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This first tip is easy - I mean, it has to be :) Put names in your A-List of people you could not imagine a second not having with you to celebrate! Closest friend? Old grand-ma? Who cares except you! A-List: unmistakable peron you love above all. Put names in your B-list of people you would love to spend time with but maybe not enough space or budget to invite. B-List: people you love but you can't afford to invite at first raw.
When you think about people that surrounds you, you will easily get who is in your daily life or not. Please, do not invite this cousin you've never seen for a decade, nor your mum's best friend that is now living so far from you that you wouldn't be able to recognise her! Invite your current beloved ones! You will not -never- regret it!
It is normally fair to invite as many guests from each side of families. But sometimes, it is not that easy. Do not hesitate to ask your both parents to build their guest-list and how far they are ready to participate to the final bill. When from the US, traditions drive the parents of the bride to pay for the wedding while the parent's groom pay for the welcome party. In any case, try to keep the fairest percentage of guests, from each side, and no one would be able to complain after all.
Ha! The big question, isn't it? Adults-only weddings are super trendy, mostly in destination weddings. And even if I am a mum, I may admit that it is not weird to have only adults at your wedding. If your families and friends have a lot of kiddos, it will be hard to ask them to leave kids at home. Bear in mind that it could be also a great opportunity for them to travel easily and celebrate and party up to the sunset with you. To make it easy for you to fix the barrier: when you send invitations, as for the kids in the above paragraph, write down exact names of person you invite on the envelop + on the RSVP. When you write "Family Thompson" or "with children" All normal person will understand that you're having a kids-welcome wedding. This is etiquette! Shhht... don't pay attention to these super cuties right under. They are not here to influence you! I promise!
Oh Lord! Please!! Be strict with this. As a wedding-planner, last minute plus-ones are a nightmare - sorry to say it - officially! Why would you welcome someone you strictly don't know, nor ever met. Plus ones, when they are official, invite them. To make it easy for you to fix the barrier: when you send invitations, as for the kids in the above paragraph, write down exact names of person you invite on the envelop + on the RSVP. All normal person will understand. This is etiquette!
When you are preparing your A-List and your B-List, be honest and put yourself in your guests shoes. You are living in the US and you plan your destination wedding in Lake Como => not everyone will be able to afford such a travel and some days of accommodations on site.
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