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  your parents and the wedding party, as a keepsake. They don’t have to reply. Wedding etiquette experts also say chil- dren over the age of 16 should receive their own invitation. B List: Should Haves - These are the people you should invite, such as distant family members and 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 chil- dren in your wedding or reception, but how do you let guests know? You have a few options. One is simply to leave their names off the invitation. Secondly, you can rely on family to pass the word that children aren’t invit- ed. Or, you can take the direct approach so there is no misunderstanding or hurt feelings. On the invitation reply card, include wording such as: • Adult Reception • We hope that the (# of) you will be able to join us. Remember that ‘no children’ means no children. Bend the rules for your favorite niece, and you’ll have a lot of hurt guests. Who Pays For Extra Guests over the Allotted Number? Once you have established the number of guests each group (parents and cou- ple) may invite, any additional guests should be at the expense of the individ- ual initiating the invitation. CEREMONY & RECEPTIONS If the groom’s parents add an extra 50 names to their list, for instance, you should remind them of your budget and ask that they either trim their list or cover the additional costs. Do Shower Guests have to be Invited to the Wedding? The short answer is yes. Inviting people to a shower, but not to the wedding, implies that you are only interested in a gift. How to Trim the List? So you’ve prioritized the list, and made initial cuts - yet it is still too large. You may be able to trim the list a bit more with these steps: • Make the reception “adult only”. Caterers charge per person, even little persons. While children won’t con- sume much, they still add to your bot- tom line. • Don’t invite coworkers. Nixing all office invites is a simple way to pull in the reins on your ever-growing guest count. • Limit the number of friends your par- ents invite. If they are inviting friends of their own, especially ones you barely know, set a limit for both sets of par- ents and stick to it if space and budget are limited. Wedding announcements can be sent to those not on the list, in lieu of invitations. • Invite only close family. That third cousin or your first-grade best friend you haven’t seen in years probably won’t care that they are not invited. How To Stay Organized? Managing your guest list can be as simple as creating an Excel spreadsheet that tracks names, addresses, RSVPs, gifts and thank-you notes. § 92 § AKRONCANTONWEDDINGS.COM | WEDDINGS IN OHIO KAREN MENYHART PHOTOGRAPHY 

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