When you were little and your mom made cupcakes for you to bring in to class on your birthday, you might have complained about giving one to the kid nobody likes. But you were five, it was kindergarten, and the ingredients to make the cupcakes didn't cost more than five or six bucks. And expenses aside, didn't your mom tell you to be kind and give one to everyone in the class no matter what?
But with the ingredients that go in to planning a wedding costing a lot more than four sticks of butter, sugar and rainbow sprinkles, kindness becomes less of a factor. L feels - and I agree - that her parents shouldn't have to pay for people we're not that close with or people with whom we're not likely to stay close after the wedding. But I also have a more self-depricating take on the matter. I don't want anyone who isn't that close with me feeling obligated to come or even feel awkward when they tell me they can't. When you're not really close with someone, receiving a wedding invitation in the mail is about as exciting a prospect as opening your mailbox and finding a jury duty summons. Whether it's a wedding or your civic duty, you'll probably have to miss work, hang around with people you don't know, and eat a meal not to your liking. At least with jury duty, if you serve once you won't get called for another jury for the following two years.
L and I have been going through our own bit of Voir Dire right now, making our final invite list. We've been collecting addresses, emailing people to find out where they've moved and entering them in my handy Excel spreadsheet. In doing this I've realized that one of the disadvantages of communicating via email and cell phone - not to mention living in a city where it is often more convenient to meet at a local bar or coffee shop than in someone's tiny apartment - is that I no longer know exactly where some of my friends live. Area code 347? Where the hell is that?
Each couple involved in the planning - me and L, her parents, my parents - has been allotted a number of people to invite. We didn't necessarily want a huge wedding, but things have started to work out that way. Between the six of us the guest list now tops two hundred people. We've looked at our part again and again and asked ourselves if there is a way to trim it down. Nope. We're just that popular.
People who marry in their early twenties probablly have it easier. Couples that young generally have fewer friends who are married or in long-term relationships and therefore don't get to bring the person who seems to get invited to every wedding, "And Guest." (Mr. Guest probably is sick of buying the same toaster over and over again) Six or seven years ago L and I might have had no more than thirty or 40 people to invite. But now that many of our friends are either married or in long-term serious relationships, our part of the list is up to over eighty people. We're grateful for so many good friends, but overwhelmed by how quickly the list expanded to its present size.Posted by The Groom at January 12, 2004 10:15 AM