With so many brides-to-be, bridesmaids and future grooms working in the Wedding Paper Divas headquarters, it’s no surprise that party planning is a regular occurrence around here. And, since spring is such a popular time for bridal showers, there’s been a lot of back and forth over wedding shower guest lists—specifically, how many is too many? Some argue that more than twenty is a crowd, while others say the more, the merrier.
Where do you weigh in?
What do you think is the appropriate amount of guests for a bridal shower? Do you think showers should be kept to close friends and family or opened up to bigger groups? What size bridal shower are your friends or family planning for you? Rant or rave!
One of the hardest parts about wedding planning is culling through your guest list—especially when it comes to family. Take this question from a reader, for example:
I have a question regarding wedding invitation etiquette and hope you can help. Our situation is a little complicated by the fact that we really only want 30 guests at our wedding. My fiance is one of eight kids and he’s 50. This means that his siblings have grown kids, and those kids have kids. How can we handle this as we do not want to offend anyone, yet we are only inviting siblings and spouses? To complicate this a little further, one of his siblings has two grown kids that we are close to and would like to have there. Is there any hope for us?? Please help.
Getting a Headache in Chicago
Our hearts go out to you! It’s not easy to host such an intimate wedding, but we applaud your efforts to stay true to the celebration you have in mind. Our advice for your situation is twofold:
1. It’s perfectly reasonable to limit the guest list to siblings and spouses, but by inviting two of the grown children and not the rest of the pack is pushing the limits of proper etiquette (not to mention increasing the likelihood that someone will be offended). We suggest limiting the guest list to siblings and spouses and excluding all children in accordance with proper invitation etiquette.
2. That being said, we think a big family like yours would probably love the chance to celebrate all together. Have you considered hosting an informal party after the wedding? Invite everyone over, ask them to bring a bottle of wine, lay out some snacks and let everyone raise a glass to your new union without the formality of the ceremony and reception (or the obligation to bring gifts!).
We hope this helps ease your headache a little! Your extended family will likely understand your desire to keep the ceremony small, but by offering a second celebration they can all attend you might make a little headway in repairing any hurt feelings.
What would you suggest Getting a Headache in Chicago do? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post an answer for you.
We all know that you simply can’t invite everyone you know to your big day, but there are certain people who get left off the list more than others. Did you forget to (or decide not to) send invitations to these top 10 most forgotten wedding invitation recipients?
Kids. When the budget gets tight, they are generally the first group left out of the mix.
Exes. Even if you are still close, it can be hard to squeeze out another place setting for an ex on your wedding day.
Great Aunts and Uncles. We blame poor health and/or travel concerns for this one.
Second Cousins. In general, they don’t expect to be invited anyway!
Childhood Friends. This can definitely lead to hurt feelings, but if you haven’t spoken in 15 years we don’t think your fifth grade promise to invite your BFFs should still stand.
Neighbors. Again, this group doesn’t generally expect and invitation unless you are particularly close.
Coworkers. It’s always nice to be invited, but certainly not a must!
Non-Mutual Friends. The friends you share in common are likely the friends you spend the most time with, so anyone who doesn’t like to hang out with your future spouse might not make the cut.
Friends’ Families. Sometimes parents of close friends are invited, but it’s definitely not expected by any means.
Friends Who Argue with Your Fiance. If you’re trimming guests from your list, this is a natural. Who wants to invite drama on their wedding day?
Do you have any forgotten guests you’d add to the list? Leave a comment and tell us!
You’ve nailed down both sides of family and friends. Now it’s time to decide who will make the cut from your respective places of employment. This will depend on a lot of factors—size of company, position in company, importance of office politics, etc. The last thing you want to be faced with after returning from your honeymoon is awkwardness at work—but do you really want the head honcho of your organization to witness you cut a rug after your fourth glass of champagne?
Will you have your boss at your wedding? Should brides and grooms feel obligated to invite their bosses to their big day? Rant or rave about it!
For brides and grooms with big families, large groups of friends or both, trimming down the guest list can often be the most stressful part of planning a wedding. Especially tricky can be the subject of friends’ significant others. So when I heard a story about a married friend who was invited to a wedding with only her name on the invitation, I turned to Emily Post, the quintessential etiquette expert. Her book states that the spouse, fiance or live-in partner of each invited guest must be invited—even if you’ve never met them.
Every couple has a different vision and budget for their big day. Should significant others always be invited? Do brides and grooms who choose not to invite a friend’s spouse make you want to rant or rave?
A few nights ago while making dinner at a friend’s house, we started chatting about an invitation on her fridge. She mentioned the wedding was “adults only” and she was making arrangements for her two-year-old to travel up to grandma’s that weekend so her and the hubby could fly out for the occasion.
Depending on your particular family or personal style, you might welcome having the little kiddies around, or you might not—everyone envisions their big day differently. Are you planning an adult-only wedding or have you ever been invited to one? Should couples expect their guests to understand? Do weddings with an age restriction make you want to rant or rave?