guest list stress wedding venue

How to Cope with Guest List Stress

After sharing the exciting news of your engagement there are a few things to get started with. One of the first things a couple needs to check off their list is to secure a venue and wedding date. When looking for a venue some couples prioritize their number of guests and find a venue to suit their needs. Alternatively, other couples prioritize their venue and invite the maximum number of guests the venue allows. For couples experiencing the latter situation, their dilemma is that they have found the venue of their dreams but cannot extend an invitation to all family and friends, thus, the guest list stress takes over. Depending on your situation, there are a few ways to cope with guest list stress.

Weddings are a huge moment in everyone’s lives because they bring entire families together for the first time. Parents are usually just as excited as the bride and groom for the big day, and when their son or daughter is in the spotlight, parents want to share this moment with their extended family and friends too. The bride and groom should always have a say in the guest list, but sometimes compromises have to be made depending on who is footing the bill. Long gone are the days where a majority of the wedding is paid for by the bride’s family alone. Weddings cost an arm and a leg, and it’s only fair that contributions are a bit more equal between all involved parties if possible.

If the wedding is being paid for by both sets of parents and the bride and groom, then a guest list split of one-third, one-third, one-third is typical and a fair way to ensure that everyone is happy on this monumental day. While some couples may feel disappointed that they can only reserve one-third of the list for their friends, there are always ways to negotiate with your parents or in-laws. To start, always keep in mind that not all guests invited to weddings will RSVP ‘Yes.’ Many guests cannot attend due to the high cost of attending a wedding, some may have health reasons or last-minute emergencies. In these instances, you can kindly ask parents or in-laws that if they do not meet their one-third of the guest list, then could you extend invites to your friends. No one likes an empty seat that has already been paid for, right?

If the wedding is being paid primarily by one of the families involved, it would be unfair to acquire a majority of the guest list. A 50/50 split between the bride and groom’s family and friends is appropriate. Anything other than this is sure to induce some stress on the side of the family with fewer invites. The day should be enjoyed by all, so fully communicating an estimated number of invites you’ll need before signing the dotted line at the venue is your best move.

Now that numbers are solved between families, it is still possible to experience guest list stress because the happy couple has to make a not so happy decision and draw the line with their own list of friends. It is extremely tough to know who to invite and not to invite, however, the people you add to your guest list should be those who have been closest to you in your lifetime, the people you currently spend most of your time with, and more importantly the people you want to surround yourself with in your future together as a married couple. We all have friends and coworkers we would love to have at our weddings, but before we get a little tipsy at the office happy hour and invite the entire company, it’s important to ask yourself - are these people going to be in my life in 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years time? If not, then it’s ok to kindly state that you are keeping your wedding day for immediate family and friends.

Weddings truly are a time in one’s life where a bride and groom will need to evaluate their friendships. If you’re contemplating a guest to invite, then determine if is this a good friend or more of a mutual acquaintance? A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself - would you go on a solo coffee date with this person and truly feel comfortable? If not, then it’s completely okay that you do not extend an invite. Next, when you are looking around the room on your special day is there someone you can’t imagine not having there? Then, they’ve made the cut. Our best advice to cope with this stress is to take your time with your list, understand your budget limits, and if you cannot have everyone in your life that you want there, then fully communicate with those outside the guest list that you wish they could be there but with the circumstances at hand, you have to keep your guest list to a smaller amount than you wish was possible.

Image via Margo and Me

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