GMA's Sara Haines Reveals the Toughest Part of Planning a Destination Wedding

Honeymoons & Destination Weddings, Planning Tips

Meet our latest real bride blogger, Good Morning America anchor and ABC News correspondent Sara Haines! Whether it's how to throw a destination wedding from afar, picking a bridesmaid dress all of her 'maids will love or finding her dream wedding dress, Sara is taking us inside her wedding-planning process. For her last installment, she's sharing how she managed her guest list.

The most difficult part about planning our wedding would have been an issue wherever we got married — the size of the guest list. I had always heard that destination weddings were typically smaller. One of the first things Max and I did when we got engaged was to jot down a list of people we would want on our dream list ... and that grew very quickly. I guess I just assumed that a more intimate sized affair magically happened. I didn't realize that we would have to carve that list into its much shorter self (not fun)!

My oldest sister had a local hometown wedding where the guest list tipped the scale at 400 people. It was beautiful and perfect and everything my sister wanted. And when I was younger, I assumed mine would be similar. But as I've gotten older, my vision has changed. I don't want to spend the entire day/night shaking hands, hugging, and feeling overwhelmed that I didn't really get to talk to anyone. I want the big day to be about Max and I and our closest friends and family getting quality time to celebrate and bust a move on the dance floor together. Actually eating the food we're throwing down for would be a nice too.

See More: 5 People You Shouldn't Invite to Your Wedding

Someone once advised me to plan the wedding as the perfect party we would want to attend. But sometimes the bride and groom have different ideas as to what the perfect party would be like. While Max has been a great sport through all of this, he would have preferred inviting more of our friends. But I just don't thrive or fully enjoy myself when a group or party gets too big. It is the old quality versus quantity thing. Each time we toyed with adding people, one person turned into a group or family that couldn't be invited without the other, and I would start to pull my hair out. In an attempt to include everyone, we were losing ourselves (or at least me) in the process. Inevitably there are people we wish we could have included, but we had to draw the line somewhere.

After deciding who we were going to invite, our list got even smaller because this whole thing is a bit of a trek. We are asking people to take on the expenses of traveling, taking time off from work, etc. And even though we wanted this to be our dream day, it is tough as you learn people won't be able to make it, especially when your mind wanders and you realize they probably could have come if you had just done it in the parents backyard. That game of "what if" will get you every time. So no matter what you decide for the big day, or where it is taking place, it is a give and take. My sister once said, and this is what has helped me in the process, that you won't remember the people who weren't there ... just the ones who were.

Catch up on Sara's wedding-planning journey here!

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