The first thing we tackled, besides him asking the question and I answering, was a guest list. While the budget came a close second, we had to have an idea of how many people would be invited. We did guests first because we both have rather large families and so our guest list has a lot of people that are a given on the list. We’re not throwing on just any Dick or Jane; the list is full of aunts, uncles, parents’ relatives and family galore.
Excel was cordially invited into our planning from the get go and has since been knighted into high ranks as the lists have been compiled (receptions venues, churches, photogs + more). The first of many lists, was the guest list. Z created a list of his people and I a list of mine – names, addresses and guest or not. All inclusive the first time. Come the time to revisit the list or print it off for invites, all the information is in one place.
From A list (me) and Z list (Z’s) we had a rough number of nearly 300. Holy crap. This is no New York wedding at the Plaza in June. No, this is a moderate Midwest family run wedding. Sure, they say a good 25/30% of guests will not show up. Well, I’m hoping to eliminate 20% of those people and have a nos be capped at 5%. Save some money on the invites; toss those quarters and George Washingtons into another category – photography perhaps? It needs all the padding it can get.
Since the initial round of guest list creation, I’ve revisited my list and shaved off a few here and there. While I’ve shaved the list, my dad’s added a few more to his request list. While parents may want to invite people, we need to decide who we want and most importantly need to invite. After all, we are paying for this wedding, not the parents. And yes, 10 people are going to make a difference – a $160 difference!
With a rough estimate of guests to be invited, we’ve had to also think about kids and guest dates. I do not feel bad about inviting a single guest, and just them. Perhaps, I’d feel different if I were in their shoes, but after having an introduction to the cost per plate, I would gladly understand being invited flying solo. The same goes for family friends – in the sense of inviting kids. If you only invite the parents, you’re saving a good 50%, if not more. While you don’t want money to run the show, it’s something to consider and help weigh the decision when it comes down to it. If we can shave 50 people off our list, that’s a significant savings! All the more reason to revisit the list.. in the months ahead.
An estimate intact, and we’re onto budgeting. The beginning stages of planning are not as joyous and pretty as the movies make them out to be or in reality, what your friends and family members share with you.