You’re Invited…You’re NOT Invited

Recently we’ve been reading about a growing trend that evidently started in Europe about sending out, for lack of a better term, “You’re Not Invited’s”! Personally, I cannot imagine any of our brides doing that, and we would most definitely advise them against it!
Youre not invited

A subtle bit of advice, of course. With one of my not-so-quiet “are you out of your mind??” responses!

To me, this seems to suggest the classic touch of a bride-zilla. However, the more I read, the more it seems that more couples today are actually doing this, either by email, text messages, private Facebook messages, or even asking their wedding planners to call certain people and tell them, well, they aren’t going to be invited!

Since that particular item isn’t listed in any of our packages as being part of our services, we would definitely need to negotiate that one! Hurting people’s feelings, or insulting others, isn’t on our list of responsibilities. How would you feel if you got a call like that?

Drawing up your wedding guest list seems like a simple matter, but it’s definitely not the easiest task involved in the wedding planning. Unless you have an unlimited budget, and we haven’t met anyone yet who does, there are going to be people you’d like to invite, but just can’t. Your venue can’t accommodate but so many people, and neither can your budget. Sounds simple, right? Until you get started. Suddenly you find you have a lot more family than you thought, and a whole lot of friends that you really want to be there.
Scratched off Guest List

More than you can afford. More than your venue can accommodate. And your wedding planner can’t write out your guest list for you. We don’t know your friends and family. We don’t know the in’s and out’s of your relationships. So it’s up to the two of you! We just need a copy.

Now, you don’t want to invite your ex-boyfriend’s mother, even though you still like her. Nor do you want your friend Greg to bring his current girlfriend, because she happens to be your fiancé’s ex-girlfriend. And it wouldn’t be a good idea to have your aunt’s ex-husband there, even though you’re still sort of friends, because she’s coming and bringing her current boyfriend. And good heavens, your fiancé’s father is divorced and dating someone almost no one likes, and his mother will be upset to see him with the woman he left her for, and you really don’t want her to come either, but how do you avoid it?! Unless you elope?

Hmmm. Maybe these “you’re not invited’s” aren’t such a bad idea after all?

(We actually did find an example of a “you’re not invited” that we can see as almost fairly acceptable. It sort of combines an announcement with an explanation. What do you think?)
paulandkat com

But that’s the only example we found after searching for a couple of weeks. What does that tell you?

So what do you do when someone starts asking you about your wedding, and you naturally start talking about all the plans you’ve made so far, and then that person tells you how much they’re looking forward to being there? And they’re not on your list. You hadn’t even considered it. Do you tell them you haven’t even THOUGHT about the guest list yet? Oh, wait, you already mentioned something about that in the conversation…

You can always blame their not being included on your future husband/wife. “He/She just has too many relatives!” “We divided up the wedding tasks and he/she is in charge of the guest list. Not me.” “My parents are paying for everything and they’re in charge of the guest list. I don’t even know who’s on it.” Really?

“A-list” and “B-list” guests? If someone on the “A-list” can’t make it, do you have an extra back-up invitation or two you can send out to the first one on your “B-list”?
Stay Home

There’s actually no easy solution to any of this. There are some rules to follow, though, like only sending out Save the Date’s to people who are actually INCLUDED on the guest list. Or inviting friends to the bridal shower who are actually going to be invited to the wedding! You don’t want someone thinking that you think they’re good enough to buy you a gift, but not good enough to be at the wedding and reception itself! (Which is basically what you’re saying, isn’t it?)

And when you send out the actual invitations, be sure you make it perfectly clear whether it’s ok for your single friends to include a date, and whether your friends’ children are invited or not. (That’s a whole other topic!) Because that can add up to problems as well.

Bottom line solution….make your list. Check it twice. Or more. Yes, you’re stuck with some of the obnoxious relatives you really would rather not be there, but then again, it’s YOUR wedding, and you deserve to have it [mostly] like you want when it comes to the guest list.
Invitation on plate

And please…don’t go out and buy a set of non-invitations that look like invitations to send out when you send your real invitations. I mean, you’re trying to cut costs? You just added them! And gave the “B-list” people something else to complain about when they’re talking to the “A-list” people.

And for goodness’ sake…don’t make a “C-list”!

Photo Sources: 1st Row: Source Unknown- 2nd Row: Source Unknown- 3rd Row: paulandkat.com- 4th Row: Source Unknown – 5th Row: Source Unknown

Making a List and Checking it….??

We’ve all seen those signs on Pinterest that say something like “Today two families become one, so pick a seat, not a side!”

Well, in theory that’s certainly true. However, sometimes in reality that’s not quite the way it works! (But wouldn’t it be nice if it did?!)

And if only it was just dealing with where someone is going to sit at the ceremony and the reception. More on that in another post!

One of the first (and sometimes most stressful) parts of planning the wedding for the bride and groom is writing out the guest list. Because it’s not usually just the two of you putting it together! Oh, no. Your families are going to want to include their invitees, and rightfully so if they’re paying for the wedding, or even a portion of it. That’s just how it works.

But the guest list can become a real point of contention, sometimes to the point of total “knock down, drag out” arguments in which you don’t speak to each other for days! And that is something you need to avoid.
telegraph-co-uk

The hard truth is, #1, there is a budget. Each guest costs $XX. And #2, unless you’re holding your wedding and reception somewhere with 3-4 moveable walls to accommodate half of a small town, you’re not going to have enough room for your second cousin twice removed and his whole family, or your great aunt Martha who you haven’t seen in twenty years!
Scratched off Guest List

So where do you start?

Tradition says that each side should have an equal number of people invited. However, that tradition is not always strictly adhered to any more, since the couple usually counts their friends as THEIR friends, not his or her friends. Some families and extended families aren’t as large as others. And there are always some out of town family members who need to be invited and almost certainly won’t be able to come. At least so you think! Until they get their invitation! And guess what…they’re coming!bridalguide com

So have your fiancé and his family write out their list of “must invite” and “would like to invite” and “should invite”. You and your family do the same. (This sounds better than an “A” list and a “B” list, even though that’s sort of what you’re doing.) Go ahead and include family, friends, and anyone from your offices that you might think you should ask. But be careful here! Unless you’re really, really close to some of your co-workers, it’s usually best to leave them off the list!

After you have these lists, then ALL of you talk it over. And yes, you do need to agree, at least for the most part, on who you’re inviting. So who’s on the lists? Immediate family, well hopefully you already know each other’s immediate family. If not, you will really soon! Sort-of-distant family. Ok, we got that. And those people who will get really mad at you if they’re not invited, but someone else is. Family Feud may be a game show on TV, but it can really rear its scary head during the preparing of the wedding guest list! Aunt Sylvia is invited but Cousin Harold isn’t? You’ll never hear the end of it! Or your mom and her cousin haven’t spoken to each other in years because of some family incident no one can even remember, but you’re still not sure an invitation should be sent…..Angry woman.

Then you have your friends. And their “significant other”. You really shouldn’t invite someone to come to a wedding by themselves. You’re going to have to try to include “and guest” on the invitation. After all, if you were in that position, wouldn’t you be upset? And remember to include the spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend in the guest count for the bridal party, too.

Now here’s another sticky area. What if one of your really good friends is now dating one of your “ex’s”? And wants to bring him/her. That could be quite interesting. For everyone. As well as uncomfortable, depending on how the relationship ended. (And whether your future spouse knows about him/her!) Hopefully you and your friend can talk it out rationally and come to a solution. Because there’s really no cookie cutter answer for this one. backthird com

And no, you shouldn’t invite your ex’s brother/sister/mom/dad, etc. no matter how much you still like them.

Then you have the acquaintances who may just assume they’re going to be invited. And keep trying to find out details about your wedding, and then they start telling you how they can’t wait until your big day! Well, neither can you! But they’re not invited. What do you do? Well, just mention you’re still working on your guest list and how big a task it’s turning out to be. Then change the subject! And don’t think that just because someone invited you and your fiancé to their wedding that you HAVE to invite them. Or if someone gives you an engagement gift without being invited to a party or shower, that doesn’t mean they have to be invited either. If you hadn’t planned on inviting them, don’t do it! That’s your decision, not theirs!girlsofwisdom

Stepfamilies are always another bit of a touchy area. If you’re in that position, and unless everyone really does get along well with each other, it’s going to take a bit of diplomacy to get through this one. And we’re only talking the inviting right now, not the seating at the ceremony and reception. That’s a whole other blog for another day!

There’s also another tricky question, and that’s whether or not you invite children. But it’s also something you’re going to have to sit down and discuss (and possibly with those who have kids that aren’t going to be allowed to bring them) because you’re always going to have someone who gets mad if they can’t bring their children. Just bear in mind that when you have a flower girl and/or ring bearer, there are children at the wedding! And you have to be careful where you draw the line! Again, that’s a whole other blog to follow shortly.james thomas long photography

And when you’re doing the food count, you should also include your pastor and his/her spouse (who may or may not attend the reception), as well as vendor meals to feed your photographer and DJ’s/band members. And the wedding planner, too! If we have time to eat anything, that is.

Sound like you’re getting ready to walk through a mine field? Well, in some cases that’s exactly what can happen! Just remember, you only have so much in your budget, and your venue only holds so many people. If you have to, use that as an excuse if someone actually has the nerve to ask why they aren’t invited. Which they might.

This is also good training for your married life ahead, because there’s going to be lots of times where you and your spouse are going to disagree and you’re going to have to compromise, and sometimes those disagreements are going to be involving both of your families!

Remember it’s YOUR wedding! The final choice is yours!

(And if all else fails, you can always elope! Then just have a big party!)lilysbridalnet

Photo Sources: 1st Row: iloveswmag.com; via etsy – 2nd Row: telegraph.co.uk – 3rd Row: source unknown- 4th Row: bridalguide.com – 5th Row: thebettermom.com – 6th Row: backthird.com – 7th Row: girlsofwisdom blog –8th Row: James Thomas Long Photography – 9th Row: lilysbridal.net

Asking Dad First…It’s Still the Thing to Do

Call us old fashioned…but the tradition of the guy coming to his girlfriend’s dad and asking for her hand in marriage, well, as outdated as you may think that sounds…we still like the idea! After all, this is a big step. It’s more than just dating. It’s a commitment. A lifetime commitment. And no matter how close your future husband is to your parents, and/or your dad in particular, we can guarantee, that almost always, the guy is going to be nervous!

Sure, dad always tries to put forth that “no guy is ever going to be good enough for MY daughter” attitude. He jokes around that he’s always got the shotgun ready. He talks about buying a t-shirt that has some saying on it about “50 reasons for not dating my daughter”. He probably even has one of the humorous “application to date my daughter” papers that someone gave him when his little girl was old enough to start dating…you know, the one that asks the guy if he has life insurance, if he’s ever been arrested, if he plans on getting her home every night at 8:00, and ends with “I’ll let you know if your application has been approved in ten years or so!”
ebay com au

Yeah. That’s her dad. And since you love her more than anything and want to marry her, well, you have to go to him and ask HIS permission. Asking her might be easier. Because you’re fairly sure she’ll say YES! Dad may be a different story.

Before we go any further, yes we know that times are different now. There are lots of cases where she lives with her mom, rather than her mom and dad. Dad may or may not be in her life. Or if he is, he may live out of town and you may never have even met him. (In which case, a trip out of town may definitely be in order! With your soon-to-be fiancée of course!) Or dad may have passed away, and her mom is the one you have to talk to. Or maybe an uncle or a stepdad.

Gets a bit complicated here, doesn’t it?

Bottom line is, unless there’s a really, REALLY good reason…there’s almost always someone that she looks up to whose permission you should get before you propose! Not only are you making the first of many public statements of how you feel about her by asking permission to marry her, you’re also showing your respect. And believe me, even though you may think it’s not that important, trust us…it is. And it also establishes the tone for your new relationship. You’re no longer going to be regarded as that boy who’s dating his daughter. You’re going to be a family member. A son-in-law as well as a husband! You’re taking on a whole new responsibility.
miabridal couture blogspot

So what’s the best way and time to do this? Definitely BEFORE you propose to her. There’s that asking permission thing. Just be sure that she has the same feelings that you do! Because you don’t want to get her dad’s permission, and then find out SHE has no desire to marry you! But that situation is few and far between, as the saying goes.

Having recently gone through this, we do have some good advice for any young man who’s made up his mind that he’s going to propose. (And let me add one part here…our future son-in-law Chris did everything the right way – we were out of town on vacation, and he drove over an hour to get to where we were staying to ask Ben’s permission, even though we were coming back the next day! He’d made up his mind, and already had the ring, so he wanted to make sure all the pieces were in place, even though the actual proposal was some two weeks away!)
Truck

So you’re scared? Nervous? Don’t be. Well, if you haven’t been around her dad a lot, we can sort of understand your being a bit apprehensive, but still… And by all means, don’t do it over the phone or by text message or email! Don’t tweet it or post a message on Facebook to him! Unless you’re on two different continents, and there are no plans to be together any time soon, well, in that case you can hook up your Skype and do it that way!

You need to do this face to face. Eyeball to eyeball. In private. You don’t want an audience. This is one of the most important conversations you’re going to have. And guess what. You have to start the dialogue, because chances are, her dad is going to know immediately why you’re there! And he’s going to wait until YOU start talking, because he wants to maintain that last bit of control that he’s getting ready to lose.
stgeorgeutah com

You may have rehearsed what you’re going to say a hundred times in your own mind. But guess what…when it’s time to actually say those words to your future father-in-law, you may forget everything you’d planned to say. Which is fine. Because you really need to speak from your heart. This is the time to tell him how much you love his daughter, and how sure you are that you want to spend the rest of your life with her. And if you stumble over the words, well, that’s ok, too.

Your heart is what’s important. And trust me, he’s going to know where your heart is as soon as you start talking. And he’s going to keep picturing that little girl playing dress up, while you’re picturing your future wife walking down the aisle in her wedding dress! Two totally separate pictures!

Chances are by the time you’ve said all that, you’re finally going to be able to breathe again, because you probably won’t be breathing too well when you start the conversation.

Then you have to wait for his answer. And please be sure you actually ASK for his permission to marry his daughter. Because if you don’t ask the question, how can he give you his answer???!

Now you also have to remember there are a lot of things going through HIS mind as well! (And possibly one day you’ll be on the opposite end of this conversation!) He’s realizing that his baby isn’t a baby or a child any more. He automatically thinks about all the days with her when HE was her main guy! That’s sort of hard to take as a dad…or a mom. And there are a lot of thoughts in his head that he doesn’t know how to deal with either. And I don’t mean thinking about paying for a wedding, because that’s the last thing on his mind at that point!
deeprootsathome com via tumblr

Bottom line…this is the time you and your future father-in-law really start to connect. Forget all the stereotypes you see in the movies, like where the dad yells and throws the guy out of the house, or threatens to have him disappear, or says something sarcastic like “I hope this time she actually goes through with it, instead of dumping you at the last minute like she did the other guys, because I think I actually like you!”

As much as you imagine in your mind all the bad ways this could go…it won’t. You’ll be fine. Her dad will be fine. Just be sure you make him promise not to say anything to his daughter until you actually get up your nerve to ask her!

Photo Sources: 1st Row: ebay.com.au- 2nd Row: miabridalcouture.blogspot- 3rd Row: stgeorgeutah.com- 4th Row: manynamesofamandablogspot.com; tressugar.com – 5th Row: deeprootsathome.com via tumblr