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When I was at school, I remember having a very glamorous history teacher who was well into her sixties.

One day, we happened to be talking about weddings in class and she said that on her wedding day, it had been just her, her husband and two witnesses they’d literally pulled in off the street.

We all thought that was very romantic. But we did ask them why they’d chosen to tie the knot that way.

They said they’d decided to have a quiet wedding because they’d felt overwhelmed by their respective families wanting it to be a big ‘do’. They were both only children so the wedding was a big deal for both sets of parents.

Feeling overwhelmed by it all

It’s very true that once you announce your engagement, you’re going to be asked over and over again: ‘when are you going to get married?’

Also questions like …

‘Can I be a bridesmaid?’

‘My little niece is sooo cute and she’s always wanted to be a bridesmaid.’ (No pressure there then.)

Feeling you have to invite certain people?

You may get strong hints from parents, in-laws, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins, work colleagues about who should be invited to the wedding.

But the thing is, you don’t have to have anyone at your wedding whom you don’t want to be there. (Although if your parents are footing the bill, they’re obviously going to want to have a big say.)

You really don’t have to invite your boss, your grandma’s next door neighbour, the couple your in-laws met on holiday and ‘really liked’.

The people who come to your wedding should be special to you, people you know and whom you know you’ll be in touch with in future.

Apparently even Prince William had a problem with his guest wedding list. It’s said that he was presented with a list of people he ‘should’ invite to his wedding day by courtiers and he looked through it and realised he didn’t know most of them. Very sensibly he had a chat with his granny who told him to write his own list and forget the other one. So that’s what he and Kate did – and they had the wedding day they wanted.

Here’s a list of people we think you can forget about inviting on your wedding day

  • Your exes. Remember they are exes for a good reason. You’re starting on a new life and do either of your exes have a big part in it? Will it be awkward? Possibly? So forget the ‘we’re still friends’ line.
  • Plus ones. We think that unless a couple is established (or you have an unlimited budget) it’s best not to put random ‘plus ones’ on wedding invitations. Far better to make sure that your single friends have a great time at your wedding – by having a singles table for example. (In fact, never put singles on a table with marrieds – it’s very boring for them.)
  • Your boss and work colleagues. A wedding is a private affair and it’s usually good to draw a line between work and your private life. So don’t feel you have to invite your boss or anybody from work.
  • Loose cannons. By which we mean embarassing relatives and friends. Those people you can’t trust not to get blind drunk, fall over, commandeer the DJ-ing, asks other guests for loans, make loud comments during the speeches, create a scene, burst into tears at a crucial point, act as exhibitionists, If your parents have remarried and don’t get on with on another, then you’re going to have to have a serious word with them. Point out that it’s your day and they’re going to have to keep their personal likes and dislikes to themselves and behave. Or you won’t invite them.
  • Long lost relatives you’ve fallen out of touch with.
  • Old friends you’ve fallen out of touch with. School friends, college friends, work colleagues – think carefully before you add them to the list. Are they really going to be a part of your future life?
  • Your friend’s children. This is a tricky one. If your friends have just had a baby, then the baby is going to have to come too. However toddlers and young children are a different matter. Children are a whole different ball game at weddings. There’s a school of thought that thinks they should be part of the day, another that thinks they shouldn’t. We’re written about children at weddings here, to help you decide.

If you’re concerned about the etiquette of seating your guests, this is where one of our stylists will come into their own. Maybe it would be best if you don’t have a top table? There’s potential there for embarassment if it’s going to contain parents who have remarried. Maybe it would be best to just have a table for the bride and groom and let close family sit on tables where they’ll feel more comfortable.

Remember that our stylists are wedding experts and they’ve heard it all before. They’re not just about chair sashes and table cloths.

You could have a beautiful bride and groom table for just the two of you – with a beautifully lit backdrop. Have a talk to our stylist about how this could work for you. Their ideas are probably just what you’re looking for.

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