Chatper Eleven: The List

28 April 2008 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Guest List, Insights | Leave a comment
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[She Writes]

Lately, one topic seems to be bothering a lot of soon-to-weds out there – GUESTS.  That’s right.  The people who had the least (or even nothing at all) to do for the entire wedding can bring about the most worries.  Especially in a country where RSVP holds no meaning and the term family extends up to the entire barangay, this is a major dilemma for couples.

There are those who don’t seem to understand the difference between YES and NO.  They say “No,” they will not attend, but will show up on the actual wedding day anyway.

Still others don’t seem to know how to read.  While their invitation is addressed to “Mr. & Mrs. John Smith” along with an escort card that clearly states “We have reserved 2 seats for you,” they bring along little Jack and Jane at the reception.  At which point did the Universe decide that 2 is the same as 4?

The problem may even stem from the family.  There are lucky brides and grooms with level-headed parents who understand and help the situation by sticking to the set number of guests they can invite or by offering a bit of monetary support.   These are, of course, quite rare.  Most are blessed with crazy families who not only refuse to stick to inviting 50 people, but have the gall to complain that they are given such a small number of people to invite.

Because many people don’t really know what it’s like to plan a wedding, they also have no idea how even just one person can spell all the difference in the set-up, seating, and expenses.

A number of couples tried to remedy the situation by posting a sort of “Wedding Guest Etiquette” on their wedsites to subtly (or not-so-subtly) let their guests know how the heck they should behave.  This might do the trick, but not everyone will likely visit the wedsite.  Others said that they did the opposite of word-of-mouth, and requested their families NOT to tell anybody about the wedding so they won’t be pressured to invite people just because they know about it.

In our case, my fiance and I have already drafted a guest list, which I should have shown our parents a couple months ago (so I’m blogging about it to remind myself).  We’re sure that our parents will be adding to the list.  Our set number of guests is pretty flexible although we already have a ceiling number in our minds.  Once this “quota” is reached, that’s when we will review the list and discuss who we can cut from it.  This way, we’re hoping that the dilemma at least won’t come from the family.

For shameless guests who refuse to be nice and insist on adding to everyone’s stress, we will probably send them this reply card:

Reply Card

And hope they take the hint.  Maybe we’ll also include the following:

___ Will say yes but won’t show because something important will come up that day

___ Will decline to respond but attend and bring five other people you don’t know

But seriously, I’ve surrendered to the fact that there’s really no way of being in complete of control of the details – whether it’s the guest list, the food, or the weather.  So I plan to just enjoy the whole planning process – the fun and stress of it all,  and try to stay light-hearted about the problems because forty or fifty years down the road, the only person I’ll probably remember attending our wedding is the man who said “I Do” with me.

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