How do you compile the guest list for a destination wedding?
Do you just run your fingers down your family tree – or phone book! –and hope for the best?
If only things were that easy.
There are many things you have to consider even before you begin putting the list of invitees together.
Know where to draw the line
Will you invite your second-cousins-twice-removed? Will you invite Uncle George, who has a reputation for getting drunk and singing lewd songs at the top of his voice? Will you issue an invitation to your grandparents, who are well into their 80s and may have already made it clear that they will refuse to travel?
Despite protestations to the contrary (and tiny saccharine-sweet cards rucked into the envelope holding the invitation) – it is understood that anyone who receives an invitation is expected to give a gift to the couple issuing it.
It does not make sense to invite distant relatives whom you have never seen before in your life, because of so-called “family obligations” – and then snub the people with whom you are in constant contact because of work or other commitments.
However, you have to bear in mind that since yours will be a destination wedding, the potential guests will have to bear the added expense of travel. Since it can hardly be expected that they hop off a plane, attend the wedding, and fly back home immediately, their sojourn will also include lodging… which will add o the total cost – unless they are being boarded by family members who are resident in Malta.
It would be good to test the waters before handing out invitations – some people may be less than enthusiastic about giving a gift “for noting” because it is out of the question that they attend the nuptials.
Have you got old school friends with whom you are still in touch? Would you rather have them share your joy, than colleagues you hardly meet except when you go to the staff kitchenette for coffee?
It would be good to make the guest list as a couple. Family and close friends will be on the left-hand side of the list, as “definite”. In the centre column, there will be people who might eventually be moved to the first column.
The third column will include those who, for some reason (financial, health, old age, etc.), shall not be invited.
Easy as A, B, C…
It is a good idea to send out invitations early; this gives people time to save the date. If someone says they cannot make it, you will be able to invite someone from the centre column, without making it look as though they are an afterthought. Make sure to ask guests to specify both RSVP and RO, to facilitate things.
Since yours will be a destination wedding, invitations must be sent out earlier than the usual six to eight weeks. Your guests must have time to make travel arrangements, and possibly, even save up for the trip. Try and get the Save The Date cards sent out about six months before, and the invitations proper around three months before the date of the wedding.
Points to remember:
♥ If you do not want to invite children, make it clear on the invitation itself by writing down the names of the person(s) invited. It is not your call to worry about baby-sitters for the period that the parents will be abroad.
♥ The average attendance of guests for a destination wedding will be 50-65% of the people whom you have invited, even if they do not inform you of their decision.
♥ You don’t have to invite all your colleagues; make it clear that you have invited some because they are friends.
♥ If you are giving your parents a number of invitations for their own circles, make sure they keep you au courant with what is happening, and that they do not invite extra persons willy-nilly. Some of the guests might be common to both lists.
♥ Remember to include an indication of the dress-code, if any; a map of the destination would be nice, too.
MALTA EVENT DESIGN can help you make things as smooth as possible for you and your guests; we can help you arranging transportation, transfers or event accommodation. Follow MALTA EVENT DESIGN on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.