Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Wedding Guest List

My wedding, my list

I picked up a copy of the Daily Mail this morning and as I scheme- read most of the tiresome article on royal wedding plans for William and Kate, my eyes zoomed in on one expression - "tot's free zone!" Children and weddings, I cannot begin to lay into the immeasurable, opinionated and woolly conversations I have had on said subject with my friends. Since having children, I have been militant in defending the pro side of the argument mainly because I want to avoid extra childcare costs. But is it really fair for me to impose on the couple's guest list? Should they exhaust their budget, cancel lighting and seating arrangement, because of me? Unless of course the wedding is casual or outdoorsy!

Wedding guest lists can be one of the biggest headaches a couple has to deal with. If like me you are of African heritage and planning on going home for the ceremony, I suggest you deactivate your Facebook or twitter account months ahead of the wedding event. Failing that elope with your partner and prepare for a lifetime of  rantings about your disappointment of a wedding from the parents. This is because most African  parents are of the opinion, that their children's wedding is about them(the parents) and their social circles! It is an opportunity to show status, accomplishments, success.... the list goes on.They don't care that  a 65 year old divorced male business associate would have very little in common with a 30 year old fashion buyer friend of the bride-to-be whom he is seating next to! Not unless she appreciates an older man!

If on the other hand I were getting married in the UK, I would still have to deal with the in-laws wanting to invite 30 or so guests I have never or rarely met.The head count for family members, friends and their partners, will have a  major impact on the ever changing budget( invites, catering, drinks, favours the works). Such stress is enough to tempt you into ditching the whole do and opting for one with less fuss, eloping for an intimate ceremony or staying single! Well that's my world.

So what's the wedding etiquette for guest lists? Here's my advice: draw up a list that includes people you know really well as this will determine the budget, and stick to it.Bear in mind, venue capacity, transportation(if your ceremony venue is a bit far from the reception's) and factor in costs for favours, invitations, catering and wine corkage fee, cake size, centrepiece arrangement, cutlery......... point being the size of the guest list pretty much determines the majority of the budget.  Extended family and "every once in a while" friends are obviously out of the question. Do not worry about the uninvited few that might take offence, they always get over it in the end! Your day, your money, your guest list and your seating arrangement!


  1. couldn't agree more.. my wedding was only 25 people, but everyone who was there, was very much wanted. I think the success of any wedding almost totally depends on people who attend it. Invite a good crowd and you'll have the best day of your life laughing and having good time, or invite those who you rather not be there, and you'll be in the worst mood ever having to share your special day with them

  2. Kristina, I totally agree with you "invite a good crowd and you'll have the best day of your life!"