Tips for Keeping Your Guest List Small

Weddings are an exciting event! We understand your desire to celebrate with the masses. We also understand how difficult it can be to invite everyone you want while staying within your budget. Here are a few tips to trimming down the guest list and making the most of your special day.

Start with the must haves. There are friends and family that simply must be included on your list.  You know who these people are, they have shared pivotal moments with you over the years. Start your list with these names first and make sure it includes parents, siblings, grandparents, and close family that cannot be eliminated. Now that you have created, you’re “A list” it is time to think of co-workers, friends, and extended family you would like to include. As harsh as it may seem, it is crucial to prioritize these names to make sure you do not overextend your limit.

Carefully consider the children you plan to invite. Children bring joy and laughter to any wedding, but if everyone on your guest list can bring their kiddos along, your numbers will quickly double. State clearly on your invitations who is invited. For those guests who seems confused or upset with this decision, a one-on-one conversation may be necessary. Communicating that their precious bundle of joy is not the only child left off the list may help ease any frustrations.

Set expectations. First, understand that it is an honor that people want to celebrate your marriage with you. After spreading the good news of your engagement, go ahead and start planting seeds that you intend to keep the wedding small. If this is well communicated from the beginning, it eliminates a disappointing surprise when an invitation doesn’t show up on a later date.

If you find it challenging to keep your guest list small, remind yourself repeatedly that you are not obligated to invite everyone you know. You and your fiancé should create your list first while taking suggestions from parents and other family second. Also, keep in mind that not everyone you invite will be able to attend.

Ways to Include Children in Your Wedding

Whether you already have children of your own, or just have a favorite niece or nephew that you want included in your ceremony; here are a few ways to make them feel special on your big day.

Give them a distinct role

In weddings past, children have been delighted to take on the role of flower girl or ring bearer, junior bridesmaid or junior groomsman.  These roles are such an honor for children who want to stand up front with the rest of the wedding party.  But, if you want an alternative yet active role, allow them to assist with the lighting of your unity candles. If there is a circumstance where you, the bride, has a son; allow him the honor of walking you down the aisle to give you away to the groom.

Entertainment

Nothing creates more laughter and joy than children performing, and they love the attention!  Have them prepare a choreographed dance and perform it at your reception to kickstart the festivities. They can also sing a special song, give a musical performance, or show off any other talent they want to honor you with. Children can also prepare a toast or tell a memorable story they find worth sharing.

Little photographers

Consider giving the little guys a handful disposable cameras and turn them loose. You will be delighted to see your wedding reception from a unique perspective.  They will find humor and fun in places you may not even look!  Tell them to hit every table and move through the dance floor capturing all the moments they find well-meaning.  Compare these photos with your professional album and see how they relate!

Ushers

Your guest will be flattered to let a little usher escort them down the aisle to their seats.  If this is a role you allow, make sure they have plenty of practice before the ceremony. Help them to become acquainted with the seating arrangements you have prepared and show plenty of grace when they need assistance.

Allowing children to take part of your wedding ceremony will give you more than great photo opportunities, it will make them feel significant on this important day.  It will also keep them busy preparing for their big debut!

 

Benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling

Many couples like to seek the advice of a counselor before walking down the aisle.  This decision can have a positive impact in creating a lasting marriage.  Studies conclude that professional counselors can help couples work through differing family dynamics while creating a foundation in matters of finances, children, and household roles.  Here are some valuable reasons to seek counseling before you say, “I do.”

Family Roles and Responsibilities

Every family dynamic is different.  We all grew up watching our parents assume individual roles. Without realizing it, we naturally expect these roles to be the same in our marriage.  The problem is, these responsibilities may have looked different for each of your families.  So, understand that what you may feel is a natural role for your future husband to mimic can create controversy if he is not on the same page.  The way you grew up inevitably affects the decisions you make, the everyday jobs you assume, and how you choose to resolve family difficulties.  Allowing a counselor to help guide you through reasonable and unreasonable expectations will create a healthy and happy partnership.

Finances

One of the biggest struggles that can drive a happily married couple towards separation are finances.  Perhaps one of you is a spender and one is a saver.  Maybe one of you believes a joint account is better while the other wants to keep the money divided.  Before marriage, you were in control of your financial decisions and suddenly your spouse has a differing opinion.  Through pre-marital counseling, it is common for couples to seek financial guidance.  A professional can help you create a budget or help you find common ground.

Children

If you and your husband-to-be have not yet had the important discussion about children, it is now the time!  Surprisingly, some couples have been so swept up in romance they neglect this important conversation.  It goes beyond the “if” of children, but how many?  Does one of you want to stay home when your family expands, or do you both want to continue pursuing your careers?   Even though your decisions may change, it certainly does not hurt to go ahead and express your feelings in the matter of family growth.  Let a counselor walk you through how children can affect your relationship and how to protect your romance during the fun chaos children can bring!

Seeking a counselor can provide valuable insight into what to expect from marriage, how things can change, and how to make important compromises.  It is worth the time and certainly cannot hurt!  Not everything will be perfect forever, so take your part in lowering your chance of divorce and figure out how best to work through your difficulties early.