Hello lovely ladies (and gents!). We’re back with another installment of Etiquette with Emily. First, I just have to say y’all are fantastic! When I asked for your thoughts two weeks ago on my engagement party guest list conundrum, you delivered like no other – over 35 responses! The consensus seemed to be that the best option was to hold a more generic holiday party, but to let people know (if they ask!) that Kate + Cormac will be in attendance. This way, they’ll get to celebrate with friends and family, but without the pressure of save-the-dates hanging over their heads all night. Thanks again for all of your great input – I loved reading your thoughts!
But on to this week. Today’s question comes from our very own Katharine! Like our last question, it, too, concerns guest lists (aren’t they difficult?), but this time, it’s the list for the actual wedding she’s wondering about.
Here’s the deal. Katharine is not engaged (yet!), but she’s already looking ahead to the near future, when she will be. (Side note: can you blame her?! We work at a wedding magazine!) In an ideal world, Katharine and Kyle would prefer to have a small wedding (let’s say thirty or so people). This is not always an ideal world, however, and a small wedding is just not in the cards for these two families.
The next problem? Kyle’s family is, like, five times larger than Katharine’s. For serious. Kyle’s family also feels strongly about inviting the entire extended clan. Katharine’s worry? That her family will feel like guests at the Gibler family reunion. Another complication? Katharine’s family is pretty traditional (three cheers for Virginians!), and plans to pay for most of the festivities… festivities that will be large (and expensive!) mainly because of the groom’s extended family.
So her question: Can the available spots on the guest list be split equally between the two sides, or should Kyle’s side be given more slots since it’s larger? Does the guest list split (or the size of the wedding) depend at all on who’s footing the bill?
Unfortunately, all Ms. Post gives us on the subject is this:
“Traditionally, the guest list was divided equally between the bride’s and groom’s families and friends, but this is no longer considered necessary. Everyone must keep in mind whose wedding it is. Certainly the bride and groom will seek input from their families, but it’s up to the couple to make the final choices. If everyone is willing to be tactful and accommodating, the process should proceed without too much fuss.” (Emily Post’s Etiquette, 17th Edition, page 572)
So what do you think? Please share!
Have an etiquette conundrum you’d like us to take a stab at? Email me at emily [at] iloveswmag [dot] com (or click here!).