Oh boy! This is one of the most nerve wracking parts of planning a wedding! I can’t tell you just how frustrating the wedding invitation guilt trips can be! And, it can come from seemingly nice people! Maybe it comes from Linda in the cubicle next to you at work, or from Ricky who whips up your latte and small talks with you every morning, or maybe even from your absolute favorite cousin, the one you grew up playing Barbie or Gi Joes with, and although you don’t talk much anymore, you know the general gist of their life because Facebook.

Phase One: The first thing you should do

The first thing you should do in war…I mean, wedding planning is to anticipate the enemy…I mean, friends and family reaching out after you get engaged! I’m sure your notifications totally blew up with that engagement photo, and that’s a good thing! After all, people are genuinely happy for you, but it’s a good time to remind yourself that the internet is not a closed room, and it can be easy to forget how many real friends you actually have!

These friends are now part of your journey, and you’ve invited them there. So you may want to consider limiting your audience either by purging your friends list or simply limiting the number of posts you share on wedding planning because every post is an invitation for a comment on the matter!

You can also quiet down the crowds by sending save the dates, but for all that is holy do not add “and guest” to your envelopes, unless you really mean it! I see you there, trying to be warm and accommodating, but that often comes back to haunt you, and it’s something that can be prevented. So, send your save the dates to only the names of the people you are extending an invitation to. If you’re not sure, don’t add them to the list. If you change your mind later, you can absolutely still send them an invite! Better safe than sorry, believe me.

Phase Two: Get Real

Okay, so now we’ve passed the time for save the dates, and your invitations are being designed and prepared for mailing. This is a crucial time to set the expectations of your guests, as invitations are there to communicate everything they’ll need to know about your wedding, and who is going to be invited is a key component.

First step: On your envelopes, address the names of the guests invited. Don’t want your brother bringing a random? Invite his boyfriend by name. Don’t want kids at your wedding? Invite only Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. This is the first indication of who is invited to a wedding.

Step two, tactic B: Design your RSVP cards with space to write in the number of seats you are extending to this person, eg. 2 seat(s) have been reserved in your honor. We do this often to limit the number of cheeky guests that try to add a name to the RSVP. 

Phase Three: Invitations are About to Go Out the Door.

The envelopes are sealed and addressed, you’ve allowed at least 4 weeks for RSVP collection and think, “”this is it! I’m really in it now!”

This is the time that people will start to text you/call you/email/ig/slide into your DMs with (hopefully) “Oh my god, these are the best invitations ever!” And, you’ll be smitten with your invitation reception because for once, you feel SOMEONE is just as excited as you about your wedding! 

Then one afternoon, you hear the facebook message ding. Or maybe it happens as your coffee crosses the counter “So, when am I getting my invite?” Awkward. There is a way to play this off and prevent a total meltdown.

First things first! Yes. It is absolutely R-U-D-E to ask for an invitation. But it doesn’t stop people from doing it. And mostly, it’s because, well, they like you (and who can blame them), and want to be part of the cool kids club. They think your wedding is going to be epic, (and it will be!) and they want to be part of it.

So–what can you say that will diffuse the situation without looking like a jerk! Try this: In a nonchalant humorous tone say, “Ha! As soon as I claim my lotto winnings, I can barely afford to invite myself!” And, they will laugh, and you will laugh, and then you casually slink out of there without further comment! 

Because here’s a secret, they probably don’t realize how expensive it is for each guest that attends a wedding if they’re asking you this. If they did, they would know not to say boo. Hopefully they get the hint here, but if they don’t, you can default to your size limitations.

Phase 4: When you thought all was going well

By this point you feel like you’ve really done it and are coming to the home stretch, then you get a message that says–”Hey I got your invitation, but I noticed that the kids weren’t part of the invite, does that mean they’re not invited”

And, technically, not getting an invite literally means you are not invited, but you might need to prepare a response like “While we believe children are a blessing and a joy, please take this night to enjoy yourselves. Our wedding is adults only”

BAM. It doesn’t get much clearer than that. 

You can even include this on an insert card with your reception information if you want to prevent these outcries altogether. And if it’s included in the invitation and you still get the above message? Copy and paste darling, copy and paste, and stick to your guns!

While we understand that for some people excluding kids from your wedding will come as an insult, the choice is ultimately up to you! And, if you’re one of the last of your friend group to tie the knot, including a dozen or more entire families might just break your budget! So set your priorities then stick with them!

And, truthfully, unless the kids in question are very close family (i.e. your only nieces and nephews), having them there might not enhance your day. But, on the other hand, if you’ve always imagined a dance floor of little ones dancing the night away, then invite away! It’s your day to do things your way! Period!