Before you can even think about save-the-dates, there’s The List. Where to begin? The person who drives this is the host of the party. If the parents of the bride are hosting, or paying the lion’s share of the party, the list starts there. Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that you (MOB) are the decision maker. Once the congratulatory champagne flutes have been washed and put away, think about $$$$ and start doing your research. It’s actually not as hard as you think (thank you, Google). Come up with a range with a cap that won’t put you into foreclosure, and start a spreadsheet. My daughter had a binder; I had excel files. If you’re involved financially, make sure you maintain CONTROL.
Once we knew how much we were willing to spend, we did some cost-per-head math, and concluded that a good size for our daughter’s wedding would be 130
-150. The next step was to come up with our list of family and friends who were non-negotiable A-listers. I emailed that list to my daughter, and left it to them to come up with both the groom’s list and the friends list. Now here’s where I would do it differently. I SHOULD have nabbed more slots for MY people, and given a concrete number for both the groom’s family and the “friends” crowd. Before we could finesse all of this, the save-the-dates were ordered and in the mail! ARRGGHH! Here’s how one our many “list” conversations went:
Me: Meg, you have 100 friends on this list. I think maybe this could be edited.
Meg: MOM. You know Matt and I went to college together! We have a LOT of friends!
Me: Well, you’ve been out of school for three years, and I haven’t heard you mention half these people! Like, what about Susie Jones, for example….
Meg: MOM! We talk all the time on facebook!
Ugh. You get the idea. Here’s the takeaway message: Don’t rush the guest list process, and don’t rush the save-the-date. If you do, you’re stuck.