Although my speciality, of course, is ceremonies, I have quite some experience of other aspects of weddings, and I’d like to focus on guests today.
Wedding invitations typically inspire one of two reactions:
“Yay! I’m getting married! Who can I invite?”
Or “Yay! I’ve just been invited to X’s wedding!”
Yes, wedding guests (from whichever angle you look at them) are good news.
But let’s look at both angles a bit more closely. There might be some surprises.
Inviting the Guests
It’s all very well having all your favourite people together for your big occasion, but most couples have a budget, and it may not stretch to inviting just anyone.
So you have to make decisions as to who makes the cut. Not always easy. Compromise and patience are the watchwords here.
Then, of course, there’s the question of inviting children (where relevant) or not. And do you invite some, but draw the line at others?
And what about “significant others”?
You may have to take into account dietary preferences ,etc.
Seating plans for the breakfast are potentially a dangerous area!
How much do you actually pay for? For example, will you offer a couple of drinks free and then have a cash bar?
Then what do you offer for entertainment? Do you lay on special entertainment for children? Or for the elderly?
Do you want a Wedding List, or do you prefer no gifts?
These are all considerations that deserve to be mulled over.
Being a Guest
It’s an honour and (hopefully!) a delight to be invited as a guest. However, that comes with a few potential issues.
How easy is the wedding date for you to accommodate? Can you juggle bookings to ensure you are free? Do you really want to? What if it’s a destination wedding, which involves an extended period away (and indefinite expense)?
Are there liable to be personality clashes or embarrassing encounters (eg you know an ex will be invited)? Are you going to find an excuse, or will you grin and bear it?
What gift(s) are you expected to purchase? Can you find something that the couple want/need? Is that within a reasonable budget from your point of view?
Will you need to spend money on new clothing for the occasion?
How easy is transportation going to be? Will the wedding be in a separate venue to the reception? How accessible are they both?
Talking of money, according to American Express, the average wedding guest will spend (when all is said and done) almost £900 attending a wedding. That’s quite significant!
So, whichever side of the fence you are sitting, don’t jump straight into inviting guests left, right and centre. Equally, weigh up the invitation you have received so you can make the right decision.
If you’re looking for someone to conduct the ceremony, though, look no further!