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The Politics of Wedding Invitations

The Politics of Wedding Invitations

Whether you’ve chosen to have a small, intimate wedding or one with all of your family and friends, deciding who gets an invite to the ceremony and/or reception can be a stressful process. Of course you’d like to invite everyone to maintain good relations, but sometimes you just don’t want to pay for someone you haven’t seen in years to be at your wedding.

Usually, guests invited to the ceremony itself are your closest family and friends whereas the reception is more of a party for all. There are many things to take into consideration when deciding on your guest list including budget, your current relationships with certain people, venue capacity among others. Below are some tips on wedding invite etiquette to help relieve some of the strain that comes with putting together your guestlist.


Remember It’s Your Day

Most importantly, your wedding day is about you and your partner. You may feel pressured to invite some guests who you may not want there, but you need to balance out their reaction to not being invited to how much more comfortable you’ll be if they don’t attend. Neither you nor your partner should be made to feel uncomfortable by inviting anyone you don’t have a good relationship with in order to maintain appearances. Take advice from family members regarding who may appreciate an invite, especially those more distant family members, but at the end of the day it’s your wedding and your guestlist, make the choices that feel right to you.


Know Your Capacity

It’s imperative that you know the capacity of your venue before building your guestlist. Some venues will have different capacities for the ceremony and the reception, especially if you’ve chosen to have the events in different locations. This may limit the amount of people who can attend either part of your wedding. Some venues also insist on a minimum number of people to attend in order to stand by a quote they have given you. If you do not meet this minimum number of guests on the day, you may have to pay more or you could lose your venue. Another way to avoid any awkward conversations with family members who don’t fit into your venue is to draw up your guestlist first and then seek out venues who can adhere to this number.


Make an Early Call in Regards to Children

Often, a point of contention when deciding on your guestlist is whether or not to allow guests to bring their children. Young children and even some older children can prove a nuisance during both the ceremony and the reception; babies could cry during your vows, children could spill things during the speeches or be running about causing a scene. Alternatively, having your nearest and dearest family members with their children with them can bring you closer together and their parents can relax knowing where they are and that they’re safe. You could choose to hire a creche service to babysit the children during the reception providing a safe space for parents to leave their children so that they are free to enjoy their evening whilst still being close enough to deal with issues and take them home at the end of the night.

Communicate with your partner and consider the relationship you already have with guests’ children and how they usually behave. You may want to include one or two children in your wedding party as a page boy or flower girl, but not allow guests to bring their children – or have a blanket rule of no children please. Whichever decision you come to, make sure you are considering this long in advance of the big day so that you can word invitations accordingly.


Do You Want to Invite Co-workers?

Whether or not to invite coworkers to your wedding is a pretty tricky question. At the end of the day, you spend around eight hours a day, five days a week with these individuals, so you may find that you talk about your wedding plan a lot in the lead up to the big day and may feel pressure to invite the people you’re talking about it to regularly. At the end of the day, the choice falls down to you and your relationships with your colleagues. If you’re close friends, you may want some coworkers at your wedding. If you’re not, then simply don’t extend the invite. One rule tends to lie pretty firm though – if you work for a small business or small team and you’re planning on inviting half or more of these workers or team, you should probably extend the invite to everyone in the office or team to reduce feelings of exclusion. If your wedding is taking place on a working day that you’re taking leave for, you may have to check your company’s terms on this. After all, few businesses are likely to completely shut down operations to allow everyone to attend your wedding.


Choosing Who Gets a Plus One

Extending the offer of a plus one to everyone on your guestlist could potentially double the capacity and cost of your big day. So, you may need to choose who gets a plus one carefully. The best approach tends to be allowing a plus one to anyone who is attending alone but may not know many other guests. For example, if you’re inviting a childhood friend from your hometown who knows you and your family but nobody else, it’s a good idea to offer a plus one (after all, chances are you won’t be able to spend much of the actual day with them).

Sure, planning a wedding guestlist is tricky. But hopefully, some of the above etiquette surrounding wedding invitation politics should help you to make the right call!