Who to invite?
When it comes to considering wedding guests, the rules of engagement should be firm and set early. Spend time working out the style of wedding that you want and be upfront with everyone concerned especially parents and partner’s parents who may feel they have a lot to contribute, that way you’re likely to avoid a whole lot of disappointment and angst that can ripple through families for a very long time.
The number of wedding guests can be determined in several ways; here are a few suggestions:
· The budget and who holds the purse strings
· The size of the venue
· The size of your family
· Decide the people who really matter in your life
· Think about the people who will stand beside you throughout your marriage– through thick and thin
· The appeal of a small wedding and a larger celebration party later on
· Guests to a destination wedding, for example, may self-select depending on their budget
· Decide whether your friends have priority over your parent’s friends
· Whether to invite children or no children?
· Whether to invite colleagues or have no workmates
· How long ago it was that you spoke/saw/had any contact with people
· Can you remember what they look like?
· Does an elopement appeal?
There’s a rule of thumb that 20% of invited guests won’t be able to attend, so think about creating a backup list and invite them closer to the occasion.
Remember: your wedding is unique to you. Just because you were invited to someone’s wedding a few years ago doesn’t mean they need to automatically be included in your celebration. Likewise, because your parents were invited to so-and-so’s daughter or son’s wedding, doesn’t mean they have to be on your list by rite.
Develop your own guest list rules and stick to them and by all means, involve your parents and your partner’s parents, but be clear about the boundaries. There’s a tried and trusted tradition that says the couple gets half the guest list and each of the parents gets a quarter of the guest list, but if that doesn’t work for you, say so and create something that does. Don’t feel guilty for doing what’s best for you.
Member celebrants of the Celebrant Association of New Zealand have a wealth of knowledge and experience navigating wedding ceremony and ritual. By using the CANZ directory (www.celebrantsassociation.co.nz/member-directory) you’ll find someone with the experience, knowledge and creativity to help make your wedding day wonderful in the way you want it to be. CANZ celebrants are professionals, committed to a code of ethics and dedicated to the craft of creating exceptional and personal ceremonies.