In true Southern style, Mama and Papa Belle are hosting our wedding and reception. Out of a sense of fairness, they offered me the same deal they offered my Sister Belle when she got married in 2001. They would pay X amount of money and then we would be responsible for anything over that amount. OK, cool. I know how lucky I am to have parents who are willing and able to foot the wedding bill. So with parental blessings and a number in mind, we began planning our day.
One of the very first things The Boy and I worked on together was our guest list. We have a certain kind of day in mind. We want to treat our guests to a really special weekend with lots of good food and drink and plenty of things to see and do. Given that we have a pretty set budget, this means that the smaller the party, the more the trimmings, which is great, since we want to spend our day with a few people who are truly special to us, not a bunch of people neither of us know. So, we set some rules for ourselves:
1) First, we didn't want to invite people out of politeness or some sense of duty and then hope that they didn't show up so we could make our numbers work. We made sure that everyone on the guest list is someone we'd actually like to see and that we have a reasonable belief might show up.
2) Family - We would invite immediate family, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins ONLY. There is one exception to this - The Boy's Great Aunt and Great Uncle, who he does actually see when he makes his way to the Homestead on the Prairie.
3) Friends - If we haven't corresponded with them at least twice in one year, they aren't getting an invite. Period.
4) Family's Friends - if they aren't our personal friends as well, they aren't getting an invite.
5) Based on the budget, we told my parents that they, as hosts, could invite 10 people as their personal guests in addition to those names on the list - many of which are their friends anyway. We would, of course, prefer these people to be folks that I would know or at least recognize, but that it was up to them.
We drew up a list with 56 "names" for a total of about 130 people and we sent it to our parents in October, asking them to make revisions. No one said anything. Not one word. We had a few important people to meet in January while we were home before we could absolutely nail down a time. Once that was done, though, I ordered 75 invitations thinking that ten or so would be plenty of wiggle room for the small wedding we wanted.
This morning I got an e-mail from Papa Belle. He's been working very hard gathering the addresses for all the names on our list (which I am very grateful for)...and adding a few names of his own. Twenty two names, to be exact. Not ten. TWENTY TWO! Now I'm not very good at math, but even I know that there are now more names on the list than I have invitations to send out. Worst of all, 22 names represent roughly 50 more people, which totally blows the original budget! The Boy and I sat down together, overwhelmed, and composed an e-mail. The jest of this e-mail? They can invite as many people as they want, but they should plan as though all these people are going to attend. That means that they have to increase the budget for food and beverage accordingly.
Has anyone else experienced a hijacking? How did you handle it?