might all have friends in common as well. You should avoid any potential chaos by not putting exes on the list!

No matter who you put on the guest list just remember it is entirely your decision. You get to decide who comes and who doesn’t on your wedding day!

Resolutions to Common Wedding Woes

Planning a wedding can be the most magical time in your life, but it can also create the greatest conflicts. It’s common to face disagreements and disappointments during the process. Here are a few helpful resolutions for some of the most common wedding arguments:

Problem: He doesn’t care about the wedding details.

Resolution: Task your man with specific tasks related to the wedding that might be of interest to him. To get your groom involved, ask him to plan the honeymoon, help with a reception playlist, or sample food from the caterer. By delineating specific responsibilities, he’s less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to start helping.

Problem: You hate each other’s attendants.

Resolution: You may not agree with your fiance’s choice of best man, or he might go crazy at the thought of spending so much time with your maid of honor, but the important thing is to be supportive and understanding of each other’s decision. The wedding is a huge moment in both of your lives and it’s imperative that you surround yourself with the people that mean the most to you as individuals. If serious issues arise, talk to your partner about your concerns so they can be addressed before the wedding day.

Problem: He thinks you’re being a wedding-obsessed bridezilla.

Resolution: The truth of the matter is, if he’s accusing you of bridezilla behavior, you might just be guilty. Set aside time for the two of you where the wedding is off-limits. No conversations, no magazines, no color swatches. Make time to be together and enjoy one another’s company without the stress of the wedding hanging over your heads.

Problem: His guest list is too long and/or includes people you don’t care for.

Resolution: If the guest list is too long and you’re concerned about finances, have an honest conversation. Work together on trimming guests for both of your lists, or set a specific number of guests that you’re each allowed to invite, taking into consideration the size of your families. If there are people on the list that you wish not to be included, offer an explanation, but make sure your reasons are valid. Don’t be persuaded by old grudges or petty jealousies by the presence of an old flame or former friend.

Problem: He doesn’t agree with how the money is being spent.

Resolution: Have a budget meeting. Sit down and discuss the various expenditures associated with the wedding and how you both feel the finances would best be divided. If he wants more cash in the honeymoon fund and you’re holding out for a designer dress, figure out other areas to compromise and cut costs so you can both be happy with the outcome.

Avoiding Conflict

Your wedding day is supposed to be magical and special, full of love and joy, but all too often, drama creeps in and conflict abounds. Here’s a few easy ways to avoid conflict on some hot-button issues.

How to avoid conflict…

When choosing bridesmaids: Whether you agree or not, there are probably a few people in your life who will naturally assume they’re going to be a part of your wedding party. Ultimately, this decision is up to you and you should never feel bullied into including someone in your wedding. Adding additional bridesmaids or groomsmen adds more stress (in keeping track of everyone), more expense (in the cost of gifts and rehearsal dinner), and, well, more people to the day. However, if you’re fearful that excluding someone will cause more trouble than it’s worth, there’s no hard and fast rule on the number of bridesmaids you can have. Or, simply ask that person to serve in another way, such as a program attendant, scripture reader, or honorary bridesmaid.

When determining the guest list: Narrowing down your wedding guest list can be tricky business, especially when you’re working hard to include friends, family, co-workers, and guests of your parents and future in-laws, but if you’re working within a budget, most likely, trimming the guest list is an absolute necessity. To avoid drama, allot a certain number of invites for your parents and in-laws. Then, sit down with your fiancé and begin categorizing your potential guests into lists based on importance and closeness. Worse case scenario, send out a first round of invites, wait for RSVPs, and then follow up with a second round of invites to less-close acquaintances.

When deciding whether or not to invite children: Choosing to host an adults-only affair, especially for your reception, is completely legitimate, but before you make the decision, think long and hard about the implications. If you have close relationships with a lot of children (i.e. nieces, nephews, cousins, friends with young kids), it might be hurtful to exclude them from your day. However, if you’re worried about your beautiful reception turning into a scene from Chuck E. Cheese, don’t back down on your stance about keeping the guest list to 18 and over. Instead of including the words “adults only” on your invitations, simply be sure to write only the names of invited guests on the envelopes (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, as opposed to the Smith family). If you notice that a family RSVPs for more guests than you included, simply call them and explain that the affair is strictly for adults.

When trying to involve your fiancé in the planning: Men often take a backseat when it comes to wedding planning for a number of reasons. Maybe they don’t care about floral arrangements, maybe they’re at a loss for what to do, or maybe they simply don’t realize you need or desire their help. Whatever the case, if you’d like your groom to get more involved in the wedding plans, simply explain to him how much you’d like his help. More importantly, give him specific tasks that he can coordinate, such as planning the honeymoon, choosing the playlist for the reception, or overseeing the food selection for the rehearsal dinner or reception.

Top 5 Wedding Planning Myths

Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun, but it can also be overwhelming if you feel the need to live up to every expectation you’ve ever heard of. Fortunately, a lot of wedding expectations out there are purely myth, so you can rest easy and focus on what matters. Here are the top 5 wedding planning myths you can forget about.

Myth: You’re expected to wear a white dress.

Sure, it’s the traditional thing to do, and you may be someone who’s been dreaming about that white princess wedding dress your whole life. But if you haven’t, you’ll be happy to hear there are a lot more options in today’s world.

You can easily find white dresses with designs or trims in a rainbow of colors, or you can choose a fun color for the entire dress, without a stitch of white in sight. Particularly popular are pastels that give a soft, elegant glow to any bride. Ultimately, though, the choice is yours.

Myth: You’re expected to break the bank.

Picking out venues, meal options, dresses, wedding favors and more can be an exciting task until you remember than someone has to foot the bill.

Happily, a wedding is a wedding on any budget, and if you mine your creativity, you can still have a spectacular wedding, even if you’re pinching pennies. Don’t feel obliged to spend every last dollar you have, or your wedding might end up one of the most stressful days of your life instead of the happiest.

Myth: If you want to cut costs, DIY projects are the way to go.

Sometimes, this is perfectly true. But you have to be careful and realistic. For example, you may choose to make your own favors, but depending on the gift, you might end up spending more than you would if you’d bought the same gift, pre-made in bulk.

Plus, you have to consider how much time you’re putting into a project, as well as how much it could cost you if the project goes wrong. DIY wedding projects are a great way to express your creativity and have fun, but if you’re looking to cut costs, make sure you’ve done your homework first.

Myth: Cheesy music is expected.

Ready to blast the Macarena or dance to “I will always love you” by Whitney Houston? You’ll find huge lists of “the cheesiest songs of all time” out there, and many of them you’ve probably heard at weddings. And if you love those songs, by all means play them. But if you’re worried about scaring your guests off with cheesy music, then feel free to create a “Do Not Play List.” Talk to your DJ about your music tastes and concerns. A good DJ should listen to your wishes and be full of suggestions for avoiding those cheesy wedding classics. Wedding Music.

Myth: You’re expected to invite those who invited you.

Most people have attended a handful of weddings before planning their own, but it’s a total myth that you have to invite those same couples to your wedding. Maybe your guest list is already a little too long, maybe you don’t know the couple very well, or maybe your relationship with them has changed over time. Whatever the reason, your guest list is your choice.

Wedding Guest List Planning

Assembling the guest list is one of the most challenging tasks of the wedding, but it’s also one of the most important. The number of guests you invite will determine the wedding budget, scope, cost, and size of your nuptials. It can also fuel a lot of unnecessary arguments. Here are a few surefire ways to narrow down the guest list and avoid family drama:

Set a Number: First things first, you’ve got to decide how large or small you want your wedding to be. If cost is a major factor, you’re going to need to narrow down the guest list to save money on catering, facilities, and wedding favors. If the budget is of no concern, you have free rein to decide what matters most to you: a small, intimate ceremony or a lavish, giant party. Determine a ballpark figure of how many guests to invite so you have a reasonable starting point.

Divvy Up the Seats: When it comes to your wedding day, you and the groom aren’t the only ones with a say. The wedding is an important day for your parents and in-laws, as well, which means they deserve the opportunity to invite guests that are important to them. The easiest way to satisfy everyone and avoid conflict is to set an equal number of guests that each family is allowed to invite. How they choose to select those guests is up to them but don’t let anyone bully you into giving up more invites than you feel is reasonable. You may want to use an online seating chart tool.

Give Yourself Leeway: Not every single person that receives an invitation is going to attend the wedding. On average, 10-20% of your guest list won’t be able to make it. This percentage increases if one or both sides of the family live in another city/state than the wedding. With that said, don’t freak out if your final guest list is a tad higher than expected. Not every single person will RSVP ‘yes.’

Get Organized: Compile an Excel spreadsheet with names and addresses for everyone on the guest list, whether they’re being invited by you, the groom, your parents, or in-laws. Keeping all of the information in one place will help you stay on top of the exact number of invitees and will make your job of addressing the invitations that much easier. This online guest list tool can also make things easier.

Revise and Rework: Once you’ve come up with an initial guest list, give yourself a few days and then go through it with a red pen. If the guest list is too large, you have to trim it down. Consider excluding young children or limiting which single guests are permitted a ‘plus one.’ If you don’t know or like a person, or haven’t spoken to them in years, nix them.

Create a B-List: If you’ve edited as much as possible and your list is still too large, divide guests into two groups: essentials and non-essentials. Send out invitations to the first group (the people that you’re the closest to) and wait for the RSVPs to come rolling in. As you receive regrets from the first round of guests, begin sending out invitations to the second list.

Bridal Shower Etiquette

The bridal shower is one of the few wedding-related events that you don’t have to plan, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require any work from you. At the very least your friends and family are probably planning one bridal shower for you, if not several, to equip you with the gadgets and goods you need to stock your new home. As the bride, here are a couple responsibilities that you should fulfill:

1. Register for Gifts: While registering for gifts isn’t absolutely mandatory, it’s a great way to ensure you receive the things you truly need and want for your future home. Your registry should be completed prior to the mailing of bridal shower invitations so your guests have ample time to find and purchase a gift. Here are some great wedding registries. More about wedding registry.

2.      Provide the Guest List: It’s up to you to provide a list of names and addresses for everyone you’d like invited to your shower. Remember, if a person isn’t invited to the wedding, they shouldn’t receive an invitation to the bridal shower. In recent years, it’s become common to include every female who is invited to the wedding on the bridal shower guest list. In reality, it’s totally acceptable and more appropriate to only extend invitations to the wedding party, immediate family members of the bride and groom, and close personal friends or co-workers.

3.      Be Early: There’s nothing more awkward for your shower hostesses than having to entertain a complete stranger (or several) while the guest-of-honor is nowhere to be found. Be sure to arrive to the shower early enough that you’ll beat your guests, but not so early that you’ll interfere with the party preparations beforehand.

4.      Provide Helpful Tips: Nobody wants to deal with a bride who is trying to call all the shots for her own bridal shower, but it is helpful to provide useful information to your hostesses about special needs, dietary restrictions, or allergies of guests. If, for example, you have an aunt who is allergic to nuts, a relative who is handicapped, or a co-worker who is vegan, a simple heads-up is much appreciated so the hostesses can make the necessary arrangements to accommodate everyone.

5.      Open Presents: This seems like a no-brainer, but some brides feel shy or awkward about being the center of attention and unwrapping all of their gifts in front of a roomful of people. It is, however, your responsibility as the guest of honor to open your presents in front of your guests so they can celebrate with you and witness your reaction.

6.      Hostess Gift: A personal card and small gift is the most appropriate way to say thank you to your shower hostesses. You can hand-deliver a gift at the actual shower or mail something a few days later to express your gratitude.

More About Bridal Showers

first three steps of wedding planning

First Three Steps of Wedding Planning

First Three Steps of Wedding Planning

Here’s the first three steps in your countdown to “I Do!” Get started now by tackling these first wedding planning tasks.

So he popped the question…now what?

Unfortunately, for most newly engaged women – the excitement of finally finding “the one” is dampened by a hard dose of stress and anxiety. Sure, you’ll find about a gazillion wedding planning checklists out there, but they all tend to overwhelm more than they help, and all essentially fail to address the fundamental question: “Where do I begin?”

We’re here to help. After you’ve announced the exciting news and taken some time to bask in your newly engaged glow, it’s time to get cracking. Here are the first three wedding planning tasks you absolutely must accomplish before anything else.

Cross these items off your wedding checklist – and you’re on your way.

First Steps of Wedding Planning:

Step 1: Determine Your Budget

Every decision stems from the wedding budget. Before you can plan anything, you must know how much you can spend and who plans to contribute. Your budget will determine the type of wedding you can have – from how many guests you invite, to where and when you host your wedding, right down to the specific blooms in your bouquet. And with the ever increasing cost of weddings, financing the event is often a group effort; the bride’s parents no longer need to take out a second mortgage just to fund the upcoming nuptials. You’ll need to talk to your families about who will pay for what, and arrive at a total wedding budget. This complete wedding budget tracker will walk you through the process.

Step 2: Tackle the Guest List

Some “checklists” suggest setting a date and commencing other wedding plans before this step, but Elegala considers the guest count is the most vital decision after the budget. Here’s why: Capacity is one of the most important criteria in finding a suitable wedding venue – more so even than style and vision – and you must secure your location before you can successfully plan anything else. Trust us, cramming 300 people into a venue that seats 150 will not go over well. You don’t need to have the list finalized just yet, but you’ll need an estimate from both sides of the family (and yourselves) right away to avert countless planning headaches down the road.  This complete wedding guest guide will help you get started.

Step 3: Set a Site and Date

Only once you have an estimated budget and guest count can you begin searching for a place to hold your event with any accuracy. Remember – many reception sites book over a year in advance, so you really can’t decide on a wedding date until you have officially booked your venue with a signed contract. Find as many reception sites that meet your budget, capacity and overall style quotient as you can. Use our wedding reception site search to find venues in your area, and narrow down your list. Then schedule appointments to tour each wedding venue and meet with the manager. After that—it’s decision making time.

There is one wedding planning truism that we hold dear. As you may have heard it said, once you find your wedding venue, everything else falls into place. Once you have accomplished these steps, you will find the rest of your planning task list a piece of, ahem, wedding cake.

source: elegala.com