LISA: I'm Lisa Birnbach for howdini.com. If your planning a wedding you might find that doing a guest list is a mine field. Who do you absolutely have to include and who do you desperately want to leave off? And how do you manage the RSVPs? Here to lead up through this danger zone is the editor in chief of theknot.com Carley Roney whose new book is The Knot Book of Wedding Lists. Hi Carley.
CARLEY: Danger zone it is my friend
LISA: The first fights I ever had with my then fiance were about guest lists.
CARLEY: You fiance, your family is at odds. It's very difficult--it's one of the things we say is right at the top of the list of top priorities when you're planning a wedding. First of all don't invite anyone, don't even talk about your wedding until you understand the basic scale of wedding that you're having. The first thing to do is to decide on that number and this plays into your budget as well as your location size. If you know you have to get married in that same place your parents got married and it accomodates 150 people, then there's your number for you. If you don't have a control like that then it's your budget. The three big places that you end up cutting are, you know people say, it's people I haven't seen in over a year. Even if they were close friends--are they close friends now. Is it a family-focused wedding, is it not, what if I invite that aunt, that other aunt I never see. You need to make some decisions about those things. Kids too are a very big factor.
LISA: Well kids and dates of people when you don't know the date. Is it okay to say to a single friend can you come by yourself?
CARLEY: I always say it pays to be honest.
LISA: I don't know how you feel about it, but you invite two people and the assume they're bringing their three children?
CARLEY: People don't know the basic rule. That's the main problem. It actually has to say family or list out everyone's names. If they're not there, you can expect that your kids are not invited. So, as a bride you can include this little card that says, you know, children are not invited to the reception. We have arranged for babysitting services please email so and so who's coordinating these services, whatever it is.
LISA: Uh-huh. Okay. Now what about keeping down expenses when ordering invitations?
CARLEY: One of the best tricks these days is to get a very simple card for your invitation and have your wedding website listed on it. It's sort of a trend now to have a wedding website--it's really not even a trend now, it's sort of required where you have a website that lists all the accomodations that you need for out of town guests. What is going to be the dress code for this wedding, what are the driving directions. Like that was the meat of all these invitations, eighteen extra inclosures. You don't really need to do that anymore because you have that website. So you're saving money. The other thing is to ask your invitation supplier, do you have a deal if I order my save the dates and my invitations and programs from you as well. You can have a standard invitation, you can save a dollar an invitation or even more. So just choosing thermography over engraving, it has the same elegant look and feel.
LISA: Now are there trends in invitations right now?
CARLEY: Bold colors is one of the things that's biggest in invitations or they'll have a custom design that's personalized of a theme. A green leaf for your spring wedding which will then carry through everything from your favorite tags to you know an emblem on the menu. So like the motif is very popular right now.
LISA: In the last century when I got married, people did not send out save the date cards. Is that a new and important trend?
CARLEY: Save the dates are a huge trend. They're almost required at this point. And it is a way, what they are are basically a notification of when your wedding day, reserving your wedding date with your guests and they should be sent out about eight months prior to your wedding.
LISA: Now what about RSVP's? You have to keep track of them, it can be complicated. Do you recommend that the bride be left in charge of the RSVP's or is there a better person to do that?
CARLEY: Well one of my favorite trends is actually online RSVPing because it does all the work for you. The secret trick there is you actually number and lightly pencil on the back of each reply card you send out and in your little sheet you actually say what number it is next to every person. So if you get any back, you go oh number 37, oh Uncle Joe, Bob, he never did know his wedding etiquette.
LISA: Carley thank you so much.
CARLEY: Thank you for having me.
LISA: For howdini.com I'm Lisa Birnbach.