The MoBster Diaries

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Hardest Part of Planning a Wedding

The guest list. There. Simple as that.

Not the dress. Not the caterer. Not the ceremony and reception venues. Not crazy vendors (though they do come in a distant second).

I guess you could argue the hardest part is finding a life-partner, but you should have that sorted before planning the wedding. If you're the only one contributing to the guest list, the level of difficulty goes way down. But usually two sides are building that list. And those two sides may have 3, 6, 12 people contributing names and addresses to one half of the list. Why, the pressure's enough to cause the stoutest constitution wither.

The very foundation of the service we offer at Elegant Scribbles - hand-addressing invitations - is the guest list. We cannot put pen to fine paper stock until we have a list to work with. Which means that your timely invitations can't be assembled and mailed. Until we have . . . The List.

Pulling that list together takes more time and effort than selecting, ordering, and receiving that lovely stationery. The guest list, after all, is a budget issue. How many people can you seat in the wedding venue or afford to feed and water at the reception? Once you determine the bottom-line number of folks you can invite, then the battle really begins. Prepare yourself for bargaining, pleading, and the downright ruthless striking off of names. Also be prepared for missing addresses, errant zip codes, and interesting spellings. Quadruple-check everything.

You may have always thought your best friend's last name was spelled "Green," only to find out that it's really "Greene." Better check that. Is it your aunt, your uncle, or both who rate the title Dr.? Better check that. The zip code for Boise doesn't look quite right. Better check that.

Wedding invitation addressing protocol is quite complex. Most stationery comes with the proper way to address outer, inner, and response envelopes. To get an idea of what you'll be facing etiquette-wise, check out resources online. One of my favorites is My Gatsby, but wedding sites like The Knot and Wedding Wire can clue you in, as well.

Many brides build their list on Excel or some other spreadsheet, or type them out using Word or a similar word processing program. Some use wedding websites like The Knot to create a database of names and addresses (and more). However you choose to do it, make sure it's easy to read and access. And that you've quadruple-checked the details. Once that's done you're ready to address the invitations.

Yep. It's easy-breezy as soon as all the names and addresses are on the spreadsheet or database. I wish you all good luck with it, brides- and grooms-to-be!

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