I was certain we would be different.
Turns out, we're the same as all the engaged couples who have gone before us: we hit a wall with the guest list.
As I laid in bed last night, full of ideas and caffeine from a 5-hour road trip, I went over our experience with said list.
I must admit, before I even had a ring on my finger, I created a mock list. "Let's just get an idea!" encouraged my mother. Because of this running start, the process has been largely painless.
To begin, Adam and I utilized Google Docs which allowed us to simultaneously create our individual lists with ridiculous ease. The fact that we could both access the list at any time was beyond helpful. Plus, the autosave feature guaranteed our updates were recorded with no fuss and skipped the frustration that comes when you're a couple who uses both Excel and Numbers applications.
Initially, we each compiled a list which ran side-by-side. For each list, there were 3 columns: # of invitations, Full Name, # in attendance. This allowed us to keep tally of the number of invitations needed; encouraged me to go ahead and properly record the name as it should appear on the envelope; and kept a total head count for the caterer, bartenders, favors, etc.
Tip: Be sure to not factor in children under a certain age if you've reached an agreement with your caterer.
To help organize the chaos and make sure we covered all our social bases, each list was divided into different spheres of interest: Family, Extended Family, Family Friends, Hometown Friends, College Friends, Knoxville Adults, Knoxville Community, Work, etc.
This will look differently for each couple, but identifying the areas/stages of your life helps trigger your thought process as you compile your list.
So, there we had it: our beloved guest list, a true labor of love.
Then the conversations began.
As we kept in communication with our families, we recognized the need to reorder some of our personal priorities and preferences. Because we are having a "smaller" wedding, the natural tension that came with increasing the "Family Friends" category at the expense (both literal and figurative) of any other category was hard to swallow.
With the help of Miss Peggy Post, we're coming to terms with the maintenance required of any guest list. With each step, Adam and I remind each other that on July 16 we're going to be married in the presence of people who undoubtedly love us - and because of that, I have experienced a clean conviction as we make hard decisions.
The decision does not linger and it does not nag. And it does not indicate a wavering friendship or pride/prejudice. It's simply confirmation that we are honoring our parents, we are honoring each other and we are honoring the Lord.
So, as I laid thinking of this list, I also thought of the coffee I drank on the drive home last night. And then it came together in that weird midnight way: you can liken our guest list to a skinny no foam hazelnut latte - my seasonal drink of choice (yay, holiday cups!).
While it's a tall order that receives an occasional roll of the eye... you can't deny it was made with intention and precision. By cutting the foam (thanks, Emmy!), you end up getting more (for what it's worth), and the sugar-free hazelnut keeps it flavorful while being a healthy, slim-and-trim decision.
Yeah, yeah... that's enough, Kate.