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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ups & Downs of Wedding Planning: Guest List

         We all know planning a wedding can be as fun, or as stressful as you choose to make it. Everything in life is a CHOICE, for the most part, given you don't have a gun to your head. Well my fiance and I have chosen to make this experience as stress-free as possible. How? Well let me tell you!
          We know that most of the financial burden will be placed on our own shoulders, which is to be expected. We are grown-ups, graduated from college, living in our own home that we bought. This wedding is what WE want, so WE should be the ones footing the bill. I mean it never made sense to me that a parent had to PAY to send their own child off into the future. Once you turn 18, you are an adult and your own responsibility, your parents don't have to pay for crap! lol Now if they do, wonderful! That is a sincere, thoughtful gift. SO, since we are footing the bill, to have the wedding we want (or more specifically I want since Henry's idea was to skydive while we say our I-do's), and to the have the honeymoon we want (more specifically Henry since he is the biggest world traveler), we will have a 2 yr 6 month long engagement to save for the entire thing.

The first stop on our honeymoon - Mykonos - one of the beautiful Greek islands, recommended by a greek family friend - known for its night-life! Oh I cannot wait!
       We are having a laid back wedding. I mean the groom and the groomsmen will be wearing Blake Shelton like attire on the wedding day - aka blue jeans, boots, & a nice suit jacket. Myself & the bridesmaids will be wearing cowgirl boots. It's Texas, the wedding is outdoors, & we want people to be able to move & dance freely, not be restricted by formal attire - I want our guests to be COMFORTABLE - that is so important to us - this is after all a celebration, we want people to party!

From the - Henry and I love the look of Blake Sheltons attire on his wedding day. Henry was rather shocked that this city girl was willing to let him be so comfortable on his wedding day, but this is Henry's style, He isn't Mr. Tux & Bow-Tie - his groomsmen seem to be equally happy. :-) Which in turn makes me happy. Everyone is HAPPY! YIPPEE!
        But, there are always going to be bumps in any sort of wedding process - our bump - the guest list. Now most horror stories are how the Mother-of-the-Bride & Mother-in-Law-To-Be are wanting each and every family member that ever saw you once since you were knee-high to attend your wedding. People you have probably only ever seen once or twice, or probably don't even remember seeing! Relatives who may have been important in their lives through the years, but probably weren't very present in YOUR life. Guests should be people that are important to BOTH of you, yes there may be a distant relative or two who is important to the groom or bride that one has never met, sure, invite them! But our problem isn't family members wanting other family members to be invited - our problem is US.
The best in-laws a girl could ever dream of having! I love Herman & Blondie like I do my own parents - they have been there for me and supported me as if I was another one of their SIX kids! They are some of the most self-less people I have ever met. I am truly blessed to have them in my life.

         We both have rather LARGE families, so the majority of our list consists of family members. Henry being from a small town also has a TON of friends he has known since junior high, even elementary - and he wants all of them there! ALL. OF. THEM. Half of these people I have never met, some of them have straight up to my face said they don't even like me - now why on earth would I want these people at OUR wedding? The wedding should be to celebrate US with people who know and support US. If I don't know you, or have never met you, then in my opinion that name is off the list. Not only does he want those friends I have never met attending, he wants their families there too. I love and adore the fact that Henry has so many friends he loves. I think that is awesome! But what I love about Henry, is also part of what I hate. Lord help me.
Some of the best friends I could ever ask for who will most definitely be there to celebrate our big day with us! From left to right: Jordan, Kristin, Lauryn (bridesmaid), myself, Casey (best-man), Emily, Henry, Danni (bridesmaid), Trevor
We have definitely been through some adventures with this group!

        Ok let me break this down for you so you can understand. Our guest attendance on our wedding day is ideally 150 people - mostly because of cost and the venue size. They say half the people you invite won't show. So let's say we invite 300 people. That is 150 people for Henry, 150 for me. After FAMILY we both only have room for like 30 friends each. Which given my situation, my family are my friends, and most of my friends coming are involved in the wedding aka bridesmaids. Then there are a select few friends I knew through high-school that will be invited, and then another select few I met in college and post college. So let's say that is 15 friends. This now gives Henry 45 friends to invite. After Henry's friends, and friends family members, our guest list has exceeded 500 - FIVE-HUNDRED! THAT IS 200 - TWO. HUNDRED. MORE THAN WE PLANNED ON INVITING. What is his reasoning for inviting each person? I lived with this guy for a year - I never met him - I stayed with this family a few times -I don't know this family - I stayed with this other family a few times - This family doesn't even speak ENGLISH! Much less, do I know them - This friend offered to let us come stay with him in Argentina, we have to invite him - Again, never met the dude - I hung out with this guy a lot during high-school - And?

3 of my best friends from high-school & college celebrating our ring dunk with us! A very important, very serious, Texas A&M tradition celebrating the long hard 90 hours it took to receive our Aggie Rings! Left to right: Sean, Chris, myself, Ross, Henry

A night at our house in Cleburne - A few of Henry's guy friends from high-school came over to enjoy an old game they for some odd reason ENJOY playing. Duck taping beer to your hand - you must drink all the beer before you can un-duck tape it - so good luck going to the bathroom gentlemen! Chug-a-lug! Left to Right: Lorenzo (groomsman), Carlos, Justin (groomsman), Henry
Of all Henry's female friends in Cleburne, these two are my absolute favorites! They are a blast to hang out with and completely genuine. Lacey actually owns a party rental business & helping us decorate our wedding! Left to right: Myself, Haleigh, Lacey
          Let's not even get me started on the awkward situation of having a "friend" tell me they don't like me to my face, continually talk crap to my face & from what other friends tell me behind my back as well, tell Henry he doesn't like who he's become since he's met me and then pretend everything is A-OKAY and everyone's still best buds. I mean a few cordial, very short, post-drama hangouts do not necessarily mean a changed man. THEN we both are friends with the family members, so now how do we go about inviting the "friend" AND their family? OR not invite the "friend", but still invite the family? Awkward. It's a completely inconvenient situation because some friends can't handle other friends growing up. Everyone has that friend. I had that friend in college & am no longer friends with her, she wanted me to be her single, drinking, dancing BFF forever - and I met Henry - she didn't like that -so I had to move on without her. Which was semi-easy, because we eventually moved to different states. Henry has that same friend, he wants Henry to be his traveling, stupidly drunk, party all the time, bachelor BFF - and Henry met me - he didnt like that - only problem, Henry is from a small-town, you can't just drop a friend and move on. EVERYONE knows your business, everyone hangs out with everyone, ALWAYS AND FOR FREAKING EVER. SO, there is no avoiding any one person, unless you want to avoid the whole town. Not happening. I love this town too much to let one person and a few insults ruin that for us.
         We both would LOVE to invite everyone, even the drunkenly rude friend despite his numerous past mishaps and insults - but, since the problem always starts when drinking gets involved how do we insure that the person who openly admits they don't support us, doesn't openly disprove of us or embarrass us on our wedding day? In front of all our friends and family? Do we take the gamble, be nice, and invite him, hoping that he has matured in some way to be happy for us? Then that also means, this friend gets a spot in front of 200 other perfectly sweet, supportive friends, who have never insulted us. That makes me cringe a bit. Or do we go by past experiences, assume it will once again happen and avoid any possible chance of drama? Which means a permanent split in small town gatherings because so-and-so wasn't invited and now we can't all hang out in the same group anymore. Which is rather childish, but apparently how this small town works. It's a fine line because we want to be friends with everyone - we want everyone to come to our wedding! If we could afford it we would have all 500 people come to our wedding. But we can't, much less will our venue hold that many lol.

SB10 - Hanging out with my sister, best friend, and 2 friends of Henry who are awesome! I love these two guys, despite their sassy attitudes. Yes, I said sassy. Left to right: Benito, myself, Stefanie (Maid of Honor/Sister), Lorenzo (Groomsman), Danni (Bridesmaid)

Cleburne guys celebrating Henry's successful Ring Dunk! :-) Left to right: Gilbert, Jesus, Benito, Henry, Lorenzo (Groomsman), Justin (Groomsman), Casey (Best Man)

One of our many girls night adventures. Best girlfriends a girl could ask for! You can bet these women will be dancing fools alongside me on my wedding day and I CAN NOT WAIT! Left to right: Emily, Myself, Kristin, Lauryn (Bridesmaid), Stefanie (Maid of Honor/Sister), Danni (Bridesmaid)
          So, this is where we stand. Torn between many, many friends, who have been there through the ups and downs, the goods and bads. I mean why do we have to be so dang awesome and loved? If more people would hate us, it would make this a lot easier. JK :-) Oh the lovely bumps in wedding planning. We need to figure this out quick too, because Save-the-Dates are like a month away from being sent out.
         Any advice or tips - lecturing - please feel free to provide! I love all of it! <3


  1. Girl, that's a hard one! I'd limit it to those closest to you both. Forget the ppl that said "hello" to you at the bus stop or said you had a place to stay in a foreign country "if you ever where in their neck of the woods" or the single friend who just wants to make havoc of your relationship. Your wedding day is a celebration of the two of you with the people that mean the most to you. If that's 150 people, then that's the number. You want to surround yourselves with people who completely, wholeheartedly support and love the two of you. It's y'alls day and no one else's. And it's not up to you to make everyone happy. Those people, if they are real friends, will understand why you didn't invite them (and if they don't, tough tootie). It's up to you to make this the best day of your lives, not anyone else's.

  2. I'll tell you how we will control any mishaps during the wedding...don't forget, your Daddy is a TEXAS PEACE OFFICER and will have EVERY RIGHT to escort a misbehaving drunk right OFF the premises, at the LEAST.
    Even though it will be your wedding day, he will still be packing and have his hand-cuffs ready...if need be, waiting for the local P.D. to come pick him up. And you know he'll do it.

    As for weddings, they are a sacred event that is tender and lasts a's not a time to feel obligated to the old friend or for networking...that can happen later at a company party. It's not a function that you will want to look back at photos of ten years from now and not recognize half the people attending. Obligations to acquaintances stops with a wedding. Besides, getting married is a poignant moment, does Henry REALLY want everyone who is not really a "support system" on a daily basis watching him in his jelly moment? A wedding is to invite those who mean the most in your world, as a witness to your vows before God. If you cheapen the wedding by inviting distant acquaintances, then you are lessening the importance of your wedding vows because every disconnected Tom, Dick and Harry in attendance would probably rather be at the dog races.


  3. P.S. As we discussed, a wedding is not necessarily a "party," although it is a "celebration" indeed. There is a HUGE difference in knowing the difference between the two as a mature adult. For those who can celebrate your wedding in a respectful manner, fitting for the venue and life-changing moment, that is great! For those who only want to come to the wedding as another excuse to party, well, those individuals might better serve everyone and themselves by sticking with making plans to go to the club down the street because they won't exactly give a flip about this celebration being all about the exchanging of VOWS and a new life beginning for you both, as husband and wife. So, I'd say that the people who don't know the difference between a party or a celebration should be off the list. That's a bit of Mama-Advice. Love you!


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