Thursday, October 16, 2008

Making The Cut

So my future-cousin-in-law just got engaged. She and her guy are wonderful people - seemingly a perfect match. They are low key and laid back, and now they're riding the same bridal bullet-train we are. My FH's family isn't huge, but it isn't small either. My family is pretty big too. It's easy to let the guest list spiral out of control, and before you know it, you feel like curling up in a corner in the fetal position.

Many people have varying approaches to creating their invite list. Some think the brutal "slasher" approach is best. Slash anyone for any quasi-decent reason: They probably won't come anyways - gone! They were once rude to your mother - nuh uh! They give really crappy gifts - out! You hate their taste in wine - beat it! They always seem to have food stuck in their teeth - get lost! They're sure to bust out "The Moves" on the dance floor - no way! List-slashers will come up with any type of reason as to why a potential guest doesn't make the cut, and it keeps the list small and contained. It also ensures they'll come out on the other side with little to no friends. Don't expect many gifts, cards or congrats if you take this approach. In fact, don't expect many people other than your parents to show up if you have such an elitist attitude. But maybe they didn't even make the cut. Ok, then you'd better pray at least the officiant shows up.

Another way of creating an invite list is the "Six Degrees of Separation" approach. Now, you've heard that everyone on the planet can be connected to someone else by no more than six degrees of separation. (Some also call this phenomenon "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" - because you know we're all somehow connected to that dancing maniac from Footloose.) Since you're connected to everyone on the planet through six or fewer other people, anyone who abides by this approach basically invites, well... everyone on the planet. This method of inviting guests is for those who can't bear to leave out 2nd cousin Matilda, thrice removed. Or the girl that bags their groceries. The guy who sold them their funeral plot. Their father's boss's nephew. The lady who was so nice when she helped them book their honeymoon cruise. And the list goes on. And on. And on. This approach will land you in need of an airplane hangar to host your reception. Good luck with it. Better invite your future bankruptcy lawyer while you're at it.

The middle-ground approach is the "Take a little, give a little" method. This means you and your honey meet in the middle and compromise on the list. "Fringe-friends" become entirely negotiable. You want to invite your 4th grade teacher? Fine. He gets to invite his hockey buddy from 4th grade. His parents must invite their nosy neighbor to keep the peace? Ok, then your parents get to invite the weird cousin guaranteed to show up in the powder blue polyester suit. In order to take, you must also be willing to give. Some deals fall through, and it allows the list to get whittled down naturally. There's a balance between the odd and the normal guests, and each side wins and each side loses. Just remember, because you got to invite your Paris Hilton-wannabe sorority sister, he got to invite his keg-standing pig of a frat brother... and that might just be a match made in heaven. The universe is a mystical place, isn't it?

I don't know what type of list-maker my future-cousin-in-law will turn out to be. She seems to be the sensible middle-ground type, like myself. I gifted her with a copy of Wedding Planning For Dummies, and wished her the best of luck. If we don't get an invite by the end of 2009, I guess I assumed incorrectly. Till next time....


AmyJean said...

Hahahaha. I would love to be a list slasher... if only! *sigh*

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

I love your take on cutting down the guest list!!! Back in November I had the same question from a bride...

I'm going to send her your site!

Love it!

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

Whoops, forgot to put the link!
you want to get back to her yourself??? you might be more influential!!!!
Love your blog

Stephanie said...

I love your insight on making the cut! especially the list slasher!! haha