Cost cutting strategy #1. Keep the guest list under control. Think like a mercenary; this is going to sound cold very cold, and in some ways it is, but it’s necessary. If you had four people to invite out to dinner, knowing it would cost 200.00 per guest, would you invite this person and his/her guest (who you probably don’t know, and in many cases, by next month neither will they….) In ten years, will you remember who they are? Are they really meaningful to you, a part of your history and future, or is this invitation an obligation?
Your wedding day is not a day to pay back social dues. It is a day to celebrate with the people you love and the people who support and love you.
Sit down with your fiance and family and make that dreaded list; NO NO NO: make FOUR lists. Make yours, make your fiance’s, get both families’. Then take out some colored pens and put dots next to everyone you really want/know/love on each list. Then, the ones with four dots are certain. After that it is up to negotiation, based on your budget, the size of your venue, and how bent out of shape someone in the process will become.
To those loved and semi-loved ones who cannot be included, you send a beautiful announcement, preferably with a handwritten note with your regrets at not being able to include all the signifcant people in your lives. If pressed further about why they did not get a “real” invite, you defer to the “venue too small” defense, bolstered by “someone”s (not yours; blame it on the invisible “someone”) desire to have a very small and intimate affair with just the immediate family. If a person who is not invited to the wedding sends you a gift, make sure, sure sure that you send that thank you note out as SOON as possible. Gracious is as gracious does.