Wedding Planning Update: Lessons from our Engagement Party

Jim and I have been engaged for a few months now. After the congratulations subsided, the questions began. Do you have a date, a venue in mind, who are you inviting, etc etc. You know, all the things we have vague to semi-specific ideas about.

Last weekend, my parents threw us an engagement party. We weren’t responsible for much, but in many ways, it felt like a small scale rehearsal for the main event next year.

Guest list angst

Pictured: two people who definitely haven’t been procrastinating on making a guest list.

I’m going to sound like I’m complaining here, but hear me out. I froze a little when my mom asked me who I wanted to invite because… I don’t know, really. I have a decent idea who I want at my wedding, but this was smaller scale. Close family, wedding party, and my parents’ friends felt like a safe choice.

A lot of my friends aren’t local and I didn’t want to invite some friends while others were left out. Also, our wedding guest list is still very much up in the air and I was worried that people would assume an invite last weekend meant they were automatically invited to the wedding.

Basically, I felt the same sort of emotional pressure and sense of obligation that’s been plaguing our attempts at finalizing a guest list.

Fast forward to this month, when most of my parents’ friends had to bail after RSVPing for totally understandable reasons. I wound up asking local friends last minute if they could come. Not everyone could, but so many did!

It’s made me want to take an even harder look at our guest list. Those obligation invites feel like such easy cuts now. It’s not about who you think should there: think about who wants to be there for you.

Going outdoors is a gamble

We lucked out with wonderful weather last weekend.

The party was in my parents’ backyard and it was a perfect afternoon. Sunny, not too hot, a lovely day to be outside.

But the weekend before? Highs in the upper 80s, which I don’t mind because I love warm weather, but it definitely isn’t for everyone.

When we started looking at places for our reception, I was open to outdoor venues. Jim, on the other hand… not so much. I thought I could talk him into it if I found the perfect place, but after getting lucky last weekend, I don’t want to risk it again.

Fall is still pretty warm in the South Bay. I don’t want my guests melting — just their hearts.

Smaller scale is better

Cutting our guest list like this delicious Gold Bar cake (with gold bars on top!) Jim’s cousin Julianne made for us.

I hate being a tease, but until it’s booked and the down payment is paid, I don’t want to be specific about venues just yet. That being said… I think I found the perfect one?

However, the more info I get about it, the more cuts I know I’ll need to make if we want to make it work.

And you know what? After last weekend, I am more than okay with this.

Fewer people means more bang for our budget buck, more time to spend with everyone who does come (yep, I came to that conclusion after a lot of table bouncing last weekend), and less to do and less to stress about.

That way I can focus on, you know, marrying my (soon-to-be) husband. What a concept.

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