It’s not the first time I have declared this, weddings can bring out the most peculiar behaviour in some of us. It can bring out the best in people and the worst in others.
I still haven’t mastered the psychology, but it’s most fascinating. From pure joy and admiration, to jealously and even to people’s sudden obsession with your financial position, airing strong opinions about how much you should or shouldn’t be spending on your wedding. To wise mother hens, telling you to enjoy your first year of marriage because it all goes down hill after that!!! I mean, what kind of advice is that??? Suddenly everyone has an opinion when it comes to your wedding day, so take them with a pinch of salt, unless you are speaking to a wedding expert of course!
Common RSVP Dilemma’s
The common frustrations for many couples is navigating that joyful guest list and all of the bubbling mix of emotional wedding politics it conjures up.
If they don’t come to our wedding, what value does that place on our relationship? If I don’t invite them what will they think of me? I don’t want to upset anyone!
Leading to frequent internal ramblings such as;
Well she invited me to her wedding two decades ago and even though she is no longer in my life and I don’t even know the name of her partner, surely we’re going to have to invite her to ours, right???
Dealing with wedding party woes also comes into the mix from bridesmaids who are about as enthusiastic as a dish cloth, to distant family who assume they are invited (before you’ve even found a venue) because you share the same ancestry. And more unexpectedly, to those who you adore who play an important role and send a great big fat decline to your kindly drafted and considerate invitation, for no apparent reason. It can feel like a personal rejection of who you are and everything you value, and stand for doesn’t it?
Receiving RSVP’s is one of the most nail-biting inducing moments for many couples who plan their own wedding. Without the RSVP’s you don’t really know how many you’re catering to, how much it’s all going to cost and what group of people and atmosphere they will generate. In your mind you envisage seeing certain people who you have shared your life with, you visualise them busting out some moves on the dance floor. You imagine them saying a speech and celebrating into the early hours with you.
And then you receive a NO. Now what?!
My brother had a destination wedding and designed the most hilarious invitations with the following RSVP options:
- Yes – would love to attend
- No – Will be saving the world from evil – (because really there would be no other acceptable reason not to attend such an important affair, right! lol)
That’s what it can feel like sometimes I am sure!
It really was interesting to witness the psychology between those who fudged RSVP’s, with pre-drawn out excuses already laid out, to those who were fully committed and happy to fly across country without a second thought to celebrate.
Weddings are incredibly important and meaningful for most people who enter into marriage. We want our nearest and dearest there and simply cannot imagine our day without them in it. But while important to us, it doesn’t automatically have the same weight of importance with our friends and family, and that’s ok.
Be prepared to receive those unexpected ‘NO’s’. They come with the territory.
Be prepared for at least 10% drop out on the day. Yes really. For any event this is a must. From unexpected illness, a change of heart, a transport issue, bereavement, to sometimes no correspondence or explanation at all. (Yes really, Mr Nu Bride had a life long friend who was doing a reading simply not turn up. That was nearly three years ago, we still don’t know what happened and haven’t spoken since – we are not alone!)
It’s Not Personal
You may have noticed, a small selection of people behave like you have invited them to a Nazi Concentration camp and your wedding is SUCH an inconvenience to them. As much as it feels personal, (I mean why wouldn’t your nearest and dearest want to come and celebrate with you on such a special occasion)? for the most part, it isn’t.
During engagement, it can almost feel as it our every day life stands still. Projects, careers and many other things often hit a bit of a pause button, while your energy and time is re-directed into wedding planning mode. Quite the opposite though, our friends and families lives keep going. They still have to budget for the house projects, rising food bills, studying, financial commitments unexpected or otherwise, their treasured holidays and time for respite, their work, their play. They are all important to them too and sometimes the never-ending juggling and budgeting act of trying to fit everything in, as much as we want to sometimes it is simply an impossible feat.
For most RSVP’s, there is a genuine reason why your nearest and dearest might not be able to attend. It doesn’t mean they don’t value your relationship and won’t be gutted not to be there.
I had a reader contact me who was utterly torn, she had two family weddings and one best friends wedding in the same year, all destination, as well as being self-employed running her own business and trying to start her own family. She simply couldn’t go to them all and the decision was agonising for her, but she had to be realistic and she had to say no to some and we have to be accepting and understanding of this.
Trust in the notion that those who matter most will be there. Honestly, as much as you can’t imagine your wedding day without some of your friends or family, key roles aside, you honestly do not notice on the day. The excitement the joy, the panic, the overwhelm, the calm, the euphoria of your own wedding day, of the moment you dedicate your life to the one you love, takes over. And it is magic.
For those that say no to an RSVP, please, please don’t take it personally. Sometimes, people for a number of reasons, just can’t.
Use their ‘no’ as an opportunity to follow-up and put a date in the diary for a catch up post-wedding to reminisce over photo’s, both of you will love that, and for those who really are lacking the enthusiasm you expected them to have, marriage and weddings are a natural transition and organic time to reconsider who you choose to align yourself with and dedicate time to.
Oh and have a B guest list. Sounds naff doesn’t it, but it helps to cover every eventuality! Especially nearer the time if you have to pay your final balance for food, if it is already paid for you won’t want waste! There will always be more people on your guest list than you can afford, if you received more ‘NO’s than anticipated, consider if someone on the B list deserves an upgrade! Oh the politics!
Photography: Sanshine Photography