Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The 3 Guest List Bride

Some brides have 2 dress. Some brides have 2 veils. Some brides even find a way to work 2 or 3 pairs of shoes into the wedding event timeline.

I have 3 guest lists.

Best movie ever. I pulled my tshirts off my shoulders and danced around just like Belle as a child.

Event 1: The Temple sealing at 12:00 pm on October 11th. As I explained previously, this is a private ceremony. The room we reserved seats 35, and we can fit 45 with people standing. The preliminary list from my mother was 67 people. I have had to fight tooth and nail to narrow that list down to an acceptable number. It's been a process filled with tears, and I am very happy that the list has now been finalized.

Event 2: The ring ceremony/dinner at Hotel 1000 at 4:30 pm on October 11th. We are sending out invitations to 127 people for a space with a capacity of 120. 40 of those guests are just my family members (and this only includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins over 20). Once we added 41 guests for the groom, and some bridesmaids and a handful of friends for myself, there weren't that many slots left for my parents who are hosting the wedding!

We made the decision to only invite married couples and older cousins, and then I made it extra controversial by inviting 4 of my cousins under 20 and no others. These 4 are my double cousins (my mom's sister married my dad's brother), and we have lived 30 minutes apart our entire lives. We see them at every family function, since they are related to us on both sides, and the two boys will act as ushers, and the two girls will be junior bridesmaids.

Event 3: The tented reception in my hometown on October 18th. I have lived in the same tiny town my entire life, and there are just too many people in my life that would be very sad if they didn't get the chance to meet my husband. We'll be having a potato bar, cake, and a lot of socializing at this event. We are sending out 200 announcements for this, although we only expect about 125-150 people to attend.

In putting together my invitations, this many guest lists has been a nightmare. I have two wedding websites, and two versions of the invitation that must be sent out. I don't want to send out an invitation stuffed with information about the weekend in Seattle and realize that it went to the wrong person!

Creating a guest list means making sacrifices (and a few headaches). What sacrifices did you have to make?


Guilty Secret said...

Well it's not quite as complicated at having 3 guest lists, but I knew long before we were married that we would have two. It just lines up with the way I see things that there are plenty of people who are too important to us not to be included at all, but not close enough to be invited to the actual wedding. Add to that the expense of feeding people and it seems the perfect solution to have an intimate ceremony and dinner followed by a bigger party. Of course there have been disagreements about who goes on which list, but we've kept it how we wanted it in the end.

The thing I'm having trouble with now is making it clear (without being rude) who is invited to which because all the info is on our website and I don't want evening guests turning up at the ceremony!

EthidiumBromide said...

We only had the rehearsal dinner and the wedding to deal with, but it was a nightmare. We were capped at 175 people to fit in our ceremony space because we needed to leave room for the chuppah, so we had to cut out a number of people (mostly, my parents insisted on nixing our friends, because apparently why should the bride and groom get to have any of their own friends at a wedding since it is all about the parents?). And then my husband's entire family decided to cancel, leaving us with loads of empty space, and sending out boatloads of extra invitations (luckily, we sent our invites out super early, so nobody knew they were in essence in the second round).

Our biggest problem came not with making the list, but with dealing with the list afterward -- his family treated it like a family reunion, and not like a wedding. At LEAST 20 individual people RSVP'd as yes, they were coming to the wedding, we marked them down as a yes, and then a few weeks later, they called up and said nevermind, they decided they weren't going to attend the wedding, because their cousin/aunt/mother/whomever wasn't going to the wedding. My mother-in-law was LIVID and is actually not talking to a significant portion of her family for the time being because of this. I understand her resentment -- it's NOT a family reunion -- you come to celebrate the couple getting married, not just to see your cousin/aunt/mother/whomever, and if you are going to treat it as just the family reunion, then you absolutely confirm who is going BEFORE you send in the RSVP (and if you change your mind afterward, you come up with a better excuse rather than just tell the couple flat out that you don't care about the fact that they are getting married and only wanted to go to see someone else!).

Blablover5 said...

Wow, that is a lot of work trying to keep it all straight in your mind.

We haven't really doubled up on much, just two showers that made life a bit interesting. Especially for how different they both were.

And never mind trying to get my family to RSVP, I'm better off just shooting myself in the foot.

Anonymous said...

It is funy how a wedding can get out of control and take on a life of it's own!I must say from what I read here you seem to be handling the craziness of a wedding well.Good Luck with all your events...btw your event 3 is on my birthday....lol..

I also want a small event though my mother has said she wants to through me a shower so she can invite anyone.My mother has owned a hair salon for over 30 years and many of her clients are close friends so I fear how large my shower will be.

Jenna said...

Guilty-I hope that the 2 websites will keep people from being confused. I plan to post about them soon. They are free, and don't take too long ot put together.

Ethidium-I swear you could write a book about your wedding. In between saving the world of course.

bride2be-Event 3 is my bridesmaids birthday as well! We are having shower issues as well because etiquette says that you are only supposed to invite those who are invited to the wedding, but such a small guest list means that many close friends aren't invited to the actual wedding!

EthidiumBromide said...

I totally forgot about showers. Seriously, parts of my wedding were such family freakshows that I've apparently blocked them from my memory altogether, despite the fact that I just got married 3 months from yesterday.

I had 3 showers, because I had them in 3 different areas -- one here in DC where I live, because my friends are here and most of us don't have cars to get to the other ones, one where my grandparents live, because they don't travel and wouldn't go to the wedding and it would be nice to have them at SOME wedding related event, and one with my husband's family. My request for the showers was to keep them all SMALL. I didn't think that was a big request -- after all, we already had a 100+ person engagement party, which I agreed to originally IN LIEU of a shower at all (engagement parties started out as a Jewish tradition back in the day, and Jewish girls didn't have showers, although now it's a dying tradition and everyone just has showers). I loved the idea of an engagement party though -- getting the families together to meet, and why should my then-fiance miss out on the fun just because he's male?

Of course, after several months go by, the mothers decide that I have to have a shower, and then logistically it looks like I need multiple showers, so I ask for them to be small, as in, nearest and dearest only -- after all, the engagement party was huge, and the wedding is 175 people, so I'd really like the opportunity to have some event with just our closest people. My shower in DC with friends was great -- 12 of us. The shower with my family was great -- my grandparents, some of my mothers friends -- maybe 11 in total. My MIL kept promising me a small shower, said it would be close-knit, etc etc. It turns out she invited EVERY SINGLE FEMALE GUEST she invited to the wedding. A bunch of relatives came to the showers that didn't come to the wedding, half the people there my husband had never even met before -- there were over 75 women. While I certainly appreciate all she did for me, I was totally miserable, and of course it then sparked my mother droning on and on about how come she got to invite her whole family and my mother had to cut down her shower guest list? I will never hear the end of that one.

Maybe I should write a book about my wedding, if for no other reason than to pull it out someday when I have a child that gets married and remember all the things I hated that my family did and be sure not to do them!

hanner said...

You probably don't want to hear this but the LA temple says that the max occupancy is like 25 and I think we had 60 people in the sealing room. We weren't just inviting whoever, we really have a lot of people in our immediate family, so we really were kind of stuck. As my dad said, what kind of a sealer will discourage someone from entering the temple?

And it was a beautiful ceremony, and I don't regret having all of those people there.

Jenna said...

Ethidium-75 people! That is insane. That isn't a shower, that is a pre-wedding.

hanner-It's a personal decision the couple needs to make, I think. Everyone needs to find a way that works for them.