One of the tougher jobs of planning your wedding is tackling your guest list. There are several things you need to consider before starting your guest list. Your budget, your venue and the size of your wedding will all come into play. The person paying for your wedding should also be a big part of this part of the wedding planning process.
A good way to begin the process is assigning 50% of the number of guests to the bride and groom and 25% to each set of parents. Some of the names will probably overlap on each groups' list. If it turns out that one person doesn't need the total number allotted to them, you can redistribute the number to whoever has requested more.
Steps to help create a wedding guest list!
- Determine the size of your wedding.
- Each of you draw up a list of must have guests.
- Know your budget. At this point, the number of guests you invite will have a great affect on the cost of other aspects of your wedding; catering, reception, venue, etc.
- Secure the location of both the wedding and reception sites. This will determine the number of guests who will be able to fit in both locations. Knowing the location will also give you an idea of the style of invitation you would like to use.
Once you have written out a draft of your list, place each guest into a relationship category. The first tier consists of essential family members (grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, first cousins); the second tier is close friends and extended family (great aunts and uncles, second cousins); the third tier is colleagues and other friends. When you know how many guests you can afford, start cutting the list from your bottom tier up if necessary. You will save hurt feelings if you eliminate entire groups of your list (such as co-workers or social club), rather than inviting just a few. That being said, if there is someone particularly important to you, of course you should invite them.~www.realsimple.com
After deciding on the guest list, your next decision is what type and style of invitations to use. Nothing sets the tone of your wedding like your wedding invitations. There are 3 main types of wedding invitations: formal, semi-formal and informal. So when deciding on your invitations chose that one that best fits your style of wedding.
There are 4 main print styles of invitations.
A printing press raises the letters from beneath to
best express distinctions of texture and contrast.
Words leap off the page with an infusion of ink and powder.
Shimmering metallic foils create a lavish and striking effect.
Deeply pressed indentations give an artisanal look and feel.
Certain Etiquette Guidelines
Wedding invitations are usually written in third person. The first line identifies the hosts. The hosts' names is then followed by a line that extends the invitation; "requests the honour of your presence". If the ceremony will not be held at a place of worship, a less formal; "requests the pleasure of your company". Next the names of the bride and groom are named in full and then the date, year, time and location.
Punctuation is commonly avoided except after "Mr., Mrs. Dr.". Names, titles and first letters of a sentence, as opposed to lines, are capitalized. All words, dates, times are spelled out. For example, "3:00 pm" should be written out as "three o'clock in the afternoon" and "July 27, 2013" as "The twenty-seventh of July two thousand and thirteen". Avoid contractions and do not abbreviate.
The invitation can also include a RSVP card with a deadline of 2-3 weeks before the wedding. The RSVP is usually on a separate card included with the wedding invitation. Etiquette for the RSVP card should also include the same formality as the wedding invitation. The cards can use the simple wording of I/We are able to attend or I/We are unable to attend.
Addressing and Mailing
For formal invitations, the return address should be written on the envelop flap. It should be wedding hosts' address and not any names. The invitation should be address specifically to the individual or individuals invited and use titles as necessary. An invitation addressed to Mr. Jones indicates that Mr. Jones should attend the wedding alone without bringing an additional guest. Mr. Jones and Guest indicates that Mr. Jones and one additional guest may attend the wedding. Mail invitations 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding.
Children under the age of 18 do not need to be named on the outer envelope, but if their names are not included on the inner envelope, indicates that they are not invited. If children under 18 are invited with their parents, include their names on the inner envelope. Children who are 18 or older should receive their own individual invitation even if they reside with their parents.
Once the invitations go out, all you have to do is wait for the RSVPs to come. Unfortunately, manners and rules of etiquette are often left by the wayside as guests do not always reply. If guests do not reply, the Emily Post Institute declares a bride, groom, parent, friend or wedding coordinator can call guests a week after deadline has passed to personally ask for their reply.
Save The Dates
Three day wedding events and destination weddings are on the rise and so are the custom of sending Save The Date cards. They are intended to give guests an extended notice of the wedding date to allow proper planning. When the wedding is a far away location or a busy travel time, the advice notice is a much appreciated gesture. These cards need to be mailed at least 6-8 months prior to the wedding.
I hope this has helped to answer any questions you might have had concerning your wedding invitations. Please share any advice you can give other couples on their wedding planning journey.