The politics of wedding invitations
When it comes to planning a wedding, one of the first – and perhaps most stressful – elements of the process is deciding who is and isn’t invited to the ceremony and reception. Before you can set a date, consider booking a venue, book your wedding photographer or take any other major steps in the planning process, you’re going to have to know who you’re going to have there and ensure that the day can then accommodate them. There are all sorts of politics that will go into figuring out who makes the cut for the whole day, who won’t be at the ceremony but will be at the reception and who doesn’t get invited at all. Factors such as the quality of your relationships with different people, budget, venue capacity and more. To try to simplify the process for you a little, here’s a little wedding invite etiquette that could help to make things run seamlessly.
Remember It’s You and Your Partner’s Day
First and foremost, it’s absolutely essential to remember that your wedding is a day for you and your partner. Sure, you may find yourself under pressure to invite particular guests you may not want there, but it’s absolutely essential that you only invite people who you genuinely want to be there. Neither you nor your partner should be made to feel uncomfortable by the presence of anyone at your wedding for the sake of maintaining social appearances or other social bonds. It’s your guest list and you should make the final call on who features.
Know Your Capacity
Of course, it’s essential to make sure that the number of people you invite don’t exceed the capacity of your venue. Now, you can work this one of two ways. If you have your heart set on a particular venue and can’t see yourself getting married anywhere else, you’re going to have to be willing to accept the capacity number and stick to it. Before booking, make sure you are 100% comfortable with sticking to this capacity, as some awkward decisions may have to be made to stick to it. Alternatively, you can draw up your desired guestlist first and then seek a venue that accommodates everyone you want to attend.
Make an Early Call in Regards to Children
Some people couldn’t see their wedding without children being present. Perhaps you have children of your own who you’ll want in attendance. Perhaps you have nephews and nieces who you really want to be there. On the other hand, you may want the day to be adults only, which makes for a more seamless and uninterrupted experience (as many children will still be developing social etiquette and could interrupt proceedings or cause the day to go off track). Whichever approach you opt for, you do need to make the call relatively early on, as if you aren’t having children at your wedding, guests may need to arrange childcare well in advance.
Do You Want to Invite Co-workers?
Whether or not to invite coworkers to your wedding is a pretty tricky question. At the end of the day, you spend around eight hours a day, five days a week with these individuals, so you may find that you talk about your wedding plan a lot in the lead up to the big day and may feel pressure to invite the people you’re talking about it to regularly. At the end of the day, the choice falls down to you and your relationships with your colleagues. If you’re close friends, you may want some coworkers at your wedding. If you’re not, then simply don’t extend the invite. One rule tends to lie pretty firm though – if you work for a small business or small team and you’re planning on inviting half or more of these workers or team, you should probably extend the invite to everyone in the office or team to reduce feelings of exclusion. If your wedding is taking place on a working day that you’re taking leave for, you may have to check your company’s terms on this. After all, few businesses are likely to completely shut down operations to allow everyone to attend your wedding.
Choosing Who Gets a Plus One
Extending the offer of a plus one to everyone on your guestlist could potentially double the capacity and cost of your big day. So, you may need to choose who gets a plus one carefully. The best approach tends to be allowing a plus one to anyone who is attending alone but may not know many other guests. For example, if you’re inviting a childhood friend from your hometown who knows you and your family but nobody else, it’s a good idea to offer a plus one (after all, chances are you won’t be able to spend much of the actual day with them).
Sure, planning a wedding guestlist is tricky. But hopefully, some of the above etiquette surrounding wedding invitation politics should help you to make the right call!