I've been keeping journals since I was in the 3rd grade and I'm so glad to share some of my most intimate life moments with you here! Here, you'll find inspirational and encouraging stories of me and other broken people like me. We are all jars of clay who have been afflicted in every way, but not crushed...struck down by not destroyed. Here, you do NOT have the right to remain silent, so as you read, grab your favorite snack and drink and leave a comment...share YOUR story. I can't wait to connect with you in this beautiful safe space.
have set the date (EEK!!), set the budget and picked the venue, we’re tackling the inevitable…The guest list (insert a very long deep sigh here).
Writing names, crossing off names, putting asterisks by names…I seriously have written out my list dozens of times. With us deciding we wanted an intimate celebration, I knew it was going to be hard, but I had no idea it was going to be THIS hard! There are so many people that I know and love and as much as I would love to sugarcoat this, I can’t. Deciding who makes the final list is very stressful. Sometimes, I get a headache just thinking about it. So in the age of social media, how do you decide which of your several hundred “friends” to invite after you’ve posted your engagement photos online? They may not work for everyone, but following a few simple rules have helped me to not completely lost my mind:
1. Decide on the guest count early and STICK TO IT.
As I said earlier, Ethan and I decided a while ago that we wanted an intimate celebration. I admit once we set the number, there were a few times where my portion of the list actually exceeded it. As hard as it was, I knew I had to let go of of a few people in order to stick to our agreed upon number. This is where I’ve begin to really master the art of compromise. It may be really tempting to up your budget to accommodate everyone you have ever crossed paths with, but remember: your wedding, though one of the best days of your life, is just that…a day. When all is said and done, you two will be married and will have to live.
2. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE PARENTALS!
There are days that I’m convinced that our mothers are more excited about this day than we are and understandably so. With me being the oldest and Ethan being the youngest and only boy, the fact that we’re the first of their children to get married makes them crazy happy. When putting together your guest list, it’s easy to write down only your friends and a few family members, but when including people in the number, don’t forget to let your parents get some shine too. Though this is a big day for you two, this is a MONUMENTAL day for them! Their babies are getting married and there are going to be people they want to share this day with as well. Keep in mind, they may get a little extra excited and want to invite their entire church committee or bridge club, so be sure to include them on the guest count discussion. By keeping an open line of communication, you’ll be sure to avoid hurting feelings later.
3. FOLLOW THE ONE-YEAR RULE
If you follow me on Instagram, you are familiar with this image I posted a while ago.
Some of you may laugh, but trust me..this thing? Has been a TOTAL lifesaver!! There are a lot of people who are near and dear to my heart for various reasons. So naturally, I feel slightly horrible when I have to cross them off the list. When you’re not sure which friend to cut from your dream list, start with this question: “Have I seen or spoken to this person in the last year?” Obviously, some people may not apply to this rule (like family members or friends who may be out of the country), but I PROMISE you…having some sort of guest list manager and being honest with yourself while you use it, will save you a lot of time.
4. KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.
When I find myself on the brink of insanity crunching the numbers and reviewing the version 45 of the final guest list, Ethan is right there to pull me from the ledge. He reminds me to take a deep breath and remember that everything will work out. Whoever is meant to there will be there and it’s as simple as that (this is one of the MANY reasons I’ve decided to keep him around 🙂 ). But he’s right. Sure you want everyone there, but stressing out over it, isn’t going to do you any good. So why stress? Why allow yourself to even get to that place? Take a deep breath, maybe take a sip of wine (or…a few sips) and trust that everything will work out.
As fun as it is, planning a wedding is TOUGH. A lot of fun (and not-so-fun) decisions have to be made and perhaps no task is more daunting than deciding on who will be there. At the end of the day, do what’s best for you two and go with your gut. Believe me…it will all fall right into place. 🙂
(This is one my new favorite images of us and it was taken by the amazing T.Y. Photography!! I can’t wait to share more…OMG!)