Happy Wednesday, Happy People!
Last Wednesday, I introduced you to my BRAND NEW blog series: Wedding Wednesday!
It will always get the “!” at the end, because weddings are a big deal and so much fun as a guest OR guest-of-honor!
This week, we continue with Wedding Wednesday #2: People & Party! This is a fun one that – as you will see when we delve into this post – you can start to work on before you are engaged (heck, even before you are in a relationship!). Sound a little crazy? Well, face it, some of us have been dreaming about this day our entire lives. We might as well get as many details in order as possible beforehand!
When I was a senior in high school, we had a marriage class for the portion of the year. In this class, we also had to plan a wedding. We were paired up, drew a budget out of a hat, and had to do research on numbers, vendors, etc. to plan this wedding together within our budget. My partner and I received a budget of $25,000 (generous, in my mind – and well over what we spent for our wedding). One of our first items-of-business was to each create a guest list for our own ideal weddings. Because we were two completely different people with no mutual friends or loved ones, we really had to prioritize and cut our lists down to meet budget.
Well, I kept my original list. It had 300 people on it, that if I were to have gotten married in 2008, I would have liked to invite. Over the years, I cut people and added others, but I always kept that file on my computer. And it REALLY helped when planning my actual wedding came along! Knowing that Timmykins was who I was going to marry BEFORE he proposed also helped, because I was able to start adding his family and non-mutual as well as newly-mutual friends to the list before the nuttiness of the planning process began. It was really nice to have a general idea (no-so-nice that our original number was close to 400, YIKES!).
I had mentally been doing the same thing when it came to the wedding party years ago. Subtracting people as I realized they were negative influences in my life, adding as I realized who genuinely cared. It’s definitely something that’s nice to have figured out beforehand.
So, that is just the beginning! Below, you will find my top tips for perfectly planning the people part of your party!
Always have your wedding party in mind. Write it down if you have to! Realize it doesn’t have to be too large, and one partner’s side of the altar does NOT have to match the other’s. We went with 7 bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen, 2 ushers (one of my best guy friends, and another friend of his), 1 flower girl, and 1 ring bearer. Your numbers could differ drastically!
Who else will be a part of the ceremony? This is a HUGE event in your life, and you want to choose people wisely. I didn’t just want any ole priest performing the ceremony, especially one that didn’t know us as a couple. I wanted someone who would be able to speak true to our relationship. Good thing for us, Timmykin’s father is a Deacon, and his mother is the wedding coordinator at a nearby church. CHECK! We also needed 3 readers. We could have asked anyone, but I was honored to ask my mom to be a bigger part of the ceremony by reading, as well as my second mom to read another, and one of Timmykin’s sisters to read the third (he has 5 sisters). All of this really helped us wrap our heads around a general church wedding and personalize it as much as we could.
Who do you want there? We wanted 400 people there, but it just wasn’t feasible for us (always kept a budget in mind, and did what we could to include as many guests as possible). It was important for us to have our families and closest friends there to witness and celebrate our love for one another. We both have large families. We also have many people who have shaped our lives. We went back and forth for 8 months following the proposal on who we HAD to cut (it was painful!), and ended up inviting WAY more than originally anticipated, but really really wanted those people to be with us. In the end, around 100 RSVPd NO, and things were back in our ideal numbers, but we still wish everyone could have been in attendance!
Note: If there is someone on your guest list that you do NOT feel this way about, someone that gets on your nerves, or is negative, or you just don’t feel that they have been a big part of your life, don’t invite them. It’s your day. –And I know people will tell you over and over again that it is your day, and still try and force ideas on you, but ALWAYS remember that IT’S. YOUR. DAY. Make it one of the most happy and carefree days of your existence 🙂
Goodness, this post feels like another rant, but I just feel so strongly about starting your guest list and ceremony participant list EARLY so as to make the process much easier on you. Waiting until the last minute causes unnecessary stress, as well as – potentially – regrettable decisions. Regretting inviting the wrong person, or not inviting someone who is really important to you. Same with the wedding party: including someone who is just not a positive influence in your life, someone out of obligation, etc. Plus, early planning means you can ENJOY THE ENGAGEMENT that much more!
Because, truly, it is about you, your future, and your happiness.
Stay tuned for next week’s Wedding Wednesday: Theme! – or something with a better name 🙂
And, as always, have a Happy Day, Happy People!