The Happy...(eventually) Guest List Compromise
By Bridechilla Heather
The guest list. I never thought it would be as big of a deal as people say it is. I am happy to say that we are finally, basically, almost done with our list. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this, it’s that the person you will butt heads with the most might just be your fiancé.When we started planning, I imagined a small-ish wedding with people we were close to. I used many pieces of advice to determine who I wanted to invite; “The people you’re inviting should be a part of your future” and “You shouldn’t have to fake smile at anyone at your wedding” were two of my favorites. I carefully evaluated acquaintances, coworkers, and family.
I quickly nixed any ‘friends’ I hadn’t talked to in the last year including many people from college, and I also eliminated coworkers I hadn’t spent time with outside of work. I ended up with about five close friends in addition to my family, and I was really happy with that.
My fiancé, on the other hand, was not thinking along remotely similar lines. Or rather, he has a very different definition of what it means to be ‘close friends’. The 10 people he used to hang out with in high school, but hasn’t talked to since? All of them are in. People he went to happy hour with once or twice after work six months ago? Can’t hurt to have ‘em there! I generally love his welcoming attitude toward friendships, but it just wasn’t what I had wanted for our wedding (which I now realize is totally selfish and ridiculous). After multiple discussions trying to get him to ‘see things my way’, he still wasn’t budging.
So I decided to work on my attitude.
It wasn’t fair for me to try to convince him that his guests weren’t “important” enough, especially when they were people I didn’t know. If I couldn’t change his mind, it meant I needed to change mine. While the sayings above helped me pick who I wanted to be there, they weren’t going to be helpful anymore unless I thought about them a little bit differently. Just because I didn’t know someone well doesn’t mean I would have to fake smile at them. Their presence will make him happy, which will make me happy. It also helped to truly accept the fact that I wasn’t going to have as much time as I wanted with anyone. While I had heard it repeatedly from former brides, I had assumed I could avoid it by having a small enough guest list. But, in my case, it’s just a part of living so far from my family. It sucks sometimes, but that’s just how it is. Even if we only had fifty people there, I wouldn’t feel like I was getting enough time with everyone; it is only one day, after all.
Once I accepted that, I stopped feeling stressed about spending as much time as I could with everyone and started thinking of ways to make the most of the time we would all have together. Sure, we invited some people we probably wouldn’t have for our parents' sakes. But I expected that. I was prepared for that. Actually, I was prepared for it to go much worse than it did. Which is why it was a pleasant surprise when they only wanted ten or so people we wouldn’t have invited.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the heated discussions with my fiancé.
Everything I had heard before assumed that as couple, you should be on the same page about guests from the start. Arguing about linen colors is normal, but the guest list? Heaven forbid you don’t agree on that! Which is just ridiculous if you think about it. Chances are, one of you is more extroverted, or has a bigger family, or wants a bigger party or just plain has a different opinion. And that’s totally okay! If there’s anything I want other bridechillas to take away from this, it’s that it’s 100% okay for you to not be on the exact same page about guests from the start.
It’s okay to not have the same vision for your wedding from the beginning. Just like getting married is merging your lives together and that takes work, having a wedding is merging your ideas about parties and life events and who you want to be involved in that. You should expect to need to talk about everything throughout the whole process. If you can expect it, you’ll be much better prepared to deal with it, and hopefully not as stressed as I got about it.
Good luck with your lists!
Also I'd love to give a shout out to Wedding Paper Divas!
We ordered our save-the-dates from them and got a great deal! They always have coupons and promos going on, and they have a great range of invites. You can get a literal feel for the options by getting a free sample pack. I'm so excited to look at their invites when it gets closer!
Catch up with Bridechilla Heather's other Bridechilla Blog posts