Friday, January 21, 2011

The Guest List: You Mean I Can't Invite Everyone?!?

Well, it’s a new year. Obviously, I have been a little lax in updating this thing. I could blame the holidays, but the truth is that I have not done a single thing in the past few months to move this wedding forward. Eleven days ago I was sitting on the couch with my fiancĂ© when he casually mentioned there were exactly nine months left until the big day. Cue the panic attack. I may have started things early, but the last few months I have started slacking and I didn’t even have a guest list finalized. Luckily, Tom was out of town on a hunting trip recently and it afforded me some time to get together with my in-laws to put together a guest list.

My soon-to-be mother-in-law called me up on Monday and said that since everyone had the day off for the Martian Luther King holiday, that it might be the perfect time to get all the addresses together for Tom’s side of things. I agreed and soon Tom’s sister, Aunt, Grandma and Mom were sitting around my kitchen table flipping through address books, throwing out names and deciding who should be sent an invitation. 

If I have not mentioned this before, I love my in-laws. Tom comes from a family were everyone is still pretty close, most weekends I am invited to go to a movie or out shopping with one or more of Tom’s immediate family. Coming from a family where everyone was scattered in different cities and states and see each other only on the big holidays, this was very strange to me. I couldn’t understand when Tom told me that he would never leave Michigan because his family was there, but now having experienced the closeness of his family I understand.

That being said, the dynamic between his mom, aunts and grandma is wonderfully hilarious. They are so fun to be around and even this simple act of getting all the addresses together was filled with laughter and outrageous outbursts.

After two hours of work our list we had a list of sixty-one addresses. Not bad huh? The gang left and I looked at the list again, that’s when it hit me, sixty-one addresses did not mean sixty one people. Each address had at least two people attached to it which meant that we were look at somewhere between 120 and 160 people and we still had my family ans step family to add. Cue panic attack.

I quickly called my mother in law who told me that she was sure that less than half of the people on the invitation list would come, and that the invitation would be more of an announcement than anything. I felt a little better, my venue, after all, will only hold about 200-250 people.
However, now I am confused. Do you send out more invitations i knowing that a certain percentage of those invited will not come? If so how many? And what do you do if people surprise you? If you do have to leave people out how do you decide who doesn't get an invite?

I have this thing about not hurting other people’s feelings. Up until now, I guess I just thought I would be able to invite everyone I ever knew so that no one would feel left out.250 seemed like a lot more people on Sunday, but it's really nothing. It's probably a fraction of the people that have touched our lives. We are so blessed.

I never thought a blessing as wonderful as having that would lead to wedding stress. I guess I can’t freak out too much until we get the addresses from my family together, which might happen this weekend. I know that with the help and support of my family and my faithful unofficial wedding planner Stephy, I will be able to come up with a guest list that will make Tom and I happy.

And hopefully, I will be able to sleep at night.

As an aside, if you are reading this and have been a part of our journey, both as individuals and as a couple; I want to thank you. You truly are a blessing.


  1. What was even stranger for me was to look out from the head table and only have 4, yes 4 faces of the 215 in the room be completely unfamiliar to me!

    You will invite those that mean the most to you and the rest will understand. You are blessed to have had so many who have touched your lives (and hopefully a few won't be able to make it!)

  2. Congratulations Melissa! WOW I can't believe how you have grown...I remember you and Sis Angela about the time you were 4...What beauty God brougt in the both of you. I still stay in touch w/your mom via FB. I pray that you have a wonderful, BEAUTIFUL wedding and that you are happy the rest of your lives!!! PS - Nooooooo, I am NOT trying to get an invite - teehee. I DO understand you need to invite the ones your closet to after family, and oer Paula's comment, she is right...the rest of US will understand :)
    God bless you two!!