At first I was pretty miffed when I didn’t receive an invitation to the Royal Wedding, but now, having tortured myself over my own guest list for months, I understand. Kate, don’t worry … we’re still cool. I know that your Prince has a huge list of folks he’s obligated to invite — other princes, dukes, Elton John, etc. Also, y’all are older than your average couple, which means you’ve met lots more people. Keeping your list limited to 2000 must be about as hard as it is to keeping ours to, um, well let’s just say way-smaller-than-average. Between my public career, David being super-popular and Batman, and us having big families, this has been the biggest challenge.
As always, I’ve solicited advice from people have done this before. Read on for their wisdom and my bossy opinions.
1. Ask yourself if you’d take these people out to a fancy dinner, spend quality time with them, and then pay for the whole evening. If you wouldn’t hesitate, then invite them. If you don’t think you’d see that situation arising, don’t invite them. This gem came from one of David’s co-workers. It’s a great litmus test, excepting the fact that David and I are Let’s-Buy-A-Round-For-The-Whole-Bar!-type folks. We are constantly buying lunches and drinks for friends, so our list of who we’d take out to dinner is four times as long as our wedding guest list can be. Although, maybe if we’d stop buying drinks for people, we’d have more budget to play with. Hmmmm…
2. Don’t talk about the wedding to people who aren’t invited. Again, good advice, and again, troublesome for us, seeing as we are broadcasting our wedding planning to the interwebs. Are we just being rude to 99% of Louisville? Apologies. Read #3 for more explanation…
3. Remember that it’s not personal. Really, I know that on some level, weddings are incredibly personal. But most people who want to have a big party would love to be able to invite all their friends. Unfortunately, it’s determined by the budget … not friendship. If we didn’t have to feed and drink anyone, we could invite Kate and Will’s 2000.
4. Don’t allow single people to bring dates. This is one of those rules that I’m dreading having to deal with. I remember being 21 and being insulted for my co-worker who didn’t see “and guest” written on an invitation, thinking how rude that was that she wasn’t allowed a date. But I totally get it now, especially having seen my friends plan weddings on a budget. Again, it’s not personal. If you’re spending $75/person, you just really can’t afford to allow everyone who’s not already coupled, to bring a date. A list of fifty friends immediately becomes one hundred, and there goes all of your budget. Again, it’s not personal.
5. No kids. Best advice ever … saves money, time, planning, and headache. Sorry. We’ll take flack for this one too, but I’ve been to too many weddings where you couldn’t walk to the bar without tripping over a toddler on a sugar high. Also, have any of you been to a wedding where there wasn’t a screaming baby during the vows? I haven’t. I love kids — come on, I’ve taught piano lessons for ten years — but I don’t want them at my wedding.* Besides, I wouldn’t want to take my kids (should I have any) to a cocktail party. Going to a party = hiring a babysitter.
Anyway, it’s way stressful because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I know it’s not like people out there are waiting by their mailboxes for an invite like I was when I heard Kate & Will had mailed theirs. Our wedding is not exactly the social event of the century. But still, I’d like to have everyone I know and love there. Trying to remember … that it’s not personal.
*This is excepting a sweet niece flower girl, an adorable nephew ring bearer, and a newborn belonging to my Best Woman who’s traveling from Texas, of course:)