Good morning everyone, and happy Sunday! I have a bit of information to cover in today’s post and, as I mentioned yesterday in Part I, it’s not all sunshine, but, I promise it gets exciting at the end.
As I have expressed in the past, it often feels like I’m treading in uncharted and dangerous territory by sharing these details. At every turn, every article tells me, as a bride, what I should or shouldn’t be doing or sharing, and guess what; each article says something different. But to anyone who may silently feel that way, I’ll say this: we are excited about this time in our lives. My memory is pretty much crap and I don’t want to forget the little things. I’m writing to preserve my memories—the good and the bad.
I also have family and friends spread out all over the world who can’t always be as involved as they’d like and, to that point, I can only make so many phone calls and repeat my updates so many times. Sharing what I know I could easily preserve in my journal is for them, too.
So why am I talking about this again? First of all, because my email has been flooded with the dos and don’ts, wastes of money/time in weddings, and the comment sections of all those. I, quite frankly, want to spread the message to other brides and grooms to do what feels right by them, but with an appropriate amount of sensitivity to others. But mainly because of my next, often taboo subject: the guest list.
THE GUEST LIST
It’s a topic of many articles because it’s a stressful thing when planning a wedding, yet a rare topic of actual conversation because it can be very uncomfortable. I am sharing this today because I have the platform to express what can’t always be expressed, but should be, in my opinion. When we first approached the guest list, we did our, “in a perfect world” list. It was anyone and everyone who we would love to have at the wedding—not guests for the sake of having more guests, but people we would genuinely love to have there. The count was over 225. First, our venue can only hold 190. So, we made our first cut. We’ve also done another cut since then.
As many of you know, because of our housing situation, Nick and I have been living with his grandparents for a year now. That time has allowed us to really focus on saving as much as we possibly can for our wedding, our new house, and the start of our lives as a married couple. Because of this time, diligent cut backs and savings, and a lot of hard work, we have managed to save amounts we are really proud of.
But here is what we’ve come down to: the more we save, the less we want to spend. We’ve worked very hard to save in a unique and fortunate situation; to see it all disappear on one day would break our hearts. So where does that leave us?
We are working to cut back on costs where we can. We are foregoing a videographer because I got the photographer I wanted, even though I’d love to have one. I may be opting for a simple wedding band and getting the matching band to my engagement ring for an anniversary down the road. Our catering menu is pretty simple and our bar selection isn’t extensive. But the easiest way for us to save money is through the food/drink—and the only way for us to do that any further is to cut our guest list.
I am writing this because that means we are cutting people I, frankly, do not want to and want that message out there to anyone who may be following that we cannot invite. It’s taboo to talk about this; I know it is. But I can’t imagine taking this step and not getting the reasons out into the universe. I wasn’t invited to a wedding I would have loved to go to and, at the time, I didn’t understand and felt very disappointed. But my perspective has radically shifted since going through this myself.
Nick and I are buying a house. It’s a house we have to first build, move into, furnish, and maybe one day expand upon. It’s also a house we plan on starting our family in. That family comes with expenses. Our lives as a married couple comes with expenses. Right now, we are set to have a cushion when all is said and done—a cushion we have painstakingly filled feather by feather. If we don’t make this cut, that cushion will take a serious hit.
In short, we have made the decision to have a smaller wedding in an attempt to balance having a special day with the rest of our future. I would love to throw a bash that reunites friends we haven’t seen in years. I would love to invite everyone from all our circles and leave no one out. Believe me, this decision brought me to tears as I sat and stared at names and thought about each friendship (I have a couple of witnesses that can attest to it); but we have to do this. Even if someone donated 10K more, we’d still have to do it.
I hope that by putting this out there, people will understand our position. We want a beautiful wedding, but the bigger picture of our marriage needs to come first. If I won the lottery, different story; but we need to think about our future and the future of our family. It’s not easy and maybe people don’t really care about being invited or not, but I wanted to share this in case it helps even one person we can’t afford to invite that wishes they were. Maybe I shouldn’t have shared this at all, in some people’s opinions, but I needed to do what felt right…
*Deep breath* And with that, I will switch topics.
A WOODWARD WEDDING
After a few weeks of making tweaks (killer rhyme, Kat), our wedding website is officially live! I opted to build the site with Squarespace, since I couldn’t find any templates via the go-to wedding website engines that had what I was looking for.
It’s simple, features many of our favorite shots from the engagement shoot, and above all else, provides our story, updates, and information about the day itself. It will be an ongoing endeavor to keep it updated, but it is officially live and ready to view.
So take a look at our new site, awoodwardwedding.com, and let us know what you think!
Until next time ❤