Where to draw the line when inviting friends?

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Rose217 Posts : 474 Registered: 8/9/08
Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Feb 28, 2010 11:46 PM

Hi all,

FH and I are trying to finalize the guest list and having trouble deciding where to draw the line on inviting friends. Some days I feel like including everyone in the celebration and other days I want to limit this to family only.

There's the big group from high school we still see occasionally and who couldn't be happier for us (or more excited to get trashed at their first friends wedding), and there are a few we're still close to but mostly it's just a network of connections and I don't know how to say "the 10 of you I see most often are invited, the other 20 can go sulk" (as they would). There are my college friends who helped me grow up but I've grown apart from over the last year. There are the new people FH and I haven't known very long but have become fast friends with. Oh, and there's also the neighbors who've known the family for 20+ years and invited us to their kids weddings, not to mention my coworkers of 2 months (6 by the wedding), one of whom actually asked if they were invited the other day.

Family only puts us at 200. All of the above would be about 300.

I know that budget and # of guests are closely linked and hopefully they will be for us soon too, but at this point the cost of food is TBD, so let's pretend budget isn't a big factor in inviting people.Any advice for our situation?

Did you or are you including friends? If so, how did you choose who to invite? Would you do it differently or did it work out well?

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 12:04 AM Go to message in response to: Rose217

Rose,

I love that you posted this as Greg & I are on the phone discussing where to draw the line when inviting guests.

We are making up "mock" guest lists so that we can decide what our budget will ultimately be to start saving up.

I don't really know how to explain the rule that we are considering--which is kind of like a "would i feel comfortable calling them? could i meet up with them for lunch?" kind of rule.

I actually am really curious about the responses here. Unfortunately, budget is a huge factor for us.

Our biggest issue is the "a part of the friend network" scenario. And while our 'rule' may not apply to some people--I think I would feel very uncomfortable not inviting them--but my budget won't be very flexible. I would rather invite our very close family friends Sarah and Barry--rather than my old highschool friend Emma and her boyfriend Graham--but both of us are still a part of the network--but have just drifted. I wouldn't feel comfortable casually calling her up anymore and asking her to meet me up for lunch. I don't think I could comfortably hang out with her without other friends present with out it being awkward. However, since we have so many mutual friends and have a history of a friendship--I would feel very uncomfortable NOT inviting her.

It makes it all very difficult. Emma & Graham aren't the only ones like that on our mock guest lists--we have about 12 people or so in that description.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 12:17 PM Go to message in response to: Rose217

Dear Rose,

Here is my suggestion.

Make a list of all the friends you are considering inviting.

Now ask yourself "Who do I really want to be there?" and "Who do I feel I'm inviting just because they would go away and sulk if not invited?".

Draw the line there. You are not responsible for them if they go away and sulk. Besides, if you are not all that close to them, chances are the wedding might be the last time you ever see them, if they continue to drift out of your lives.

I've seen that happen countless times. My own BIL was a best man at his best friend's wedding. The couple moved away the next year, and BIL never saw them again.

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Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 12:22 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

Ladies, I'm going through the same problem right now, and I totally understand what you mean. My situation is that the people in the extended network really weren't and aren't my friends. They're friends of a good friend, and we often socialize because of this mutual friend. But I also wouldn't feel comfortable calling them up and we wouldn't hang out independently of the mutual friend.

So, in the logical universe, I just wouldn't invite them. But in reality, I would feel badly if I didn't. It's really annoying because I'm trying to be so budget conscious, but I'm consoling myself with the fact that they have always been nice to me and I have some form of relationship with them, even if it's sort of peripheral. Besides, they have at least met me, which is more than I can say for various guests of my FMIL...

So I guess my only advice is, if you can manage it, invite them if you'd feel badly not inviting them. If you simply can't afford to, don't put yourself in debt to do so, but maybe host a small post wedding evening at your home and include them.

 

 

~~Life's tough, wear a cup~~

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AmyJustin2010 Posts : 201 Registered: 1/18/10
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 12:52 PM Go to message in response to: Rose217

For all invitees we decided to go with the "1-year rule." If we haven't seen them in person in a year or more, they aren't being extended an invitation. Also we decided to look down the road. If our wedding is the last time we will probably ever see them, then they will not be invited.

With your situation, it sounds like a lot of them want to go for the free booze, not to see you get married. If you don't want a ton of people getting very drunk at your wedding, then I would skip the heavy drinkers if they are not that important to you.

If you're doing save the dates, skip sending them to friends. A few of my friends that I locked us into inviting via save the dates probably wouldn't be invited if I didn't send the save the dates.

AmyJustin2010.Weebly.Com

 

Amy & Justin--Buffalo Sabres Fanatics :) 

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myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 1, 2010 8:51 PM Go to message in response to: Rose217

the big group from high school we still see occasionally and who couldn't be happier for us (or more excited to get trashed at their first friends wedding), and there are a few we're still close to but mostly it's just a network of connections

Key words are underlined. If you see them just occasionally, they would be at your wedding just to get trashed on your dime, and you're not really close, then don't invite them. Do invite the few you're still close to. And, if you think they would be sulking about it, why would you be friends anyway (sulking is such a childish thing to do)?
myra@classysassyweddings.com

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jmrosazza Posts : 12 Registered: 2/7/10
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 6, 2010 1:01 PM Go to message in response to: Rose217

If budget is no concern, then invite them. But, because the food budget can grow pretty fast, especially if you're looking at adding 100 more people, maybe you can do only family for the true reception and maybe a cocktail hour to celebrate your wedding a few weeks after (yes this sounds like two receptions so hear me out). At the reception, stick to those people you know you want invited and tell anyone else that asks that you're doing a "family only" function. Then, rent out a space at a restaurant to celebrate the start of your life as H&W, buy a few trays of snacks and have a cash bar (or buy each guest 1 drink). This way you're not stepping on any toes - and those "friends" who are looking to attend your reception only to get drunk can buy their own booze.

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SamW Posts : 6 Registered: 2/23/10
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 9, 2010 2:06 AM Go to message in response to: Rose217

It's interesting because I'm having the opposite problem. The way I think about friends I'm inviting goes kind of like this:

  • do I consider them a 'real friend' or just 'someone I hung out with in college'?
  • will they actually appreciate being invited, and being there for us on our day? or just 'woo! a party!'?
  • in the future, will we Iook back and regret giving that seat to them instead of someone else?
  • have I seen them, in person, in the last year?
  • will they enjoy themselves, or sit in a corner and keep quiet?
Then from there it's kind of a weird ranking system, and then when budget/# of guests is definite, then keep adding friends from the top down, from Definitely Invite, to Would Love To Invite, to Possibly Invite.

The problem I'm having is with the family part. Since my mom has all the addresses of our family, I gave my mom the task of compiling our side of the family guest list. I have people in my family I only see at weddings and funerals. Anything less isn't worth their time. Our family is by no means rich, but they're kind of elitist nonetheless. I don't even know how I'm related to these people, yet if I don't invite them I could end up, basically, ostricized by them. And/or my mom and grandma say we have to invite them for some obscure reason that made sense years ago - it's some ridiculous show of one-upping each other in my family. It's ridiculous. Or they're just plain old, lol.

So I have to invite less of my friends for the sake of family and appearances? Fun.
Good luck with your guest list, I hope the first half of mypost helped!

-Sam

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bosoxgirl Posts : 231 Registered: 2/3/10
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 9, 2010 9:58 AM Go to message in response to: AmyJustin2010

I am with Amy on the "1 year rule," but you can invite whomever you want to invite. When it comes down to it, it's about the people who you want present.

I had a similar thread to yours about my FH's fathers side and the guest list (When we were engaged). FFIL and FMIL are divorced and FH hasn't seen his fathers family in over 15 years. They make no effort to talk to FH and FH doesn't make the effort back. However, FH only sees and talks to his one cousin because they grew up together and are very close. So my question, if we invite his cousin, do we have to invite his parents (they are FH's aunt and uncle) and daughter (FH's other cousin) too? But if we invite them, do we have to invite everyone else (the domino effect, if you will) The ladies on this site were very helpful and when it comes down to it, I am inviting the people who I want present. So if FH's aunts and uncles have been out of the picture for 15+ years, they will not be attending the wedding. Just his cousin and the family he sees on a regular basis.

I know it makes you feel guilty when you have great friends/acquaintances and they are very happy for your new life to begin, but it doesn't mean you have to invite everyone to your wedding. I get along great with the two women at my job now and they are very supportive of FH and I and the decisions we made. However, I do not see them or hang out with them outside of work. I don't really feel obligated to invite them to my future wedding (Infact, my one of the girls is getting married in May and I wasn't invited to her wedding. I am not bothered by it at all!)
FH was getting on my back about inviting everyone he works with to our wedding months ago. I asked him, "Dear, do you see any of these guys outside of work? Why would you like them to be present for our wedding?" He understood my point when I asked him that.

Good luck!

 

  

Daisypath Anniversary tickers

 

 

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BrighterThanSun... Posts : 853 Registered: 10/17/08
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 9, 2010 10:32 AM Go to message in response to: bosoxgirl

My problem is all of my darn highschool friends.

We had a circle of friends--15 of us--that were super, super close. I am talking lunch everyday, after school everyday and out on the weekends kind of close. Couldn't get enough of each other.

Now time has passed and about 12 of us are still super close. The other 3 we see at annual get togethers and we chat and catch up--but the connection isn't still there like it once was. Just the drifting that you expect after you graduate highschool.

However, I feel obligated to invite them because the other 12 are guaranteed an invite--they are some of my best friends still. But with adding upon new friends that I have met in University and other friends from school that were outside of that circle--the list is getting pretty steep. And those 3 others plus two of their SOs--that equals about another $500.

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mrscreamer2be Posts : 153 Registered: 6/14/09
Re: Where to draw the line when inviting friends?
Posted: Mar 9, 2010 12:18 PM Go to message in response to: BrighterThanSun...

This post came a little too late :(. Our guestlist has been a nightmare! We have 65 people attending, some of which I could care less if they were there. Oh well!

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