Hey, fambam! It has been exciting sharing wedding planning tips with you all. The last time we talked about 7 reasons why you should go-ahead to have your wedding in 2020. Today, I want to talk about your guest list. Yes, let’s talk about how you can reduce the number.
We know that Africans are used to big guest count events, but Covid-19 season has taught a lot of people to think deeply about who their closest people are and who truly deserves that seat at the wedding. There are structures to follow to get it right and I must say that it works because I have used it for my clients. In the end, you will be inviting those who you really want to experience your day with you.
A. Agreement Stage
The first thing to consider when cutting your African wedding guest list before doing the chop is to carry along all plans with “Who is paying for the wedding “. This is to ensure that everyone is in agreement especially if the couple is not the one paying for the wedding completely or at all. When everyone is carried along in the decision-making process of the number of guests to be invited and how many guests each person is allowed to invite, it eradicates confusion. This division of the number of guest per parent/siblings and guests should be agreed on or before even deciding on a venue.
B. Preparation Stage
Now let’s get into the preparation stage which is the big chop. If you are desperately trying to cut down your wedding guest list ask yourself these 10 questions:
1. Am I close to this person?
2. Have they met my partner?
3. Have they impacted my life growing up?
4. When last did I see or speak to them?
5. When I saw or spoke to them, how did I feel?
6. Are they a crush?
7. Do I have great fun memory experiences with this person?
8. Is this an ex or a past fling?
9. Are they grumpy, cranky, nosey or a two-faced person I don’t look forward to seeing that only brings problems and keeps complaining about everything?
10. Have they ever invited me to their own event?
No thanks and thanks to COVID, it is much easier to un-invite or not invite people you do not wish to host by simply saying “Due to safety reasons this season the family is choosing to keep the guest list short unfortunately and it is out of your hands” if asked. Most people respect the wishes of people more these days and may even prefer to watch virtually.
C. Submission Stage
At this stage, everyone submits their list. A deadline for submission of all guest list must be agreed upon at least one month to the wedding with options of swapping names if guests do not RSVP before a deadline date. Most times in Africa you always have one parent, sibling or couple plead for a few more names to be included on their guest list, but for very strict scenarios which my clients have had, someone else will have to sacrifice their tables or seats to accommodate the new names included or bear the consequence (guest come at a later time because of no sitting or table space available) and then cost implications of adding extra guests at the last minute.
D. Execution Stage
Hire a professional and experienced event planner to successfully guide you, manage and execute the process by recommending the right set of service providers. It will be their responsibility to ensure that the agreed guest list is what you have on that day. Whenever you think of guests, think this.
I hope this was helpful.
Your Favorite Wedding consultant.