Monday, August 27, 2012

The Gracious Guest List

Before you can figure out how many wedding invitations to order, you have to finalize your guest list. The quantity needed is sometimes the last piece of information a client will provide us with, because firming up the guest list can be a tough job. It's a task that involves the effort of more than just the bride and groom but also both sets of parents, and each has their own VIP list. There's the budget and the size of your venue to consider and logistically it's just not realistic to invite everyone. At the same time you don't want to start off your marriage with strained family relations, especially with your new in-laws. My advice when you're looking for where to draw the line, think graciousness and hospitality, and be as tolerant as possible of your parent's requests. Here's why I feel compelled to offer this suggestion. 

Recently, my friend Donna and I took a trip to Catalina Island with her nine year old daughter,Vika, and pre-teen son, Brett. That day we made lots of summer memories, feeding the fish on the glass-bottom boat tour and enjoying candy apples and frozen bananas. Donna told me about a woman who she thought worked on the island--a dear old friend of her mother. This person had the title of BFF and was 1 in a group of 3 women who had traveled the world together, shared some wild times and made memories of their own. Some investigating revealed that she was indeed on the island and my heart was warmed by their gleeful exchange.  Donna's mom is no longer with us, yet I felt that some part of her shined through the light in the eyes of her very good friend. It was a special moment to witness.

The moral of my story is that nostalgia plays a major role in weddings, and some day you too may be very touched that your parents' oldest friends care enough to reconnect as you realize that they in fact do make your circle complete. I hope to, someday, be invited to the weddings of Vika and Brett, as someone who is like a sister to their mom.

Graciously Yours,
Paula Estes

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