Those of you who know me, know I am getting married in a little less than 6 months. The planning process has been quite difficult – much more difficult than I anticipated. Since these decisions are what makes life particularly eventful for me these days, I figured I might as well try to produce some positive advice!
I have a whole slew of decisions coming up for my big day. The hardest of which was, location, location. There was great debate amongst all my friends, family and anyone else who dared to get involved over what comes first – the location or the guest list?
This is a tricky call – do you decide who you want there before you find a venue or do you find a venue and then fill in the seats (or kick some guests out!). This matter is completely dependent upon a few things: Are you social? Do you have a million friends, fraternity brothers, sorority sisters and/or teammates? Have you always envisioned an intimate celebration with just family and a few friends? If you fall somewhere in the middle of this range, as in you are very social but don’t feel the need to invite every pledge class you ever hazed, I would recommend the following approach:
- Decide on your top 2-3 geographical locations. For instance, Florida, Georgia or Washington DC. Yes, this is based on my own experience, in case you were wondering.
- Make your parents (and his!) put together a list of their “must haves” and their “it would be nice to invite aunt irene” guests. The first list is all of the people they absolutely have to invite; the second is a list of the people they would like to be able to invite but it isn’t necessary. You get the idea.
- Of these two lists, have them make an educated guess at who would be able to attend a wedding in each of these three locations. For instance, Bob and Jane will make it to Florida or Georgia, but not DC; Cousin Betty can only make it to Georgia; Uncle Clive won’t make it anywhere unless he can bring his dog, but we have to invite him anyways…
- Add to each of these lists your own invitees. Consider what location is best for them and where they are most likely to be able to attend.
- Take a step back and look at each list from a different perspective. What is most important to you? Do you want as many people there as possible? Then go for the location with the longest list? Do you want to make sure you stay within your budget? Go for the smallest list. Do you want to end up somewhere in the middle? Well, then go for the list that stands some middle ground.
Now that you know which geographical location you’re looking at, you can start looking at venues based on your guess-timated guest list!