One of the toughest things we face in planning our wedding is finalizing our guest list. If I had my way, we'd either invite 250 or 10, but neither will work for us. Our budget most definitely won't allow the larger figure, and I couldn't stomach excluding so many to have a truly intimate ceremony. We're trying to find a happy medium somewhere not too far off of the 100 mark, but it's really difficult.
If I recall correctly, I counted 57 family members on my side that I'm inviting. That doesn't extend at all past my first cousins' children. 57/100 is a pretty hefty figure. Then you count Opie's 15 or so relatives, a few family friends here or there, and that leaves very few friends with invitations. It's difficult to pick. Sure, we have our nearest and dearest as our attendants, but who do we include and exclude beyond that? I can't help but feel like we're picking those who will feel obligated to give us presents and those who will likely hate us forever. Fun.
I may be speaking out of turn a little bit to write about this, but I do in some ways envy my brother and his fiance for having the luxury to plan the intimate wedding they'll be celebrating next week. They can have the nice venue and the nice food. It's not at all like they don't like or love the people that weren't invited, nor is that at all the message they're trying to send with their rather exclusive guest list. They just chose to have a different sort of evening to celebrate their union and I can respect that. And I can also pine for the niceties they're able to afford for essentially the same budget I have to throw a party for 5 or more times the guests. Whee.
I have I think always compared weddings I've attended to the great bash that was my cousin TJ's wedding. I saw family there that I hadn't seen in eons (and haven't seen since). Everyone enjoyed great food, an open bar, great company, dancing, music, and all while celebrating and congratulating the newly wed couple. I'm doing my best to emulate the memory of that evening in a lot of ways, though it will be far from the same. We're planning to have a burger buffet - maybe not the "classiest" meal ever, but it's good eatin' and of the options we can afford, pretty much the best thing going. We'll have beer in plenty, and champagne for toasting.. maybe wine. We'll see. Our venue's pretty much exactly what we were looking for, so that's nice. We'll have plastic-ware instead of china, but I suspect our guests will survive. I'm doing my best to cut the budget everywhere I can so that we can afford a DJ, tasty cake, real linens, and so on and so forth.
I can't help but stress about those being excluded, even as inclusive as I'm trying to make our event. There are so many childhood friends, coworkers, high school (and later) pals that we want so badly to include.. but probably cannot. Also, we're so excited about our approaching nuptials, that it's easy to divulge intimate planning details to those we hadn't planned to invite. Are we then obligated to invite them? *sighs* I wish I could just wave a magic wand and make our wedding simultaneously free, fancy, and full o' friends.