It's difficult and it's tricky, and I've been THINKING about writing this post for about 3 months now! Anyone that has dealt with this dilemma, I'm sure, has turned to the etiquette experts for advice....and they all say basically the same thing. Invite those closest to you and who you want want to look back at wedding pictures and be glad they were there. Don't invite people out of a sense of obligation. Only invite people that you can see yourself being good friends with 10 years down the road. Don't feel obligated to invite your entire office...only invite those that you socialize with outside of work.
...All sound advice. But slicing and dicing your guest list isn't quite as easy as it sounds!
Mark and I started our wedding planning with a projected guest list of 150. We thought that we could encompass all close family members (i.e. immediate family as well as Aunts, Uncles and first cousins) as well as our friends and their guests (families or significant others). Well, it's hard. It's SUPER HARD! I guess it doesn't help that we have large families. My Dad is one of 6 children and his Mom is one of 7 children. That equals to lots of Aunts and Uncles and lots and LOTS of first cousins. We've limited our Parent's friends to only the bare minimum and we've limited our friend's Parents (those that we grew up part-time at their houses) to the bare minimums. AND we're STILL over! Certainly over 150 and we're pushing toward our maximum - 175 in attendance. You see, our venue only allows for 175 people - period, which definitely restricts our guest list.
This is such a touchy subject because you appreciate SO much that people want to be there with you to share in your joy and celebrate your new life together, but then you have to put that up against getting charged "overages" and additions here and additions there. I mean, this is HARD stuff peeps!
And here's the other side of it...I'm not one of those brides that wants to have a HUGE wedding *just* to have a HUGE wedding...you know? I don't NEED for every single person I know to see me in a wedding dress to make my wedding everything I've ever wanted. I have everything I've ever wanted....a love that is so unconditional and so real that I didn't even think something like that could exist here in this life. So I certainly don't want just "filler" wedding guests...you know, that person you had to invite b/c you were inviting the rest of their friends, or your third cousin that would "get her feelings hurt" if she weren't invited, or that co-worker that is just going to get wasted on your open bar....I mean yeah, this is a celebration...but it's the most personal, meaningful celebration you could ever have! The union of two people for the rest of their lives!
So, what's a bride to do? Slice and dice the list until you get to where there is not a single person on there who doesn't know and love you both genuinely? Or do you protect people's feelings and invite everyone so as to not cause any "drama"? OR...do you try to find a happy medium between the two? Part of me wishes that we could just invite everyone so that no one's feelings get hurt and part of me wants to have the small intimate gathering of friends and family - surrounded by the people who are there to love and support you and your new marriage....just close immediate family and lifelong friends.
Mark and I are shooting for the happy medium. I sincerely hope we don't offend anyone.