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 CEREMONY & RECEPTIONS
thirds of your invitees will attend your
event. However, these are just guidelines. Don’t invite people thinking that they ‘will never show.’ Be prepared for surprises.
It’s not uncommon for guests to RSVP for more guests than you invited. Most wedding guest lists end up, believe it or not, with a few additional names added by guests themselves.
How Do We Create the List?
Once you have determined how many guests to invite, divide the number in thirds:
1/3 - Guests of the bride’s parents
1/3 - Guests of the groom’s parents 1/3 - Guests of the bride and groom. Next, prioritize each list into three
separate categories.
A List: Must Haves - These are the people
you have to invite. That includes family and close friends. Also on this list should be the officiant and their spouse or guest and any- one you consider so important that you can’t imagine getting married without them there. Until you have your reception and ceremony venues finalized, you won’t know how big your guest list can be. However, it’s a good idea at this stage of the game to start counting family and your closest friends, and get a sense of how many essential invites you have.
Also, be sure to send invitations to your parents and the wedding party, as a keepsake. They don’t have to reply. Wed- ding etiquette experts also say children over the age of 16 should receive their own invitation.
B List: Should Haves - These are the people you should invite, such as your distant family members and some of your good friends/acquaintances. The B List guests are the ones with which most couples struggle the most. Do you really need to invite your mom’s great aunt from Kalamazoo? How about her staff from the office? A good rule of thumb: invite only people you personally know and like.
As for friends-in-law you wish you’d never met, start with this crucial connubial ground rule: You two are separate people with different tastes. You don’t have to like each other’s friends, but hey, letting them share some champagne with you on your big day is not going to hurt anyone.
C List: Like To Haves - These are the ones you’d like to include if there is room. This might be your first-grade friend you haven’t seen in years, or old neighbors and business associates.
A wedding is not an excuse to round up every lost intimate friend you have known since you were 10 – focus on people who matter now.
How to Handle “No Children?”
You may decide not to include children in your wedding or reception, but how do you let guests know? You have a few options.
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