Thursday, April 14, 2011

Repondez S'il Vous Plait

Our RSVP due date has officially come and gone, and though we have a few stragglers, most of our replies are in and our guests accounted for. It's strange, in a way, to look back on the last few weeks' roller coaster ride, starting with "yay, we have mail" and ending with "why is it so hard to return a damn card?" and finally have a real picture of our wedding guest list.

This hasn't been an easy process. Sending out invites and getting responses back is worse than wrangling cats and coming up with a guest list is like having to choose amongst your children (or, in my case, my two goldfish, as I have no children).

See, in the first months of planning, our fantasy number was 80 guests. We started counting family and quickly whipped past that number. "Okay," we said to each other, "how about 120? That sounds reasonable."

With Mr. Goodlaff and I paying for the wedding mostly on our own, we had to be incredibly mindful of our budget and therefore our numbers. We both have large families (and when a wedding comes around, everyone wants to be your friend), and unfortunately we had to draw the line somewhere, which means some people that we wished could be on there, were left off of our list.

Finally we were able to come up with a list of around 120 people, and we sent it to our parents for approval. When the list came back, we had 143 guests. While addressing envelopes, we realized we had forgotten cousins and spouses and coworkers (I love you all, I swear--I just temporarily forgot you existed!), and the number of people that were invited to the Goodlaff wedding was a whopping 176.

Yeah, that's almost double our original number.

As the RSVP's came rolling in, every card that came in marked with a "no" was both a disappointment and a relief; we were sad that our loved ones wouldn't be there, but glad our numbers were that much lower. Today, with only fifteen people unaccounted for, and our numbers look really good.

What's clear from the responses is that the Goodlaffs will be surrounded by a lot of love on our wedding day.

But there are people that won't be making it, who will be, I'm sure, sending their love from afar. The worst news in the RSVP's, and the most keenly felt absence (for me at least) will be Granny and Grandpa Goodlaff in Florida. 

Disappointment isn't a strong enough word for how I felt on receiving the news that my grandparents, because of health reasons, wouldn't be able to make it to my wedding.  I was devastated. Simply put, I had never pictured that my wedding day without them there, so suddenly facing the reality of such an important day in my life without their presence was soul-crushing. If I'm being honest, I had a Bridezilla moment, complete with a "but they promised they'd coooome!" whine-fest. I understand why, but that doesn't make it suck any less. Even now, a few months after finding this out, I'm still not totally over it. 

Some of our other non-attending invitees were expected to reply no, and did, but others sent back a surprising "yes." For a few Goodlaff guests, the Wedding day--Sunday--was a contributing factor to their answer.  To paraphrase one of my aunts: "Tell her that if she ever gets married again, to do it on a Saturday, and then I'll come." Um, okay. 

For those of you sending out RSVP's soon and planning your lists and looking for breakdowns, here's how our numbers shook out (so far):
Yes: 115 (65%)
No: 54 (30%)
Lost off the face of the planet, never to be heard from again: 7 (5%)

Were you surprised by any of your RSVP's?


  1. i'm so sorry to hear your grandparents can't come. i know that is very disheartening. maybe you and the mr. can go visit them after you're married. it's a good excuse to see them :)

    thanks for letting us know the percentage of guests that responded. that makes me feel a little better about my high guest list!

  2. It is terrible that your grandparents cannot come. That's one of the main reasons we chose to have our DW in Pennsylvania -- so his grandparents could be there. I don't have any grandparents left and I knew it would be important for FH to have his there. So, we will be missing quite a few of my cousins and distant relatives, but it will be worth it to have all four of his GPs there. :)

    I am glad that your guest count is working out! With a DW, that's one of the major things I worry about. Who is going to be able to come! It leaves the guest count up in the air! I am sure that you will be surrounded by a ton of wonderful people who love you and your day will be very special. :)

  3. Sorry that your grandparents can't make it, that’s a shame. Just send them a copy of the video, they would probably appreciate that. Your post made me laugh a bit because when I was in grade school and had a party I always invited twice as many people as I wanted to show up. It's funny but it's true if you want 100 people there you have to invite 200. Congratulations!