The Dread of Building A Wedding Invite List

I used to be mildly offended when I didn’t get invited to a wedding. Never again. I get it. I understand now.

I thought I was in good shape with a small family. I’m now looking at my list of friends and it’s painful. No matter how big a wedding is, a line has to be drawn somewhere as to who makes the cut and who doesn’t. That line is a blurry, uneven one compadres. It’s not a line of who you do and do not want at your wedding but of who you feel deserves to be there over others. Even the using the word ‘deserves’ here feels wrong. All my friends deserve to be there, but not all can fit in the 40-odd allotment. (dates included)

The problem isn’t solved by having a bigger wedding; the more people invited, the more people may feel slighted. Everyone tells me it’s my day and I shouldn’t have to worry about this which is of course a crock of crap. It’s for my soon to be wife, our families, and our friends to have a good time with us. If it was for me it would be at Medieval Times and everyone would have to joust at least once.

Friends who have invited me to weddings in the last two years or will soon wouldn’t necessarily make the cut for mine. Others who wouldn’t normally make the cut but I see very often make it especially awkward to not invite. This at the expense of some decent friends I don’t see often but won’t have no-invite-awkwardness. It’s a shit tradeoff. Don’t get me started on dates as well. I can cut dates but it’s harder for long term relationships – a handful I’m not particularly excited about. At the end of the day this isn’t a prom, it’s a celebration with close friends and family. I now appreciate that when someone says I can bring a date it means they cut someone they knew off the list in order for me to do so.

The Pyramid of Life

People I haven’t spoken to in a couple years but were some of my best friends for a decade versus people I met 6 to 12 months ago and have become good friends with.

A friend of mine told me that, despite being well off with a big wedding, large families on each side greatly limited the friends they could invite. One of his best friends from high school no longer talks to him. I wasn’t invited but I got over it. Life went on. There’s some really fun people I like that’ll get cut over more subdued people I’m better friends with. It’s interesting having to actively distinguish between who I want there just because they’re fun and who actually comes through for me when I need them.

I’ve divided our list of invites into A, B and C categories to assist in the line drawing as we don’t know how many people we’ll have. A’s are set but the B’s and C’s trade a little. At this point most C’s won’t make it. That being said, a few I know to be very generous and would certainly pay their weight and then some. I’m not greedy, I don’t want their money. I want their (among others) participation in one of the most important events of my life whereby I couldn’t afford to have them otherwise. I was questioning even writing this as it certainly doesn’t come off well but I’m here to tell you it’s the reality of wedding planning for many. I would never take off a friend based on expected gift, but I’d consider adding a friend that sat near the cusp.

Someone told me it annoyed them getting invited last minute just to fill up seats and provide the couple with cash. It’s a cynical look at the reality; people cancel last minute and there’s an opportunity invite friends you couldn’t have before. Otherwise it’s an empty seat you paid for already. That being said, giving out a last minute invite is a subtle diss – but worse than not getting invited at all? I wouldn’t do it, but I understand.

Now onto the seating charts. Ugh….

[Photo via Shutterstock]