We're here to help you keep moving forward, no matter what your plans are.

J
Savvy September 2014

Hindsight tips for the newly engaged...

Jodi, on August 2, 2014 at 12:15 AM Posted in Planning 0 23
Saved Save
Reply

This is probably not going to be a popular post by those that follow etiquette. If it helps a newly planning bride though... so be it. My biggest struggle and advice to you - scrutinize your guest list. I sent out 100 invitations. I have an RSVP of 220 when I only planned for 160 (this included children of close family and friends and stragglers.)

Completely where I went wrong and my fault. Initially planned to make them very specific and send in waves. I had an A, B, C list. They were going to be specific to "J. Smith 1" or "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" with no option to add guests. The A list would have a different reply date than B, and B than C. Once I had my numbers from A, I would send B, etc. Many reasons why I didn't and I wish I had. People who I allotted 2 seats for RSVP'd with 3-5. I love kids. I have kids; but if B&G do not know your kids, why bring them? I could go on with more but have few characters left. Scrutinize the list!! Spend $ on the specific RSVP. Saves $ in other areas.

23 Comments

Latest activity by Jodi, on September 3, 2014 at 11:06 PM
  • J
    Savvy September 2014
    Jodi ·
    • Flag

    The more the merrier I know - and it may be that it's my first "oh crap" moment and it matters because it effects so many other areas. I think it's the idea that a lot won't even show but I still have to pay for the tables, chairs, and food. IDK why exactly but if it's the first and only "moment" I have I'm probably doing good.

    • Reply
  • P
    VIP May 2015
    Private ·
    • Flag

    Thank you for posting this and I am sorry you are going thru this.

    • Reply
  • Laquita
    Devoted July 2021
    Laquita ·
    • Flag

    Thanks for posting this & it really does help. I know the guest list will probably be a problem area & we don't have all the money in the world. So thanks for sharing your experience and I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

    • Reply
  • Merisenda
    Dedicated September 2015
    Merisenda ·
    • Flag

    Oh yikes. Could you make cuts? How much will your venue hold?

    • Reply
  • MichiganBride104
    VIP October 2014
    MichiganBride104 ·
    • Flag

    Don't jump on things right away! Take your time and feel it out first. I made all the decisions within a month of getting engaged and wish I could change a lottttt but it's too late.

    • Reply
  • MnDex
    VIP October 2014
    MnDex ·
    • Flag

    If you don't want kids at your reception, put at the bottom of the invite in a smaller font using italics "adult reception to follow".

    • Reply
  • Event Lady
    Devoted May 2015
    Event Lady ·
    • Flag

    Have been engaged for a year and a half, but I will be keeping this in mind! We have 100 on the guest list, but I can't feed over 200 people on my budget!

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    The guest list is where all problems/bonuses begin. I"m with you, Jodi, but it's 'your circus, your monkeys'. You just call or email those people and tell them 'no'.

    This is going to go over like a lead balloon, but I can tell you flat out that no one has 200 close friends. A wedding is not the time to invite every person you and your parents know; every cousin you've not talked to in six months; every co-worker, golf buddy, neighbor. It's a day to spend with your closest friends and family who really care about you and your day. Weddings with 200 guests have a totally different tone than weddings with 50; those last 100 or so could be any where doing anything. Many of them sent back the invite thinking, "oh crap, I have to go to a wedding'. We all like to think that we are important to all these invitees' lives, but the plain fact is that we're not, and it's more expensive than ever to both host and attend a wedding. just as people are invited because of a sense of obligation, that's also why they say yes.

    Every guest represents more than just a meal; it's another favor, invite, thank you note, centerpiece, and STD. In my area (ny/nj) it's difficult to find a venue of any quality that is less than 100.00 per guest; that's a lot of money to pay for people you 'have' to invite.

    Jodi, you craft a careful response to those people and let them know that your venue cannot accommodate extra guests and you've chosen your list very carefully. You're very much looking forward to them (and their one guest, if that's the case) coming, but extra people cannot be hosted. The end.

    For those who haven't made their lists yet? Cut it. They probably won't be missed or insulted, and you won't resent the bill.

    • Reply
  • Kaegurl
    Master June 2014
    Kaegurl ·
    • Flag

    I agree wholeheartedly with Celia.

    Also, why haven't you called your guests and explained that their children were not invited (especially if you're not inviting children). Its rude for them to assume and add 3-5 extra guests. We had an adult reception save for the flower girl and her sister. They might decline, but really, who cares?

    • Reply
  • MrsDean
    Master April 2015
    MrsDean ·
    • Flag

    We gave everyone a +1 to avoid all the requests to bring a guest. We want to have 60 people at the wedding which means 30 names on the list. We're currently at 42, so we're already over. I don't mind too much b/c I know some will decline. But I'm capping this list NOW!

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy September 2014
    Jodi ·
    • Flag

    Thank you for the ideas, responses, encouragement. It isn't an adult only reception. I, myself, have 3 boys. Much of my life is made up of my close friends and family and their children, and I am going to have a children's activity table so I didn't think it appropriate to say adult only; however I think it feel to my fault because I didn't have the fiancé scrutinize his friends list more. It never crossed my mind to say if you can't tell me the age and names of their kids how close are you really?? Definitely hindsight kicking me in the face! Lol

    That's why I wanted to get it out there for someone else.

    And I LOVE the take your time comment - you do not have to have your guest list made in month. And if someone you know says to you at anytime, "I'm invited right?" It is okay to answer "I haven't ironed out the details on my venue and numbers yet" (yes this happened to me with a few coworkers - who I am close with at work but we do not spend time together outside of work or FB.

    My max occupancy at the venue is 220. My numbers are 209. Yes we have large families but you can definitely scrutinize that list more! I thought I had - clearly I did not!

    Cecilia, I appreciate the wording advice. I was having a hard time finding a way to word the "uninvite" since it was my fault for not being clear. My mom likes to say I'm all fact and no tact lol so that really does help.

    My mom also said today something about if I had requested or asked someone not to bring their children and then they get there and see children they would be hurt. My common sense indicator tells me why when we don't know each other's children?!? But my common sense indicator also tells me not to bring my 3 boys to a wedding of a friend they've never met and have no relationship with.

    I completely did this to myself and have to bear the "bridezilla" tag to undo it. :-/ so far it's my only moment so I'm on top I guess!

    • Reply
  • J
    Savvy September 2014
    Jodi ·
    • Flag

    I have to say I just read Cecilia response out loud to my fiancé and liked it even more. READ IT AND OWN IT if you haven't done your guest list!! I'm definitely fixing this problem!!

    • Reply
  • MarriedJ!
    Expert June 2014
    MarriedJ! ·
    • Flag

    Celia, I always love your responses! Sounds like you have been involved in weddings for quite some time. Thanks for always having great, practical advice and delivering it in a tactful, caring manner.

    • Reply
  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·
    • Flag

    Thank YOU for your kind words. I was an upscale off premise caterer for a lot of years, and have been an officiant for eight. One thing that I really hate is when couples start out with an idea and a vision for their wedding and it gets morphed so much that they don't even recognize their own wedding by the end of it. I think a lot of the joy of the day gets sucked out of it when EVERYONE has a say and EVERYONE's agenda is different from the couple's. Some compromise is always necessary; it's a day that is intensely meaningful for not only the couple, but for their parents, but it's also an expression of their personality as a couple, and that needs to be respected.

    The kid thing is always problematic. I've done weddings where two kids have unraveled the whole ceremony, and weddings where 20 little kids haven't even been noticed. It all depends on the kids and the parents, but the bigger issue is that kids are actual guests. If you don't know/love them, they shouldn't be invited simply because they are attached to adults. Radical concept; just because some kids can come doesn't mean every kid should. And parents should understand that just because THEY had kids, doesn't mean YOU have to have them.

    • Reply
  • Rachey
    VIP June 2014
    Rachey ·
    • Flag

    ^agree with Celia! We were careful to only invite children of siblings and first cousins. I definitely didn't want random kids overtaking my wedding day. You shouldn't have to either!

    • Reply
  • Blissful
    Super September 2014
    Blissful ·
    • Flag

    To jump on the bandwagon and add my advice:

    1. If you tend to be a people pleaser like me, talk it out. Think of what you would say in each crazy situation. I didn't and I caved to avoid conflict when people asked for a plus one or kids I don't know.

    2. You don't have to have a ring bearer or flower girl. We rushed and asked FHs second cousin to be our ring bearer since there are no other young boys in the family. Now his family of 5 are also invited to the rehearsal dinner and FH bought his suit just like he did for the groomsmen. None of these are a problem but he's not even carrying the rings, we aren't close so what's the point?

    • Reply
  • Lady O.
    Super March 2015
    Lady O. ·
    • Flag

    We're only inviting 2 children to our wedding, and I don't care how clear/unclear I have made it, if someone rsvps with extra, they are getting an immediate phone call with celia's response. It's not your fault people didn't understand the invitation wording, and you have every right to tell these people no.

    • Reply
  • JustMarried'14
    Master September 2014
    JustMarried'14 ·
    • Flag

    Don't forget your "Bridal Balls"!

    I have had to put my foot down with a few people regarding the guest list. I reply simply and politely. People have, so far, understood.

    • Reply
  • C
    Beginner August 2014
    Catherine ·
    • Flag

    Agreed! We actually didn't want kids so our RSVPs said "we reserved # seats for you" (usually 2).

    I don't have the money to feed 40 kids, and I don't want them there anyways. We're still young, and we want to party hard, not watch kids.

    More advice? Draft the guest list and bridal party list and SLEEP ON IT! For a month! I would definitely have made changes

    • Reply
  • SunshineJenn
    Master August 2014
    SunshineJenn ·
    • Flag

    I'd recommend just being engaged for awhile with NO planning. Because you'll change your mind a thousand times.

    • Reply

You voted for . Add a comment 👇

×

Related articles