This is the dilemma of many brides. In order to make your wedding journey stress-free and an enjoyable experience, I have made a very easy flow-chart to follow. Any additions/ improvements are welcome.
Now for the results:
1. A private affair
You do not really have to go over the top with your number of invites. If neither you, nor your partner like large gatherings, what is the point? The first criteria to invite someone to your special day is that you should be comfortable with that person.
Cutting on the quantity leads to an increase in quality. Smaller, but a better venue. Less quantity, but more exotic lunch menu. Less pictures of lost kids and sulking adolescents and more of happy, beaming members who are happy for you. This plan is especially better if you are on low budget.
2. Best of both worlds
Okay, so your situation is a little complicated. You are not exactly for a large gathering, but you also do not want it to be another family get-together. What you can try is to combine these two.
Most cultures have a ceremony and a reception. You can selectively invite based on this. Perhaps, relatives for the ceremony and office-mates for the reception. Some relatives may not be so close to you – Keep them for the reception. Some of your closest girls from high-school who are fun when drunk but no fun at solemn ceremonies? – Invite them to the bachelorette party. Your great-aunt who your mother wants to invite? – Ceremony.
This has the added advantage of your guests also enjoying the wedding to the max. If you invite my introverted self to your bachelorette party with hot male strippers, I will certainly feel out of place and awkward. But I can be amazing at ceremonies – smiling and just observing the whole magic take place. You can have everyone you want- you get their presence and they get to enjoy too.
You are in a bit of a pinch financially. You want that grand wedding, but do not want to cut down on your guests. You wish you had a fairy godmother, don’t you? But you can be your own fairy godmother, with just a few measures.
Firstly, you can try to put the wedding off a little longer, save for a year, cutting needless expenses (Do you really need that new iPhone now?).
Secondly, you can do some recycling. Okay, you want your bridesmaids in expensive silk and satin. Have less bridesmaids. Is your best friend’s wedding dress or mother’s dress still as stunning as it was and does it fit you? Borrow it. Your aunt who do not really talk to, but makes fabulous cakes? Get in touch and ask for a discount. Remember your cousin who was into photography? Ask him if he can help you out a bit. There are a lot of highly talented freelancers who do not ask for much. Hire them.
I do not generally prefer GofundMe or borrowing money from friends and family for the wedding. It does put a damper on the whole affair. Borrowing from a bank is much better if you have to borrow. That way, you do not have the whole awkward “you married with my money” conversation when things get heated up and you really do not want your wedding to be one of charity, do you?
4. A royal wedding
You are that social butterfly with money. Consider yourself blessed. You can afford all that you want and a large number of guests. You need not fret about the expenses.
But with a large number of guests comes the issue of managing them. I would advise you to hire a professional managing service. Get a planner. Your need is an organizer to ensure that things move smoothly and do not turn chaotic. You cannot be expected to know when what flowers would arrive PLUS the menu PLUS the dress PLUS the guest list PLUS the invitation etc. It would be extremely hectic. Sort them out, and you shall have the wedding you always dreamed of.
Do you have anything else to tell me? Let me know!