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Invitation Drama - Part 1 - Telling your mom "NO"

Here it is Y’all. The drama surrounding the invitations. Invitations shouldn’t be a big problem because generally, you have an idea of how many people you want at your wedding. This most often comes as a result of knowing how much you want to spend, because, let’s face it, the cost per plate can run up really fast. So, the idea is sometimes that there will be, let’s say, one hundred guests at the wedding, yet to be safe you will send out one hundred and ten invitations, because, some people wouldn’t be able to make it anyway.

Then, you tell your mom about your plans.  This is where you find out that she wants you to invite all of her friends. The reason being, they followed you and stood by her through all of your growing up years. And don’t forget Aunt Susan, who really isn’t your aunt at all, but she was somehow attached to one of your Uncles years and years ago. She has to be at the wedding because she always sent you the sweetest gifts whenever your achieved something ---kindergarten graduation, first tooth came out, middle and high school. Doesn’t matter that you hadn’t seen her since you spent your summer looking toward college. The years don’t seem to signify with your mom, Aunt Susan absolutely has to be there.

The question then becomes, how is this combatted?  In my experience, this is as much mom’s wedding as it is yours, yet, there is a line that has to be drawn. This is generally not easy and I often envision it being something like Bugs Bunny drawing a line with Elmer Fudd and saying that that is his side, and this is his, but with a happier ending.

So how do you “draw the line” and come to a solution? The most helpful solution is to talk to your mom and express your feelings about the cost and see if there are some of her friends that you feel closer to. Then ask her if she is okay with you only invited those friends. This way you both meet with a happy medium, some of her best ladies are there, and you don’t have the extras, the ones that you only be nice to because they are your mom’s friends.  Of course, a conversation like this would take some reflection. You would have to think back and ask yourself, whom did you feel helped you the most, and with whom you felt you have the best relationship with. And as for Aunt Susan, if it was years since you had spoken to her, she is not a priority invitee. Create a nice card once you have the wedding photos and write her a special note stating how much you appreciated her throughout the years, and as a thank you, you wanted to share a few pictures of your wedding celebration with her.  She would then still be included, and you have only the people that you enjoy, helping you to celebrate your wedding day. What is more fun than speding time with the persons you love the most?

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A little detail often forgotten.. or a MAJOR factor?

Ladies, you may be wondering what “little” wedding detail today’s post is going to be about. Guess what, it is little. It is something that is often forgotten to be exact. What is it?  The “reserved” sign.

Okay, so I made this big lead up and came to you with a “reserved” sign. You might be wondering, where is she going with this. Why such drama around a reserved sign? Let me tell you a little story of a wedding we worked.

There were eighty invited guests including the bridal party. Seems very straightforward and simple right? Wrong. The original guest list was one hundred fifty and due to unforeseen circumstances, the guest list had to be cut. This was no easy fete. With large families on both sides, it was very hard to come to eighty guests. After much work and evaluation, eighty guests were selected and notified that they were the chosen lucky ones. Hooray, all is well in the world.

But, disaster was on the horizon. Come wedding day, one hundred guests were invited to the ceremony, of which one hundred and fifteen showed up. Now, you may think I am exaggerating – as this would be a planner’s nightmare, after all. But, I kid you not. There were one hundred fifteen guests. Yes, you might have guessed, some of said one hundred invitees, brought a plus one (which was not allowed per the invitation, but that is for another time – stay tuned for “Invitation drama”).

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We are not allowed to panic, we are planners, the stress handlers for the day. No worries at all, we got this. We formulated a plan and stuck to it. Several of the guests got angry (a planner’s nightmare, because guests are to always be happy at a wedding, right? That is our main goal, right?)

A planner’s job is quite tough because the main priority is to adhere to the bride and groom’s wishes. Those wishes, (I am coming full circle, stay with me), were to have eighty guests attend the reception. So,  guests being upset that they are not able to bring the plus one, and deciding to leave was what ended up happening. We had a checklist to go by, and if you weren’t on the list, you had to go -

*Hasta Luego, See ya, Bye-Bye*.

Sad, but true. We made it through the list with a few special guests that the bride or groom really wanted to stay. But Y'all. And here is my full circle. The tables were not numbered. And there were NO reserved signs.

CHAOS everywhere. Where will the family sit? Who is to be near to the bridal party? Where will the persons who are about going to sit?

*Hair pulling, Frantic, Breathless*

 At least, that was what was in my head. Outside I was the picture of serenity. A wedding planner never loses her cool *HELLO*

 Several guests had decided to seat themselves as we were sorting out the checklists and had to be asked to move to accommodate the family, and were later seated after the bridal party and the important persons that were giving the toasts were seated.

*Phew*

Okay, so that was the story, but, Y'all. Long story short. A lot of that drama and headache could have been avoided with a few table numbers and some reserved cards. Early during the planning process, this was all there. A seating chart, table numbers, and a designated family table. Planning can be so hectic that this can sometimes get lost, and it seems like no small matter. The sad truth is that it can be a big issue.

 As of that day, reserved signs are one of the first things that go in my emergency kit. We now know how to prevent chaos from happening by reserving the family’s seats and asking the maid of honor of all the important persons that should be seated close to the family. They are all now seated before the remaining guests, who can then choose their own seating.

Reserved signs Y'all. A small but mighty planning tool that can help the wedding reception be absolutely amazing or utterly chaotic. A lesson well learned, and now we are always prepared, and you should be too. Don’t push the seating chart to the last week of the wedding, if you feel that you are running out of time, have a designated friend that is good at organizing to help you. But if you absolutely ran out of time…With us?  No seating chart? NO problem.

*Pulls out reserved signs*

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