#Nonewfriends is the mantra you should live by when you’re creating your guest list for your wedding. Too often, couples let their guilt get the best of them and end up inviting people they don’t really want there. Let’s face it, there are going to be people on your proposed list that make you and your fiancé ask each other, “Do we really need to invite them?” Think of it this way: would you want a framed picture of you with them in your wedding dress hanging in your house in 10 years? If the answer is no, they shouldn’t make the cut. Here are five people you can definitely “forget to invite”.
1. The Sorority Sister Whose Wedding You Attended Five Years Ago
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You were thick as thieves in college, pregamed semi-formal together, and you even visited her hometown during summer break one year. She got married right after graduation and you attended her wedding. Here’s the catch: you haven’t seen each other since then and the only reason she knows you’re engaged is because she follows you on Instagram. You may feel like a huge bitch by leaving her off the guest list, but if you haven’t spoken to her in the last year (happy birthday texts don’t count), axe her. Weddings are priced on a per-head basis, so not inviting her will save you a few hundred dollars. Since you don’t see each other on the reg, you won’t have to face her and explain that her invite must have gotten lost in the mail. Let go of the guilt and move on.
2. Your Co-Worker
Just because you talk about your wedding with the people you work with doesn’t mean you’re obligated to invite them. Sure, they threw you a surprise party for your engagement and listened to you bitch about your fiancé’s lack of involvement in planning, but unless you regularly hang out with them outside of work, remove them from the list. They’ll probably be relieved not to receive an invite, especially if you’re getting married in a different state than the one you work in. If you’re struggling to figure out what to do about a specific co-worker, think of it this way: if you left the company tomorrow, would you still keep in touch with this person? If not, then they shouldn’t be at your wedding! It’s not in your job description to include everyone on the guest list, so invite who you want to invite.
3. Your Mom’s Cousin Twice-Removed Who You’ve Never Met
It’s possible you or your fiancé will see names of people on the proposed guest list that you had no clue you were even related to. In some cultures, it’s tradition to invite every single relative to the wedding, regardless if you’ve met them or not. If that’s not the case and your mom is pushing to add Great Aunt Sylvia to the guest list, approach mom calmly and explain that you and your fiancé want to keep the wedding to close friends and family. If that doesn’t work, bring up the money factor. Again, weddings are priced on a per-head basis, so if you show your mom how much she’ll save, she’ll probably want Great Aunt Sylvia to stay home. Plus, her hip is bad anyway, so you’re kinda doing her a favor.
No, you don’t have to invite your cousin’s 2-year-old daughter who cries whenever her mom isn’t near her for 10 seconds. Asking guests to leave their kids at home isn’t an unreasonable request, especially if you give them plenty of notice. Who wants seven attention-hungry kids taking over the dance floor at your reception or hogging the late-night snacks? TBH, your guests who have children will probably be relieved that they can’t bring them along. It’s a nice excuse for them to enjoy some kid-free time for a few hours. It’s important you don’t put this explicitly on your invitation, though. Put only the parents’ names on the envelope and make a note on your website that it’s an adults-only affair. You can even offer childcare if you know that a guest has no other option than to bring them. Bottom line: if you don’t want kids, don’t invite them.
5. Anyone Just Because They Invited You to Their Wedding
This is not a reason to invite someone. It might feel awkward not to include them, but think about the situation in reverse: if you knew you were being invited to a wedding solely because you invited them to yours, wouldn’t you feel a little less welcome? Guests at your wedding should be people you want to celebrate your love with, not people who are there because you feel like they should be. If you strongly believe it will be more awkward later on to not invite them, that’s your prerogative, but you’re not breaking any wedding etiquette rules by leaving them off the list.
Overall, push your feelings of guilt aside and be selfish with your guest list. There’s no reason you should feel like you have to invite anyone (unless mom insists and she’s writing the checks), so take that red pen and start crossing off names. Your wedding only lasts a day, so why spend it with people you don’t want there?
Images: Annie Gray / Unsplash; betchesbrides / Instagram (3)
If, like most people, you’re not an incredibly talented artist, then being tasked with designing wedding invitations is kind of like taking the mic at a karaoke bar: the skills are not there, but you accept the challenge with grace. Doing something at which you don’t consider yourself a savant can be daunting, but luckily, there are people out there who are actually quite skilled at the very thing you don’t know how to do, and you can hire these people to help you! Great Scott! The wedding industry wouldn’t have raked $72 billion in revenue last year if these experts weren’t available to us, and invitations are no exception. So don’t be afraid to turn to people who know a lot more than you for help.
Look, unlike table runners or water glasses, wedding invitations are a big deal when it comes to details that actually matter. It’s an introduction to you and your lobster as an official, legally bound couple. It’s both an expression of your love and a preview of the wedding, whatever that that vibe or theme may be. No pressure! For real, designing a wedding invite is f*cking hard because it needs to make the right statement: fun, charming and aesthetically pleasing. (And if you’re going to light me up re: these descriptors in the comments, don’t, because every invitation to any party should be those three things.) If you’re feeling a bit lost on where to start on your wedding invitations (and where to go after starting), read on for helpful tips and tricks from Jessica Terrell, Creative Designer and Marketer at Shine Wedding Invitations.
How Do You Choose The Look?
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The convenient thing about companies like Shine is that you don’t have to sit at your desk staring at a blank piece of paper, trying to remember everything you learned in 8th grade art class, in order to decide how you want your wedding invitations to look. Shine offers five main styles, including Classic, Ribbon, Letterpress, Floral and Vellum, and after you pick one that represents the vibe of your wedding, you can get started on hard-core personalization. Again, if you’re not a self-proclaimed artist, getting excited about the idea of designing your wedding invite seems as unlikely as giving designing the dress a go. But Shine makes it so f*cking easy! All you have to do is be decisive and your creative consultant will do literally everything else for you. Terrell says, “When looking at invitation designs, we recommend focusing on the structure—the body copy is the foundation of your stationery.” So focus on not necessarily what it says, but how it looks. We’ll get to the actual text in a sec. The bottom line is you want the physical appearance of the invitation to be representative of what guests can expect at the actual wedding. So if you’re going for an ethereal beach-y feel, maybe don’t choose a graphic black-and-white invite with block text. Instead, opt for organic, handwritten calligraphy on Shine’s Ophelia or Natalie wedding invites, for example.
What Do You Write On It?
Ok, this part can seem like a true catch-22 because you want to include as much info as possible so that your great aunt doesn’t have to call you 72 times to ask what time the ceremony starts, but you also don’t want to squeeze so much text on there that it looks like the window from A Beautiful Mind. So what do you do? Terrell says, “There are seven important lines on an invitation: the hosting line, the request line, the bride’s name, the groom’s name, the date and time, the ceremony location, and the reception information.” That’s it. That’s all you need! Maybe throw in a line for attire so that your step-brother who’s rebelling against his parents by dropping out of grad school doesn’t show up in, like, sweat pants, but most people know what to wear to a wedding if you name the venue. And for those of you who don’t know what a request line is (same), it’s the one that actually invites your guests to your special day. So like, “Carrie Bradshaw and Big request the pleasure of your company…” or “Donald Trump and Vladamir Putin cordially invite you to attend…” You get the idea.
To Go Paper Or To Go Digital?
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Terrell says, “Paper is always the best way to go, even if you are eco-friendly. Your printed invitation is for sure to be remembered and valued in years to come. If you print your wedding invitations, you’ll be able to look back and reminisce on the experience and bask in the timelessness of it all.” Unlike the White House’s current stance, I am pro-Earth, but I totally agree with Terrell on this one. Whether or not you’re making a wedding scrapbook, just remember that the invitation to one of the most special days of your life is something that shouldn’t accidentally get deleted from someone’s inbox or buried beneath a million spam emails. Just like your college diploma, your wedding invitation should be something you look at years later and smile at
how hard you blacked out all the memories. The invitation is one of the few tangible things you’ll actually get to take away from the wedding—in addition to a diamond and a spouse, of course—so make sure you print those bad boys! If you want to look out for the environment, just send digital save the date cards and maybe just become vegetarian while you’re at it.
How Far In Advance Should You Order?
Unlike your high school graduation party where you sent one invite two weeks in advance and hoped your guests would show up it, your wedding has a totally different invitation system with a full-on schedule in place. Assuming you are planning one year out (and it is A-okay if you aren’t), order your save the dates 10 to 12 months in advance, mail them (or email them!) eight to 10 months out, order invitations and thank you cards four to six months out and mail the invites (duh) two to three months out. Ok, fair enough. So when do you embark on this process? “Choose between modern, classic, and simplistic designs to find what fits your and your fiancé’s personal taste. Once you receive your sample and are sold on a design, place your invitation order four to six months before your wedding date, which will give you plenty of time to work one-on-one with your designer to come up with the perfect look before it’s sent to print,” Terrell says. And with Shine, you’ll receive your personalized proofs within two business days via email for your review and any rounds of revisions. Ideal. Lastly, if you’re unorganized (hi, neighbor) you’ll receive a PDF checklist to look over before sending those babies out! Can you tell I’m excited?
At the end of the day, your wedding day should be one of the most exciting days of your life, so don’t take the invitation-designing process so seriously that you’re raising your cortisol levels to dangerous heights. Have fun with it, people, and make sure to make it clear whether or not there will be an open bar. As a wedding guest (never a bride), that’s all I ask.
Images: Shine Wedding Invitations (2); shinewedding / Instagram