My mother is one of nineteen. My father, the youngest of 5. I easily have 50+ first cousins, 10 of which I spent almost everyday around. My parents love to entertain, (I'm pretty sure that's where my event gene was cultivated). Mr. Charming was an athlete the majority of his life, so is his brother. We are social butterflies times 10.
My venue, after the inclusion of our 7 piece band and their massive stage, holds 120 MAX. Yes, that's right. One hundred twenty people.
We had a few options, the larger ballroom which was also available that evening, will hold upwards of 600. I've actually assisted with a wedding there with just around that guest count. It was huge! While the space is tempting, having a room that can accommodate 600 people would cause quite the problem. Why? Well, Daddy Petrie is the entertainer of all entertainers. He LOVES to invite people over. Remember the episode of the Cosby show where Theo graduated and Mr. Cosby brought lawn chairs? THAT.IS.MY.LIFE. So, as tempting as it would have been, I knew that opening those gates was one route we would not take. So, smaller ballroom it was.
When Mr. Charming and I first discussed this option we both laughed because the thought of only having 120 people (remember 50+adult first cousins for myself alone)was ludicrous. I've hosted barbeque's with almost that many people. But our wedding is no bbq and we refuse to become the "free" entertainment option for new years eve.
There had to be rules. Tight rules.
So here's how we cut our list (future brides and groom's take note).
1. If we didn't not know your real first & last name and only referred to you by a childhood nickname, you didn't make the cut.
2. If we hadn't seen you physically in 2 years, you didn't make the cut.
3. Adults were only allowed to bring dates if they were married or engaged (exceptions not even for the bridal party as these are people we've known atleast 20 years..more on that to come).
4.No children, or tweens. As a matter of fact, we restricted the age limit to 21 years or older. Even though 70% of our guests are from out of town, we felt our wedding just wasn't child friendly, and retained the services of the Wedding Sitters to watch the littles ones.
With these rules in hand for us, we gave each set of parents 15 invites each and split the remaining 90 (ok I took 50) between us two.
When we first set out on this task, it seemed really far fetched. How do you not offend your great aunt twice removed? Your co-worker from 10 years ago? Your tweeps (twitter peeps) or the 2000 facebook fans who are so excited for your planning? You stay focused. We realized that if we wouldn't normally invite you to a $130 dinner, our wedding was certainly not the time to start-that logic helped alot.
This was the first of many, many difficult decisions to come and we made it through. Alive. A little bruised (not all of our guests were delighted with our choices) but together.
And just in case you forgot internet, this one is for you dad!
Have a great holiday weekend!