Recently I got engaged and although this may seem like a cause for celebration, it has instead caused much hair pulling and high volumes of rage. Since the engagement, I’ve been trying to plan a destination wedding while also getting settled into our new house, while also driving 18 hours to upstate New York (with a dog and a cat), while also trying to meet the deadline to publish two articles. Safe to say my stress level has been a bit high. Just a bit.
But one of the first things we did at the start of our planning, was set a limit to our guest list. 50 people we said. 25 each.
Well, that 50 quickly filled up as family members and “friends” we haven’t spoken to in decades expressed their expectations of attending our wedding. So under the pressure, we bumped it up to 70. But for those of you who don’t know, the catering cost is calculated per person. So if your caterer charges $35 per person (which is realllllly on the low end) adding 20 more people is an extra $700. And NO, that is not including taxes.
Naturally that $700 was a wakeup call. And we quicklllllly dropped it back down to the original 50.
1. Give no f**ks!
2. Know the difference between a colleague and a friend
This one can honestly be tricky, especially for my grad-school friends. But ask yourself these questions: Do you call up this person when you have a problem not school/work related? Could you and this person go out for a beer, just the two of you, with 0 awkwardness? If this person showed up at your door, would you a) feel presently surprised, b) be negatively surprised and assume your school/work exploded, or c) hide and not even answer the door….
If you just tolerate someone because you work or go to school together, that is NOT a friend and they should not be invited.
3. Don’t announce your engagement
This is for the more timid bride, if you have a problem flatout telling someone ‘no.’
Pretty easy. Facebook and instagram does not dictate your life milestones. So don’t post your engagement. You can individually text or call the people you plan to invite and tell them to keep the news hush hush.
Then, once you get married, you can post all you want on facebook and instagram. By then, it will be too late for you to be guilted into inviting people. People might still be salty and try to come for you for not inviting them, though. But, you don’t have to respond. Anddd, if someone fusses about not being invited instead of congratulating you. Girrrrrrl. Need I say more?
4. The cat food test
With planning a destination wedding especially (but still applicable with a local wedding), you’ll find that people who shouldn’t be there are most excited about an excuse for a vacation and the free food and booze that you are going to serve at your wedding. They could give 2 shits about how YOU are at YOUR wedding. These people are vultures, and if they are not married, they’ll probably be gossiping the entire time about what they’d do differently (while they over eat and drink the food and booze that YOU provided).
5. Family shmamily
Lastly, I personally have never understood some people’s belief that just because you are family, you get a free pass at everything. No. I did not choose you, and I should not be forced to choose you just because we have similar DNA. When creating our guest list, we thought only of those family members who have been there for us, shaped us in some way or played a crucial role in our lives when growing up, and or who we keep in contact with. If I only see you on Thanksgiving, and literally never hear from you until the next Thanksgiving….. you. ain’t. invited.