Your Guest List: Is It Too Fat For Your Skinny Budget?

Weddings 2011.  A time for cutting back, right?  But in these times of economic strife, are you really trimming the fat in all the right places?  And even more than that….do you really have to?  What does “cutting back,” really mean?  Let’s start with “the list.”

It is no secret…well maybe it still is for some….that nearly a full 1/2 of your total wedding budget is spent on the venue and food….primarily for the reception of course.  In my experience, I think that figure is on the conservative side.  I estimate that the venue and food is running closer to 60% of the budget, and could be climbing higher.  Wow….really?  What in the world for?  Is it the fault of the venue owners and/or caterers that you gladly shelled out over half of your entire wedding budget just to FEED people?  No!  Of course not.  It’s how they make their money, and they have every right to charge what they wish. So if your fortunate enough to have money to burn, and throw caution to the wind that you’ll be able to make next month’s rent….then by all means, spend, spend, away!  Those of us in the wedding industry, LOVE you!  BUT…….is it truly necessary?  Maybe not.

You and your groom are certain you have found the absolute drop dead venue to surely make you the envy of all your unmarried friends and family!  It’s got it all……ambiance, romance, beauty, elegance, location, and oh yeah…..lots and lots of real estate to invite every human being you’ve ever met thus far in your lives!!!  Woooo hooooo!!! You could invite the entire state of Rhode Island and still have room to dance!  Great!  Only $150.00 a head……………………uh oh……damn reality.

Brides and Grooms….BEFORE you do anything else…..BEFORE you even begin to think about your venue, please, please, please, work on the tentative guest list. Why?  Because if you realize that you really only want to invite 100 of your closest friends and relatives….you DO NOT need to rent a venue that holds 500 or more….and visa versa.

By knowing ahead of time how many people you realistically want to attend your big day, then you can manage your budget in a more responsible and confident manner.  Come on, really think about whether you need to invite cousin Sally from Denver that you haven’t seen…but your mother “thinks” she needs to be there…….does she?  NO!!!!  Invite the people who matter most to you and your groom.  You might offend a few people for oh…a week or so…but they’ll get over it….trust me…been there, done that.  Do not let your family and friends bully you into thinking that you’ll become the outcasts of society if you leave off a few acquaintances from the list.  Remember, you are feeding and entertaining these people at possible over $100.00 a head…how close are they? Really………………………think about where you might spend the extra left over.  You can still have the wedding of YOUR dreams….not someone else’s.

Save yourself a lot of agony over the battle of the budget bulge, with careful consideration of your guest list.  For those that you would like to have attend, but really just can’t justify it in your trim budget…have them over for a little post honeymoon backyard party. If your parents have an unlimited budget for your special day….then by all means…invite away!  But for those of us in the avg to smaller budget catagory……take your time…plan carefully….and have the most beautiful and special wedding on the planet…..on YOUR terms of course!  Happy day!

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