Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 19th 2015 Contents | EVENTS PLANNING |
By Dr. Makini McGuire
WHO TO INVITE, who not to invite, and how to invite
them are questions that will inevitably require answers
very early in the wedding planning process. There is no end
of literature on tips to build your guest list and how to keep
it to a reasonable number of guests. However, most of
these writers haven't had the Trinidad and Tobago experi-
ence. The Tale of Tanty, Nenen and the Pumpkin Vine
cousin. The struggle is real! How can we approach it? Three
brazen principles will set you on your way.
Firstly, your guests and your fiancé's guests come first. As
much as you love your parents, their guests must take a
low second place. Cousin Andrew from Grenada, whom
you have never seen or known, does not have rights be-
cause his title is "cousin". The endless trail of aunts, uncles
and cousins scattered across the Caribbean must not take
up valuable spots on your guest list. The truth is that some
friends are more important than some of your family
members. Do not have an overactive conscience; Cousin
Andrew doesn't even know your name, all he knows is that
"Albert las' chile gettin' married".
Secondly, don't invite anyone that you wouldn't miss. You
may be very friendly with that girl from aerobics class.
Does that mean she needs to come to your wedding? On
the wedding day when you're throwing your bouquet, are
you really going to remember how she helped you through
those crunches? No; leave her off the list.
Lastly, establish a plus-one rule. There is always a debate
about whether guests should be allowed to bring along a
partner. It's very simple. If a couple is married, both parties
should be invited; if a friend has a long-standing partner
you know by name, invite them. Otherwise, make them
come alone! They should be coming to your wedding to join
in celebrating your union and to wish you good tidings; they
don't need a plus-one to do that.
Of course, these can become easier said than done if you
don't prepare yourself for the battle. There will always be
the issue of The Acquaintance. News of your engagement
and wedding plans will spread fast, like everything does in
Trinidad and Tobago. This means that you are going to get
the "random" who says "Aa girl, so when ah getting meh in-
vitation?" You can choose any diplomatic, politically correct
phrase or action you want, the end point must be NOT to
issue that invitation. You may just laugh it off or you may
say that you are keeping the wedding small. Whichever it
is, do not issue that invitation. Do not get trapped in guilt-
trip invitations. Learn to say no! It is an invaluable lesson.
There are many methods by which invitations can be is-
sued. Firstly, a save-the-date is a useful and priceless tool,
especially if you have guests coming from abroad. Be con-
siderate to them; they have to put out a lot of effort to
come to celebrate with you; the earlier you get out a sim-
ple, factual save-the-date, the easier it will be for them.
Mailing out your save-the-dates six months in advance of
your wedding date is advisable. Of course it does not hurt
to do it earlier, considering the sometimes unreliable post
system that we have.
A professionally designed digital save-the date and invita
You are going to get the "random" who
says "Aa girl, so when ah getting meh
invitation?" You can choose any
diplomatic, politically correct phrase or
action you want, the end point must be
NOT to issue that invitation.
tion is also very effective. Don't be afraid to use modern tech-
nology, sending out e-invites prior to your hardcopy invitation
arriving is perfectly acceptable.
Traditionally, RSVP cards are sent within an invitation; however,
having your guests RSVP via email or referring guests to your
wedding website to RSVP is much easier for both your guests
Also traditionally included in your invitation is information on
your gift registry. The best way to get all those gifts that you
want is to make gift giving convenient. Provide as many options
for your guests as you can. Get registries in stores that have
several locations nationwide, provide a bank account number for
deposits and have a gift registry with an online store for your
foreign guests or those who just prefer to shop online. Addition-
ally, allow people to bring gifts of their own or cash to your wed-
ding. Your guests want to give; why not let them?
Need professional event management for social or corporate
events? See www.corp-soeventsolutions.com or email
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