Guest List Politics

The website has progressed and we are nearly at the stage where we can send out wedding invitations! As soon as we get home from Woodbrooke, we are going to be going content crazy – time is ticking on, and so we can no longer afford to ‘just leave it for a month or so’. So I have set myself the deadline of the Easter weekend to have the emails out by – no pressure…!


Let me tell you that writing a guest list for this sort of thing is not easy. Unless you are Prince William and Kate Middleton and are getting married in Westminster Abbey on a multimillion pound budget, you will have a limit on numbers*; and whatever your exact limit on numbers, there comes a point where you have to draw the line between ‘in’ and ‘out’.

We actually wrote the initial guest list several months ago. What we did was to each write a list divided into three categories. Our A list was the people whom it was inconceivable not to invite (such as each other). Our B list was people whom we would like to invite but didn’t quite merit the A list – if push came to shove, they weren’t coming – and our C list was people whom we would invite if space allowed. At that point, we combined the his ‘n’ hers, counted up numbers, and drew the line based on capacity. In practice what happened was that the Bs made it, and the B-minuses didn’t.

So we drew a deep breath and had the first list for our wedding. Inevitably a few names have changed since then – some taken off and some added on.

Any wedding list has its duty invites, primarily but not exclusively of the familial variety. It’s such a difficult one. Do you invite the friend you see on a very occasional basis or the aunt you don’t know and haven’t seen for years? Do you invite cousins, and if so, do you have to invite all of them (in entire sibling sets?)? What about plus ones? Our plus one policy has been relatively simple – if we don’t know them, they’re not coming – but I have heard of weddings where the plus one has been explicitly not invited but they’ve turned up anyway to embarrassment all round.

I think I can guarantee that somebody somewhere is going to be disappointed not to have been asked. We’re trying to be as tactful as possible, but it’s bound to happen – for instance, I’m going for a drink this coming Thursday with a friend who was just below the cut-off line, and the chances of the wedding not coming up in the conversation at all have got to be relatively small.

Equally, cirucmstances are such that the ‘hers’ list is about half as large again as the ‘his’ list. I’m told that this isn’t unusual, but I still feel slightly bad about it. The plus side is that there is no etiquette about who sits where at a Quaker wedding so it won’t be immediately obvious, and we have a sufficiently large group of mutual friends coming that I don’t think too many people will need to swear allegiance to one ‘side’ or another. Thankfully, the respective family numbers are actually reasonably balanced.

The final twist in all of this is that this isn’t the list for our actual wedding ceremony but the list for our reception. One of the lovely things about Quaker weddings is that everybody in the Meeting is invited as upholding members of the spiritual community. The Meeting where we will be getting married is the Meeting in which I have grown up, is the Meeting of which J and I are now semi-regularly attending members, and is a relatively large Meeting. We have no control over how many people want to come, and let’s just say that I have visions of standing room only, as it was for a funeral Meeting two or three years ago. If the weather is fine, we may just have to have overspill in the garden looking in…!

It all comes, in shades of A.A. Milne, of having too many friends. But I’ve yet to be persuaded that that’s really a bad thing 🙂


*Although even the royal couple are allegedly having a smaller reception party afterwards, and at least we do not have duty invites with the potential for repercussions in international diplomatic relations.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. teacherface
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 16:50:35

    Oooh J has a named! Unless that was a mistake…and I helpfully pointed it for all to see! When is your wedding?


  2. Lucy
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 17:30:46

    Whoops! *goes off to edit*

    Late August 😀


  3. teacherface
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 18:52:30

    I really hope you have a lovely sunny, late summer day for it…it’s kind of like that here today, in April. How perfect would that be 😀


  4. kat
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 20:22:33

    This sounds complex and a little scary! However I egarly await the aforementioned website and invites presuming I get one obviously kind of assuming now 😛

    p.s I booked time off work today to be around before your wedding I shall see if I get it 🙂


  5. killermia
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 20:58:09

    Aw, that’s so good that you finally sorted it out 🙂 here’s hoping for lovely weather for both the wedding and the reception!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: