Thursday, February 21, 2013

Your Guests and Save The Dates :)

After selecting the venue and the date, there are two important items that need to be taken care of:
  1. Your Guest List
  2. Your Save The Dates
Here are the steps you need to take to keep you sane when creating your guest list.

1. Open up an excel document. Right click on "Sheet 1" and rename this sheet "Everyone". This list will be the list of anyone and everyone you would like to invite. Think big. Think everyone you would want at your wedding. Do not start rationalizing here and remove people that you think maybe shouldn't be coming. This literally is the explosion list. Anyone and everyone that you and your fiancé can think of will be listed here. 

  • To help organize it, have a column for each of the following groups: groom's family, bride's family, coworkers, friends, wedding party. 
  • In my list I included an additional column to the left of each group to include the amount per group of people. For example, a friend is that friend plus their date. So the number for that group of people is 2. This way I can do a sum of the total amount of people at the end of excel list without having to add each group up. Hint: Place the formula =SUM(A2:A30)+SUM(D2:D30)+SUM(F2:F30) at the end of excel sheet. The cell numbers (A2:A30, D3:D30, F2:F30) are the cells that contain the total number per group of people. When you enter "=SUM("into a cell, you can highlight the cells you want it to add up in a single column. Then close that formula with a closed parenthesis. To add additional columns, add "+SUM(" and highlight the next set of numbers in the next column. Close the formula again and repeat as necessary.

2. "Sheet 2" should be renamed "The Essentials". This is literally the people that MUST attend. For example, the bride and groom's parents, immediate family such as any siblings, and the closest of the closest of your friends. 

3. Now what is your budget for the reception and meals? The reception and meals will be the most costly items on your wedding agenda (unless you totally splurged on your wedding dress!). Having this in mind will help you filter through the people who should be there and should not be there.

4. Now after cementing the ball park budget and what your caterer/venue is offering per head, rename "Sheet 3" to "Save the Date". This will be those who, I can only assume, are already on "The Essentials" list and include a group of the most important from the "Everyone" list. Don't be afraid to cut out friends that you haven't seen in a couple years or the cousin of that one cousin. This is your guy's wedding after all.

5. If you are feeling guilty about cutting some people out, consider getting them a "You're Very Important To Us" gift. Our list could go on and on however we needed to trim people off. We wanted to provide excellent meals to a select few rather than an average meal to a ton of people. We have decided to create a small gift with premium candies and goodies for those who matter but we can't quite afford to include in our list. I can guarantee you that they will understand, and if they can't, then were they really such good friends in the first place?

6. Another idea to consider is having a reception with just "The Essentials". This way you can splurge on a delightful and fancy dinner. Then, the following weekend, have a separate reception for friends and coworkers at a local venue and pay for hors d'oeuvres, DJ and alcohol. This way you are not paying for a fancy plated dinner for 100+ people! 

Stay tuned for the next article about unique and cute save the date ideas!!! Think outside the box but within your budget!

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