You might laugh, but it happens all the time—an intimate ceremony becomes a full on circus, minus the elephants (but possibly including acrobats).
It happens because nobody knows how to say no. You can’t bear to tell your fiancée that her “BFF” from primary school, who she hasn’t seen in 15 years, hasn’t really put the F in forever and maybe shouldn’t come. She doesn’t want to tell you that Robbo from the pub isn’t really that close a friend (and also smells a little).
Then there are your parents, who insist that Aunt Gladys from Goondiwindi and Uncle Tim from Toowoomba absolutely must come, even though they’ve never met you (let alone your soon-to-be-wife).
Now, if you don’t mind and would actually enjoy a wedding that approaches the scale of a music festival, you can stop reading now. But if you’re actively looking to cut down the number of guests, here are some tips.
Obviously, you’re going to have to do this together and you’re both going to have to be brutal. Set up some rules. Anyone you haven’t seen for over a year (without a good reason) is off the list. Communicate clearly about who your must-haves are, and then cross out some of the fringe contenders. If necessary, do a trade off—cross off one potential guest from your list in return for your fiancée crossing one off.
Your parents’ concerns about inviting obscure relatives may need to be taken into account (especially if they’re paying for part of the nuptials), but try and talk them down from inviting those you’ve never even heard of.
And if all else fails, get married overseas. That’ll sort the wheat from the chaff.
Story by Alex McClintock