Are you an A, B or C?
On Monday, A Man and I sat down to talk about our guest list. We had already vaguely discussed it a couple of summers ago, when we were trying to work out a timetable for when we actually would be able to get married and how big our guest list would end up looking. He had come to visit me at university, and we sat on the lawn outside my staircase, drinking tea and writing down the names of members of our families.
I’ve been bugging him for weeks to try and sit with me to work out who we were going to invite to our wedding. As I’ve had so much free time, it’s something I’ve thought about a lot, and I basically already had a draft list in my head. A Man, on the other hand, has a real world job with real world responsibilities and hadn’t actually really considered who he would like to be there with us.
Stage 1 – The List
We were very methodical about our guest list, starting with close family and working our way out. Parents and brothers, followed by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins (in my case) and step-family (in his). Family friends and our group of mutual friends from home were next, followed by uni friends. I kept telling him to just name as many people as he wanted to, and whether we had the funds to fit them on the guest list would come later, but he seemed to be having a big problem which I am sure a lot of couples have come across. Where is the line?
The thing with university is that you tend to make good friends with a few people who mix in different circles. You’re also friendly with people in those circles, but not necessarily close. You don’t want to offend anybody by not inviting them, but how far out can you go? In the end, we decided to write down everybody’s names and move onto…
Stage 2 – The Grades
This was the part he had trouble with. Is this particular friend an A, a B or a C? The As were easy – people we couldn’t ever imagine having our day without. The problem was differentiating between Bs and Cs. It took some time but eventually we got there. And A Man felt terrible, like he’d betrayed his friends and family by admitting that some are more important than others. Unfortunately, unless you’ve got an unlimited budget it’s something you’ll need to do before moving onto Stage 3.
Stage 3 – The Invites
At this point, we hadn’t counted out how many names we’d written down. I typed the names into a spreadsheet, starting with the As, then moving onto the Bs and Cs. As it turns out, we had pretty much chosen a perfect number! We had already agreed a rough estimate of 100 days guests, 140-150 evening. The basic rule was that As were automatically day guests (which made sense as they were our “can’t do without you” people), most Bs would be day guests and most Cs would be evenings. There was some shifting around, primarily because of the aforementioned ‘groups’ situation – if only 1 member of a group was a C guest, they were likely to be moved to the daytime to avoid causing unnecessary ructions for favouritism, and similarly with the B guests.
So, that’s how our guest list was written. Any evidence of the grading of our guests has since been destroyed, to alleviate A Man’s feelings of guilt. How did you create your guest list? And did you feel bad about having to leave someone off or ‘downgrade’ them?