Blushing Belle: The Wedding Guests

5 Things To Consider When Writing Your Guest List

1. Write down the "dream list" and work backwards.

First thing, write down absolutely everyone and their mother that you would want at your wedding, and total it up. You could have a ballpark number anywhere from 60 to 600 people at the end of this. I suggest utilizing an Excel sheet, for it helps with the math BIG TIME. (BOOM BONUS CONSIDERATION!). This dream list will be a tangible list to work off of so you can't accidentally forget to invite Aunt Margret or something like that. However, you can tell from your budget how many people you can accommodate or not. Work backwards from here. After you write down your dream list, consult your parents--especially if they are paying for the wedding in any capacity. They will want to have some say in people that come to the event. Not everyone on the list will be able to go, so the list will shrink naturally. Then you can cross off as you go.

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2. There will be guests there that you don't like.

Kind of screwed up right? Well, so are people. There are inevitably going to be guests at your wedding you wouldn't even share the same oxygen with if you had the chance, but they are going to be there because they are important to someone you love, or were a big part of your life, or they're great at first--but it's just when they start to drink or eat enough shrimp or "Gingham Style" comes on, they become absolutely insufferable. When you are creating your final guest list, the best option you have is to mark these people down. That way you'll be able to know for sure whether or not you'll have some kind of headache at your wedding. You also have to remember that there are plenty of people that are going to try and ruing your day, but you have to simply remember that it is YOUR day.

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3. Kids or no kids?

There are only about 13 things worse than a screaming infant in the middle of trying to say your vows to your future spouse. When you are planning your wedding, consider how many children will have to come, how old those children will be, etc. Do you want kids there? If so, what kind of environment are you presenting for them? Kids can complicate things, but they are still a part of the family. However, it is just something that you may want to think about when coming up with the guest list.

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4. Don't forget the entertainment/vendors.

Some vendors and entertainment individuals should be considered on the guest list for food costs. For some venues, the venue charges per head for food. If you do not include your photographer, DJ, and any other vendors you might know that will be participating in the reception for the whole time, then they may not be fed--which would really be NOT cool. Be sure to keep track of how many vendors you will have at the wedding/reception in order to prepare accordingly.

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5. Pick a seat, not a side--unless you're going to kill each other.

The beauty of wedding planning is that you have the opportunity to control a lot of things. Remember earlier when I mentioned the fact that there are going to be dumb people at your wedding? Well, sometimes people only get dumb around other people--so separate them. If you know your Uncle Tony doesn't get along with his Aunt Lydia, then seat them as far away from each other as possible. There are going to be a ton of people at the wedding, make sure the tables make sense. The key to great tables, is allowing for at least three people at a table of seven to know each other really well, at least five people kind of know the others, and everyone can basically pick the others out of a line up if they had to.

6. Who and how many do you want?

You and your spouse get to decide how large or small you want your wedding to be. You get to pick the size of your wedding parties, if you want to do a 10 person courthouse wedding, or a 400 person gala. At the end of the day, the guest list comes down to your preference, budget and mind.

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Blushing Belle: Wedding Expo 101

Wedding Expos are so incredibly fun, crowded, insane, hectic, packed with vendors, and AWESOME. However, they can more often than not be kind of overwhelming.

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1. Utilize the buddy system.

Going to an expo with your gal pal, Mom, or even your bridal party is a great idea. First of all, it will be fun for them because who doesn't love free stuff? Second, it will be a great bonding experience for everyone involved. There's a ton going on at an expo. You want someone there to watch your stuff if you get your make up done, or have to use the restroom. Find a buddy!

2. Make a wedding email address.

You will sign up for things you will never need, or want to hear from, but you do it because you're excited, it's the polite thing to do, and again, who doesn't love free stuff? However, you don't want your main email inbox to be bogged down with wedding stuff exclusively--especially if you aren't interested in a particular service after you give your email out. This will help you keep everything organized.

3. TAKE ALL OF THE BUSINESS CARDS YOU CAN.

Business cards are excellent little things of information. Not only are they conveniently sized, but they are physical reminders about a company, service, or even a consideration you should be thinking about or want. Collecting these business cards gives you all of the information that you need from each of these vendors in case you need to do more research on them in the future.

4. Stay.

Some bridal expos can feel like they take forever, but more often than not, waiting until the end of the expo is worth it. There are incentives to stay like raffle prizes, and grand prizes that you can win. I recently went to my first bridal show and won $500 wedding bands because I happened to stay until the end of the show, and they called my name during the raffle. I never win anything, but I'm glad I stuck around.

5. Ask questions.

Don't be afraid to ask vendors questions--even if you don't end up wanting to use that vendor. It is important to see what you are dealing with or are in for. Speaking to vendors, and the vendors' competition, will give you a clear idea of costs, considerations, and ideas for you to think about while you are planning and choosing.

6. Bridal expos are for EVERYONE.

Grooms and groomsmen, don't be afraid to check out bridal expos with your fiancé, or even on your own. Although it's not entirely common to find dudes at these events, it's still your wedding just as much as it is the bride's. More often than not there are vendors there specifically for men catering to tuxedos, entertainment and more.

7. Organize your free stuff.

When you return from the bridal expo, you will have A LOT of stuff with you from free samples, little gifts, to absolutely a textbook amount of paper, pamphlets, business cards and flyers. Organize your stuff from information that you want/need, information to consider, and toss the rest. There's no reason to get bogged down with this pile of stuff, but at the same time you don't want to just throw it all in the nearest recycling bin. You will find at least one bit of useful information, or vendor that you like among that pile.

Check out these sites to find bridal expos near you:

Wedding Wire
The Perfect Wedding Guide
Here Comes the Guide