Handmade wedding invites

One of the most stressful aspects of wedding planning can often be narrowing down the list of who gets an invitation – and who doesn’t. To make the whole process easier, we’re here to help. The wedding whizzes at SheKnows put together a guide for getting your list just right and avoiding any guest list faux pas.

Avoid invitation disaster

Come up with a plan –
and stick to it

Before you even think about making your wedding invitation list, decide what your budget is and what size wedding you want to have. This will help you decide on the size of venues you need, which in turn helps shape your invite list. If you do that planning first, you’ll have a better idea of how many people you can invite before you start promising your mother all her bridge club friends can come to the wedding.

Consider the
current economy

The economy can actually be a help to brides and grooms who don’t want a huge wedding. As you create your guest list, you can tell parents and guests who wonder if they’re invited that you’ve had to slim down your wedding plans in order to suit your budget. In this economy, every dollar counts for a large majority of brides. People are becoming much more conscious of the numbers. Citing the economy is also a great way for couples to convince parents that spending a fortune on a huge wedding isn’t a wise thing to do.

Have parameters for inviting family

Inviting your parents and his parents is a no-brainer. So is inviting siblings, grandparents and favorite aunts, cousins and uncles. But there are always family members you never see, extended family you never got to know or estranged family that’s been off your radar for years. So who makes the cut? First and foremost, invite close relatives, and from there, choose from more distant relatives you have a close, personal relationship with. Most families will (hopefully) understand that wedding guest lists are built so relatives who are closest to the couple get invited.

Focus only on
who you know

You should know and have a connection with everyone you invite to your big day. You should invite people you want to share your life – not just the wedding moment – with. Invite people to your wedding who are part of your life now, and who will be part of your future rather than anyone you have ever exchanged a second glance with at the office.

Factor in how often you socialize

The friends you invite should be the group of friends you see all the time. If you have friends that live out of town and you don’t see often, try to only invite one or two who you talk to and correspond with regularly. When it comes to colleagues, there a few ways to decide on who (if anyone) to invite. Start with only those you socialize with outside of work. If this has too much potential for causing disappointment, set logical parameters, such as only inviting people from your department.

Don’t let others monopolize your list

If a parent is pushing for additional guests, you have to stick to your guns and explain that there is simply no room in the budget for adding more names. When it’s your future mother-in-law, it’s a bit trickier to stand your ground. As a couple, create a united front, and talk with her together about why she can’t invite a dozen of her friends to the wedding when your small guest list requires you to leave some of your own college friends off the list.

Make a note

It can be very helpful to keep family involved in the planning so they feel included. If parents and future in-laws feel part of the planning process, they may not feel the need to become pushy or overbearing. It’s also a good idea to give parents a few guest list invitations so that they may invite their closest friends.

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Comments on "Our guide to wedding invite etiquette"

sude June 01, 2012 | 8:14 PM

Well my husband (then fenicae) owns an art gallery. (i'm an artist) We had our reception and ceremony there. I guess we are not traditional but I would say that my husband can be a bit of a snob so it was high class. We had art all over the walls and three different rooms for guests to stroll in, plus we rented a tent in the backyard and set up tables back there. One room was a bar with rented cocktail tables and a sushi chef with all of the booze in that room. We got all the booze at costco and hired friends (who work in the food industry) as bartenders and bussstaff. Another room was the main gallery with art all over the wall and we had 3 different buffet stations set up with all sorts of hors dorves. We had all the food made by a local catering company and dropped off. We rented chafing dishes and linens. We hired our own staff (friends) that was so much cheaper than using the catering company. Costco has some great food (apps and desserts) that if you had help setting things up it would turn out great. We had cocktail shrimp, cheese and crackers, dips, beef and chicken wellingtons, scallops, chcicken kobos, and more ..a mexican table, a little bit of everthing!!!! We had over 200 ppl at our wedding and it was perfect.We had a coffee bar set up with a rented coffee pot and put out baileys and whipped cream with a huge table of petit desserts. Our wedding cake was a cupcake tree, with a small cake on top for us to cut. (we were too busy to cut it) We rented high top cocktail tables for that room. We only used elegant 8 inch plates with plstic forks and set the tables up all fancy. We rented nice linens for the tables. There was no sit down dinner or time everyone had to eat. Guests ate when they wanted to. We had music playing through our sound system on an ipod in another room that had long tables for guests to sit down and eat at, and an area for dancing. We didn't have a dj just the ipod and it was awesome, because we didn't have a cheesy dj there. Everyone loved it and to this day says it's the best wedding they've ever been to. It was like a big art opening reception. Everyone got to mingle from room to room and no one was ever bored. Our biggest cost was booze! But that's what makes a wedding fun! If you know of a hip art gallery in town I would recommend it. They would probably love to hold such an event since no one is really spending money on art these days. It's original and chic and not so expensive.

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