Months before your wedding you have to create your guest list. You begin your list with the obvious family members, then add your close friends. You then move on to your neighbors and you can't forget your parent's friends who have watched you grow up. Then you have your co-workers and the family members of your best friends (I mean in some cases they are practically family)! Then you take that list and double it (because the groom no doubt has a similar list) and when you finally step back and look at the GIANT list you have both created, you need a moment to catch your breathe. That is a lot of people you are going to have to pay for to eat, drink and dance the night away at your big event. But how do you know who to leave out? Where do you start making cuts? Feelings are at stake here.
Ever since I can remember, I have always envisioned my wedding HUGE! I'm talking everyone I know and then some. But over the past years I have had the pleasure of experiencing these "HUGE weddings first hand. As much fun as I have being a guest, I sit back and watch the bride and groom move from table to table thanking people for coming, repeating the line, "It's so good to see you" and never actually seeming to snag enough time to enjoy their food, or drinks or even the dance floor. There are hugs to be given and hand shakes to be exchanged - and with a wedding this size, it could take hours.
All this has caused me to re-evaluate my "HUGE" wedding dreams. I have begun to wonder how people can get away with this though. Having a smaller wedding and truly only inviting those closest to you. Then it hit me - DESTINATION WEDDING!
I can't even count the number of brides in the past month that have said they were having a destination wedding! These ladies are brilliant! They are clearly a few steps ahead of me. You can still invite the large number of guests you would if you were staying in town , but realize that not everyone will be able to make it (work, kids, life... whatever). Those that are closest to you (whether they are friends or family) will figure out a way to be there. Another way to keep the idea of a smaller wedding within reach would be to consider a smaller bridal party. It is easier to coordinate with the travels - and you can, in some cases, help your bridal party pay for a portion of their "trip" (something that might not be possible if you had 8+ girls). It could become your wedding party gift (which would be so helpful). For the other girls, if they are your close friends/family, they will no doubt still attend. A perfect example of this was Keri's wedding (one of Twirl's owners). She decided to do a destination wedding - and opted to not have all 16 of her closest friends in her bridal party. All of her closest friends were of course still in attendance, but she chose to only have her future sister-in-law and best friend stand up for her. It was Perfect!
So aside from creating a smaller wedding, it becomes a mini vacation with everyone. The groups can split up the couple days before the wedding. Girls can do their girl stuff and the guys can do their guy stuff! Then everyone can come together for the wedding and have a wonderful time. The bride and groom can enjoy their wedding as much as their guests...with all their guests.
Regardless of where you have your wedding or how many people attend, this is your day! I hope it's one to remember!