Wedding Guests Lists, The Challenge of Getting Organized

Wedding Guests lists are honestly such a pain.  I feel like we have spent months working on this list, and it is still barely finalized.  Instead of it shrinking, the list keeps growing and growing as my parents keep remembering friends who didn’t make it to the first list.  I was not allowed to go out tonight because finalizing a budget and organizing my list were the top priorities of my parents, finally!

We’ve been cutting people out, adding others in, and figuring out whose children should be invited and whose should be left out.  As my other blog post already states, I am not a fan of non-family children being at my wedding, so I honestly am not inviting anyone’s child to my wedding that I don’t have conversations with.  My dad wanted to invite someone’s child, and my mom and I kept reminding him what it will cost him.  Too funny.  The Pakistani wedding list is a challenge, because you have to invite whoever has previously invited you to their wedding to yours and you have to invite mere acquaintances.  To top it all off, people have approached me to ask me if they are invited to my wedding, and they’ve also asked my mother if they are going to be invited.  I’ve also heard about the nightmarish activities which involve crossing out how many people are invited, and adding your own number, like for example, if two people are invited, people cross that number out and write in “4” or “5”.  Not ok!  If my parents find it too tacky to call these “guests” and remind them that the RSVP card stated 2 invitations, I will do it on their behalf.  People who know me know that I am not joking.

I literally only included 35 of my friends on my list… past roommates, very good college friends who made it a point to keep in touch beyond Facebook, people who I had good friendships with…. so for example,  there are a few people I didn’t stay  close with through all the college years but I met them my freshman year, had great memories and great conversations with them and cannot imagine my wedding without them.  We don’t see each other very often anymore, but I couldn’t leave them out of the most important day of my life because I’ve essentially known them for 6 1/2 years now.  I chose to invite who I did because I know they are truly happy for me 🙂  What kind of sucks is I can’t do “plus 1’s” for my friends because a guest list over 350 people is just ridiculous… so sorry in advanced!  I just hope everyone has a nice time!  I don’t think I’ll be making any new friends… so I think I’m done with my part of the list.  I really thought about who to invite carefully and cut people out until I got to this list, and I am so beyond happy with who I have 🙂  I don’t think I forgot anyone.

As for my parents part of the list…. well we certainly intend on finalizing it soon because we plan on sending invitations out by April or May.  Making my seating chart is going to be a nightmare, I already know it.  Pakistani people don’t send RSVP cards back as it is (my family is guilty) so I know my parents will be psycho-dialing our guests before the wedding to get our list so that we can get our final count so I can make my seating chart.

One thing I am doing right now to keep things a bit more organized is grouping individuals by the other people they are going to be seated with.  I’m going to use WeddingWire‘s app for seating arrangements to create my chart. For example, Natasha, Farida and Tammy are all one row apart on my list because they were all my roommates, and they’d probably have a great time sitting next to each other at my wedding.  I think that’s a smart way to get organized ahead of the game… hope it makes my seating chart a lot easier.  I just hope extra people don’t end up coming, because that will be really embarrassing for them being told that they are not on the list. :/

I’ve also been told making a B-list is a good idea just in case someone decides they cannot come and we end up having more space.  I’m thinking about it.


3 thoughts on “Wedding Guests Lists, The Challenge of Getting Organized

  1. Hi there! Just found your blog today, and as a fellow Pakistani bride getting married in May, girl, I feel your pain. We’re putting together the guest list, and I feel like it’s growing everyday. On top of that, who’s coming from my dad’s side is still up in the air. My parents are kind of adamant about keeping it to “Mr. & Mrs.” for the shaadi so that we don’t have non-family kids. I’m not doing a seating chart, though, because I saw my two best friends go through that nightmare, so mega-props to you for doing that!

    Also, agreed about the HSY hype. I was in Pakistan in February to find my bridal outfit and went to his boutique. While some pieces were stunning, most were too much or off the wall. And way too heavy.

    Best of luck with all your planning, and I’ll be bookmarking your blog 🙂

    • Hi!! Thanks so much for visiting and for the comment, I feel you about the growing list… we were addressing invitations now and it feels like we keep adding more and more people to our list! I went to HSY’s Boutique in Karachi too and was just shocked at how bad his stuff is! Karma is incredible, I need to blog about them. They are actually pretty reasonable too if you order from them–I paid quite a bit for my non-designer dress and wish I had known Karma would’ve cost me the same amount! I’ll be updating the blog more frequently, thanks for visiting!! And good luck in May!! ❤

  2. Your blog is such a great help when it comes to planning my Pakistani-American wedding! And I totally agree with you when you say you have no problem being stern and telling your guests they can only bring as many people as stated on the RSVP.

    But when it comes to weddings, Pakistani people can get very touchy. People will come up to you and ask to be invited. Or worse, auntie and uncle have some family visiting from some far away place (that you didn’t even know about) and since they just cannot bear to leave them at home while they’re going to a super fun wedding, they think it’s okay to just bring the entire khandaan along. I’ve seen it happen so many times.

    I do have a seating chart, but what if people do end up bringing extras along, like the kids they swear aren’t going to be a nuisance? (referencing to your “Children at Weddings” post). At least where I live, I hardly ever see parents at a wedding without their kids (unless their kids are teens) and the whole “booking a baby sitter for the night” thing is not common among Pakistanis.

    I’m afraid adults will be offended if they can’t bring their kids along, or are told at the door that their extras aren’t on the list and don’t have a seat. The last thing I want is my mom facing cold shoulders and hearing gossipy desi aunties whisper “who does she think she is?”

    I considered booking extra tables just in case, but that’s costly and basically the same thing as adding “4” or “5” people to your list instead of “2”. And still, I doubt a family would be okay with banishing their plus one’s to an extra table in the back, so then they insist on sitting together and the seating chart gets messed up, and chaos happens.

    So do you have any helpful hints? I’m so stressed out and I’ve been stalling sending out invitation cards! Please help!

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