Before you announce your having 250 people and verbally start inviting people, its a good idea to sit down with your fiancee and ask yourself some very pertinent questions!!
Who's paying for the Wedding?
If your parents are paying the bill, you should talk to them about how many they want to invite - A little PC (political correctness) here will go a long way, some sensitive negotiation may be necessary. If you and your fiancees are footing the bill, or everyone is chipping in, PC is still in order, but will probably be easier for you to make the final decisions.
Develop a wedding budget and talk about who's paying for what! Make this very clear from the start, it will save arguments down the track. When you set your budget - stick to it! Weddings can blow out and become impossible to manage. Remember you have plenty of support, you are not doing this alone, make great use of your wedding experts, coordinators, photographers etc. after all they have seen it all before.
Once this is done and budgets agreed upon, ask yourself how many people you can afford to invite? Is it more important to have lots of people or pamper just a few, with all the trimmings?
What do YOU want!
Make sure you and your fiancee are on the same page. Are you looking at a small intimate wedding , or a huge bash? Do you envision a guest list of 30-80 or 300+. Where is the middle road?
Who is important to YOU?
Until you have the ceremony and reception venues finalized, you wont know how big your guest list can be. So it is a good idea to start counting important family and your closest friends, to get a sense of how many essential invites you have!
Keep it simple..
Start with the people closest to you, the family members, the best man the bridesmaids, etc. get the key players down then work from there. Start with the most important to both of you and work until you have included everyone you can think of,this may be a fairly long list, but don't worry about that yet, but think of not overlooking anyone. Once you have everyone included you can start discussing with your partner and parents about grouping them and crossing off any double ups, or non essentials.
Remember that it is after all your special day and if there is somebody that will make it extra special, stand firm!!
Who is absolutely NOT Welcome....
Now is a good time to discuss the ground rules. If you are uncomfortable with inviting ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriends, even if you fiancee is still on good terms with them, speak up now.
You may also decide to exclude:
- Small children - give their parents a chance to relax
- Plus ones for the single guests, (this one can really add up) sometimes this is a little hard to do - and it will depend on the circumstances.
- Business acquaintances - unless they are also close friends
- Those whom one of you is estranged from.
- Limit those you have not seen in more than a year.
Establishing consistency such as this will help you achieve a guest list that is manageable and in line with your budget.
- Compile a reserve list, this way if any of your primary guests are unable to attend, they can be replaced by someone else that you wish to have but could not afford in the final cut.