Woooo-hooo! I’m engaged. I honestly jumped up and down for over an hour. I could not sit still. I don’t think I even slept that night I was so happy. And the next day, all I could do was stare at my ring. I barely got any work done.
And then it hit me- now I have to start planning one of the most important days of our lives together. Seriously, I recommend taking a week or two to just enjoy being engaged. Don’t make any decisions- just relax, because pretty soon all you are going to think about is your wedding and everyone is going to be asking you a million wedding questions. After giving myself time to simply bask in the newly engaged bliss, I decided to get down to business. Right off the bat, we both knew we wanted to tie the knot in October. October in Southern California is just beautiful- perfect weather and no crowds. It’s pretty much summer with no tourists.
Next came the hard part, deciding what kind of wedding we wanted. I poured over pictures on Pinterest and all the standard wedding blogs- SMP, GWS, Ruffled….However, looking at all the different wedding styles only confused me. One day I was sure I wanted a rustic barn wedding, but the next day my heart would be set on backyard soiree.
Luckily, Kate & Ellen gave me a solid little piece of advice– make your guest list and everything else will follow. Smart, but I still tried to avoid making the guest list right away because it seemed like a daunting task. Who wants to sit down and determine which friends and family make the cut!?
I’m not going to lie, it was hectic and emotional narrowing down the people who matter most to us. We knew all along we wanted a smallish wedding with our close friends and family, but sitting down and selecting names was rough. Our conversations went something like this:
Me: If you invite so-and-so then you have to invite his girlfriend too, you know.
Him: What?! No, I don’t.
Me: Um, yes you do.
Him: We should invite what’s-his-name. He would be funny.
Me: You’d rather invite him than your <insert family member>.
Him: Well, he’s a good dancer.
Me: Um, don’t you think that would cause problems with your family. And how long has it been since you talked to him?
Him: Uhhh I don’t remember. A long time.
Frankly, there is no secret way to get the guest list done, except for sitting down and talking it out. We created a couple different lists and then asked ourselves these questions: Would we regret not inviting this person? Has this person played a role in our lives? Do we see them remaining close with us? After a few solid hours of work, we finally decided on seventy-five people we knew had to be part of our special day. Stay tuned for my venue selection post next week…
From B & A: It seems easy to blow off the guest list, but guest count really does play the central part in your budget. With additional guests- you have to budget more food, alcohol, tables- which then affects linens, centerpieces, chairs, etc. Likewise, the guest list can really help to determine the venue. Fifty people would look silly in most ballrooms and two hundred and fifty people are not going to fit at the cute little beach look-out.
As Jess mentioned, a ton of brides want to figure out every detail (favors, bridesmaid shoes, signature cocktail) of their wedding within the first couple weeks of being engaged. In order to stay sane and make sure the important things get tackled first we recommend strarting from a priority list and locking in important vendors before thinking about all the small things. And of course, first and foremost the guest list!