Invitation Heartache

Wedding drama is certainly inevitable.  We must accept that as fact. Family issues, budget stress, decision-making challenges...but nothing seems to cause more anxiety than who to invite, and perhaps more importantly, who not to invite.

Creating a guest list should be one of the first things you do once you are ready to plan your wedding.  I tell my clients only to invite people who will be thrilled to support them.  In some cases, especially with family, this is easier said than done.  I had clients who were torn up because one of their aunts had signed the anti-gay marriage petition in Massachusetts, and her name was found on KnowThyNeighbor.org.  The aunt was invited anyway.  I am hopeful that witnessing that beautiful wedding changed her heart and mind (as it often does).

It's difficult knowing where to draw the line with your wedding guest list but you have to, and not only because of the budget implications!  Many couples even find themselves having to invite friends of their parents that they don't know very well.  Do you invite friends you haven't talked to in three or more years if the friendship has grown apart?  Do you have to invite everyone whose wedding you attended, even if it was many years ago and the friendship hasn't survived?  Do work colleagues get invited?  What about friends from high school and college that you reconnected with via Facebook?  And I'm not even going to address the "and guest" issue right now.  How do you draw the line in peace, without being judged?

I'm sorry to report that I don't have the answer. I can only empathize and let you know that I've gone through the same thing.  In our case, in part because of the maximum capacity of the venue, and because I wanted to invite my vast extended family, we hit limitations.  We decided not to invite work colleagues or parent friends, and we basically only invited friends who were currently active in our life.  I felt strongly about including some people from my past (who live out of state) who saw me through difficult times, and/or were a role model to me.  And that meant that others didn't make the cut.  It seems almost impossible not to offend someone.

You can read up about the A list and the B list of sending invitations.  I can tell you that logistically it's a bit awkward, but certainly an option, though not one we chose.

I should note that all of this is on my mind because I just discovered that I'd been defriended as a Facebook friend by someone who knows about the wedding, did not get invited, but to whom I'd once been close (there was no dramatic falling out, just a circumstance-related growing apart).  I got defriended and it hurts, but somehow I must have hurt her.  And unfortunately, there is the rub.

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