Planning the Big Day ~ The Guests


So, just in case you have recently stumbled across my blog...or me perhaps, you might have missed the small teeny tiny fact that I'm engaged!! :) Yes, the love of my life popped the BIG question on a beautiful May day at none other than the Biltmore! You can check out our blissful (and I have to say the sweetest, most thoughtful and most romantic) engagement right here at Jennie Andrews Photography!

I am beyond excited to start on this little endeavor known as planning a wedding. Most brides probably have a slight panic attack when they realize just how much goes into planning a big shindig...where as I have seen probably (creeping up on) 100 weddings while tagging along with Jennie Andrews over the last 3 wedding seasons, so naturally I thought I had this in the bag. Oh boy...was I wrong! I feel like I just made 5 brides decide on eloping. :( But to be honest, I have seen SO much and have had SO many ideas, that deciding on what I really wanted and what would capture Robby and I as a couple has been a little bit tricky! I know I'm not the only bride out there who has felt like this (I follow an amazing blogosphere of ladies who blog about this very subject - see the end of the post for links). So I would like to put it all out there. Go through the tough guest list decisions, the breaking of traditions, deciding on if we should have a carving station or not...all of the little things that are left out of the bridal binders. Especially for planning a wedding here in East Tn! I hope to give you some venues that are a little bit less known, some alternative ideas for bands or DJ's, and maybe even some DIY moments thrown in here or there (because lets face it...this is definitely going to be a DIY wedding)!

One thing Robby and I knew from the beginning, was we wanted only close friends and family and we wanted it to be laid back. Not show up in your blue jeans and flippie floppies laid back, but a relaxed fuss. We've patiently waited 8 years for this marriage to begin (it'll be 9.5 by the time the wedding rolls around) so we want to focus on us and making this a day that WE will remember.

Believe it or not, the guest list was the first thing we tackled. I had been told by many, many people that this is where the fights lie. He'll want this person and that person and you'll want friends that you haven't seen in years there. I already knew that family was a must for me...and boy do I have a big family. So I knew that I would have to cut back on the friends...whereas Robby has a microscopic family (compared to mine) so he gets to go wild with his guys, and that was something that I had no problem compromising on. I am very, very happy to say that the mission of the guest list was solved one night, sitting at a restaurant where I had a glass of wine and Robby had a beer. No fights, no "if you are going to invite that person then I want to invite this person". We even started suggesting who the other should invite! :) We had decided that 80 was the number we wanted to stay close to, but we allowed ourselves the wiggle room so as not to add stress to a "potentially" stressful decision. Although the guest list isn't 100% finalized, we have a hard list. Meaning, no one will be added. If we haven't thought of them yet, then there must be a reason (ouch...little harsh there Kay). Once we finalize the venue, we are hoping to finalize the list!

Need help on narrowing down (or even just beginning) a guest list? I actually created a list of my own, and Robby (with some help from his mom) created his list. Then we came together and went over both of them. Since we had a number in mind that we didn't want to veer away from too much, that limited each of us while we created our own lists. We created a list of the "bare essentials" as we are calling them. These are the people that we wouldn't feel right if they weren't at the wedding. Basically, all of our family members were on this list (with the exception of the long lost aunt and uncle or the cousins that we haven't seen since we were 7). Obviously, not everyone is in the situation we are. I have a close friend who doesn't like half of her family. Not that she doesn't see them...but she doesn't like them. I have told her..."now thats a tough one" many times! Your wedding is your and your fiance's day. And you should spend it with and surrounded by the people who will be there throughout your marriage to support and guide you. Hopefully that will help make those little odds and ends fall into place. 

Check back next week for our "Venue" oh man...Knoxville has some killer areas for venues!!! 


  1. Great post Kayla! I can't wait to read all about this journey! :)

  2. I am so excited for you guys!!!! <3 you!!!

  3. Yay! I love this post. I blogged about my wedding on a local wedding blog's blog. It was so much fun! We kept our wedding small too. About 50 people total. It is TOTALLY worth it!! :) Good luck and I look forward to reading more about your wedding. :)


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