The Guest List
The wedding guest list is by far one of the most difficult aspects of planning a wedding. My fiancé and I endured many long and strenuous hours deciding whether or not we should invite that distant relative, who we haven’t seen since were 12 years old but is still family, and to what extent our guest list should go. Ofcourse with the increase in guest numbers, the higher the wedding bill!
Whilst we didn’t want to focus on cutting numbers merely for the sake of having a less costly wedding, we also didn’t know how far our wedding guest list should go (all our friends and familiar faces or just close ones?) – in the end, we decided that as our wedding was taking place in a distant place to much of our friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances, it was really best that we invite just our close family and friends, and the people who mean the most to us and have influenced our lives and been a part of it so far. We also didn’t want a huge extravagant wedding (as explained before with our previous registry office wedding plan!) – weddin reception food per person is also HUGELY expensive (even more so than drinks and alcohol!), and the greatest expense of the entire wedding. So, we aimed for a guest list of around 80 people, and realized that the bridal party alone added up to about 20 people, and immediate family around 40…..thus, we ended up with around 120 (keeping in mind much of our guest list probably won’t be able to attend due to location and cost).
Our next milestone: aside from our immediate family, we have never contacted our friends and family by post/mail (and some never by email) – in this day and age there is just no need – but ofcourse we wanted to post our wedding invitations (much nicer and more heartfelt than an ‘e-invite’) to our guests, so now we had to find a way of getting addresses, emails and contact information from all 120 guests – not so easy. Luckily, the wonders of Facebook helped us out. We set up a Facebook event page and invited as many of our guests as we could to that (aside from those who didn’t use Facebook) and asked if everyone could kindly let us know their information so that we could get ‘Save the Date’ and other wedding information out to them ASAP. Not as simple as I thought. We received about 20/120 addresses and emails. So, after my ingenious Facebook event page idea, we ended up having to contact many of our guests individually in the end.
The Wedding Website
My next ingenious idea: I had read on numerous blogs about wedding websites and loved the idea, how simple – all our wedding info, updates, flight information, accommodation, rental cars, the list is endless and perfect for our guests. We used the free website Zankyou.com to set up our wedding page and posted ALL of the information we could think of to avoid guests having to contact us constantly with similar questions (wondering where to stay, about our gift list, where the venue is etc.). We also posted the link for our wedding website on our Facebook event page.
The BEST part about the wedding website, which was our main reason for deciding to use it, is the RSVP page. With guests all over the World, we didn’t want the hassle of guests having to fill out an RSVP card and post it back to us (I’m not even sure if people do that anymore with the ease of internet and mobile phones?). The RSVP page on our website allows guests to write their name, email and even address and confirm that they are attending (those who do not RSVP that they are attending are assumed as ‘not attending’) – you then receive an email notifying you of the attendance of a guest and it is all collected on another page for you to manage all of your guests – you can even print out guest lists, move them into an excel file and play around with table arrangements. All in all, an ideal way to gather all of your info in one place that is easy to access (instead of spending hours writing individual names into an excel file). I am still waiting to find out just how successful this RSVP page will be, as our invitations were sent out about a month ago and I’ve yet to receive an RSVP from someone who isn’t my parents, brother or grandparents! Time shall tell…
The D.I.Y Invitations
Our Wedding invitations are by far one of the more fun and exciting parts of the wedding plans so far – I love creating things, design and D.I.Y (Pinterest is great for this!)!
Originally, we thought about e-invites to 1) save the trees, and 2) ease of internet reliability; as opposed to African and International post. However, we decided that it would be much nicer for our guests to feel appreciated and thought of and figured that we should send out invitations (we ended up emailing the same invitation to guests and family in Zimbabwe due to the unreliability of the postage, and save the physical invitation for them to have as a keepsake after the wedding). I knew immediately that D.I.Y was the way to go, as invitations that, although beautifully made with engraved printing and handmade paper, were quite costly and when you are buying around 100 it can really add up! So I resorted to Pinterest and Etsy for ideas!
Primarily, I decided that if we were going to waste paper sending out invitations, then it should be handmade, recycled or plantable (these are really cool and angreat keepsake for guests! See images further below). It turns out that handmade and recycled paper can be very expensive, so I opted for white square 147 x 147mm pocketfolds (that come flatpacked with folding creases and can be put together easily with double sided tape) from Fuchsia Fairy and I created a blue and white (part of the colour theme) recycled, handmade paper invitation band around the pocketfold – embellished with two guinea fowl feathers (part of my ‘Beach & Bush’ theme – more on this later) and a mint green adhesive bead. I then decided to order square 141mm x 141mm double sided invitations to place inside the pocketfold from Optimalprint . In total the invitations probably came to roughly £80 (and postage cost about another £40) – which was a decent price for 80 invitations (many invitations cost up to £5-£6 each). I think that the wedding invitations turned out really well, and although time consuming, well worth it in the end after the numerous compliments we have received about them.
Fuschia Fairy – Pocketfolds at £0.22 each
My Wedding Invitation bands and Optimalprint pocketfold inserts
Our Save The Date (E-Invite)
Some of my favourites…
SAVE THE DATE IDEAS