It’s the holidays! For people like me this means so many people are newly engaged. Some of you may be sporting some beautiful bling on your hand. Tag me on instagram or twitter, I want to see too! @regalaffair is how you find me out there.
So after the excitement begins to die down it’s time for the nitty gritty. Personally, I think you should call me and hire me, but wedding planners aren’t for everyone for several reasons and that is okay too. This is the first in a series of posts for newly engaged. I want you to sit and write out your guest list. Whoa. What? Yes. just do it. It will be one of the most tedious tasks you take on so it makes sense to get it over with.
If you have a large family like I do then not just any venue will do. So, you really need to know your best guest before deciding to look at spaces. I would hate for you to fall in love with a venue that will only accommodate 80 people but your list of probably attending is around 150.
- Start with excel. Create the list like you would for mail merge.
- Mr. and Mrs.
- First Name
- Last Name
- Street Address
- Number invited
- Probably attending
- any other field you may want
- I don’t want you to worry about addresses unless you already know it. You are setting up your worksheet for the down the road. Today is all about numbers
- What about my Uncle Jaz? I don’t know his proper name! That’s okay, again, we want numbers. I want you to make a place holder for all your people. I like do it by groups. My family: Parents, my siblings. Then my eldest uncle, then the next entry is his grown children, etc… It’s all in order because that’s how I remember them all, by their group. You can do it however you like and however it makes sense to you. This is just my personal preference that way I get both sides of each side of the engagement party.
- Number invited: if you are inviting me and my family that number would be 7. (Mr. and Mrs. Mongkon Jasiczek and our 5 kids. Weird name, right? That’s why we call him Jaz. See that whole Uncle Jaz question above. On the Jasiczek side most of the males are nicknamed Jaz! just get that placeholder in there.) At the end you will total all these in this column and that will tell you your total invited guest count.
- Probably Attending: You know your people. In my family on my mother’s side I can count on who is coming to a family wedding. Easily 75 of us will attend a first cousin wedding. I know which of my closest friends will also come to my personal events. In this next column, you know how you can count on. Add those numbers in here. This way if you have a large disparity between the two you can have the discussion early on in the planning process on how to proceed.
Take my advice and get this task out of the way. This is advice I relay to every single new client. It’s the first thing I want completed before we seek out venues. I remember fondly meeting with my bride who is marrying Memorial Day weekend. She spoke of a beautiful intimate wedding of less than 100. She described her family, especially her father and then groom’s family. I told her I wanted her to get accustomed to the idea she was going to have a large wedding. They completed their list – just under 200. And as the months have gone by it’s inched up to 300. We made sure to pick a hotel ballroom to accommodate her growing list. I knew this family and list would grow and oh my has it grown from the initial 75! I’ll update this post before the New Year to include a blank wedding guest list.
Good luck in your planning. Please consider hiring a professional planner! We are avialable all over Texas and globally. Destination wedding are our specialty. Look for our exploits this wedding season in Mexico, West Texas, Turks and Caicos and soon to be announced Caribbean location.
Photo provided by current client and bride Maddie Sanchez.
**UPDATED 12/28/2014** Clicke on the following link to download a simple excel spreadsheet to get you started. wedding guest list
One of my secrets to shopping for fashion bargains is using Ideeli. A couple of times a year, they focus on weddings. The sampling provides some dresses (which are returnable), gift items and my favorite: SHOES!
You must be a member, but membership is free. They have a great return policy (I’ve never encountered a problem). Items that are eligible for return are clearly marked.
Go now and snag this cute dress. Perfect for your departure at the end of the night. I love the lace 3/4 length sleeve and the price! At $79.99, it’s a great choice and I could see myself dying it a different shade, perhaps coral for use after the wedding, if the fabric allows.
You’re newly engaged. You read yesterday’s post about making a guest list. Now let’s just jump into some fun stuff – what is it going to look like!? Some of you have been planning a wedding in your mind for years and some have not given it any thought. I have the perfect book for you: Weddings by Sasha Souza. Sasha is an incredible wedding planner who is also a fantastic designer / producer. I’ve found a lot of inspiration from her personally and from this book which is just lovely. There are color sections, menus and actual weddings, not stage photo shoots which have invaded our industry and many blogs. (I love a nice photo shoot, but it’s not always an achievable wedding look.)
I own this book, times three! One is my personal reference and I loan out the other two to current clients. This is a great coffee table book and you can reference it in the future for many design aspects. I have attached a picture of my autographed copy below. Probably my favorite autograph ever. Thanks Sasha!
Surprised I didn’t recommend a planning book? Are you kidding, we want you to hire us! Click here to order the book from Amazon:
The flurry of engagements at this time of year makes us in the industry excited… For you and for us! The engagement season of 2011-12 is especially exciting for me as my cousin asked his long time girl friend to marry. I am also patiently awaiting the engagement of three other close friends. There have also been some social media friends very recently engaged… from Thanksgiving to this past weekend. Turning out to be a bright 2012 for my young friends.
So here is my first free tip to the newly engaged. No.. I’m going to give you a break on the money talk. You all know you need to have the budget talk among yourselves and the parents. One of the first tasks you really should consider completing is making your guest list. Now you ask? Yes, Now. Depending on the size of the list and realistic expectations of who will actually attend may factor into booking your dream reception venue.
Think about it: you want this gorgeous downtown historic venue. It holds a perfect 100 but can accommodate 140. You send 150 invites – yikes! That is the equivalent of 300 people. Depending on the time of year, sufficient notice and frankly family / friend connections you could have 300. I had 400 and I couldn’t believe it.
So take a deep breath, make your first draft and then let’s start taking venue tours. Good luck and congratulations to the newly engaged!
Image from Ashton Teal (a social media friend) She tweeted: Wow. I’m in love. He did good.