It’s time to do that dreaded task. You know the one we mean – the one you’ve been pushing off until the last minute. Yes, we’re referring to the guest list. That typed out list of the people lucky enough to get an invite to your wedding. First, let’s understand the nature of the guest list. Guest lists are delicate: forget to invite that one friend and they may never speak to you again, invite that distant cousin of yours that loves nothing more than to cause a commotion and you may regret your decision for the rest of your life – or at least until your 50th wedding anniversary. Guest lists take time, patience, effort. They are usually agonized over weeks before the actual invitations go out. Because it’s such a delicate balance, we have recognized the need for a set of guidelines to help you get to the bottom of who to invite without causing any tears in the process. Below you will find 5 questions to ask yourself each time you’re faced with a Should-I-shouldn’t-I scenario. When used correctly these questions will act like a quiz that will land you with a yes or no answer and will replace indecisive hemming and hawing with that one thing we all long for: certainty.
Question #1: How does this person make me feel when I’m around them?
If you have a positive relationship with the person in question it is only natural that you will want to be surrounded by them and their positive energy. If, however, the person you’re debating about whether or not to invite makes you feel angry, annoyed, irritated or even jealous, it is probably a good idea to leave them off the guest list. After all, on the happiest day of your life the last thing you need is one of your guests to spread negative energy. If they won’t want to be there, you don’t want them there either.
Question #2: Do I want this person to share in my special day?
Pretty self-explanatory. If you want that person to be at your wedding and you’ll miss them if they’re not there, it’s probably a good indication that they are important to you in some way and you should therefore invite them. People that might fall into this category may include people who had an unexpected impact on you in some way. Think: that one high school teacher who saw the potential in you or your hairdresser who you have a long standing relationship with.
Question #3: When was the last time I spoke to this person?
Some relationships can go months without any contact in between, and when you do touch base again it’s as if nothing has changed. However, most relationships need consistent communication to thrive properly. If they are your friend on Facebook but you haven’t communicated with them online or in person in what feels like forever, chances are it is not essential to have them at your wedding.
Question #4: How far back can my relationship with this person be traced?
The exception to the above is in the case of old childhood friends, friends we shared a history with, but perhaps are no longer in touch with. If you spent eight years of your life running from their house to your own, planning mischief and telling secrets, this person played a big part of your life. You may not speak to them frequently anymore but if you still have fond memories of your time together you may want to consider sending them an invite.
Question #5: Will I regret my decision if I don’t invite them?
Decisions are hard, but if you know that not inviting someone will mean you’ll end up regretting your decision for some reason, that in itself is a good enough reason to invite them to your wedding. And, hey, if the only reason you might regret your decision is because that person brings great energy to a party, so be it. That’s a reason just like any other.
So there we have it: 5 important questions to ask yourself when stuck with a guest list that just won’t write itself. Consider your relationship with the guest in question, trace it back to where it started and follow it through to where it is now. If that person was once important to you, there may be a chance they are still important to you, even if you don’t have much in common. Invite people you will feel good about being there and who have had a positive impact on you in some way. The guests you invite should all be on the list because you want them to be there. It’s your special day and a well thought out guest list is your first step to enjoying it.