Broke-Ass Tag: wedding guest list

6/14

Bride to be cellphone case from Etsy seller Guestbookery

Originally, we had planned to do evites but I got so much pushback from the “elders” about using that technology that I gave up the fight and went the traditional route of paper invitations. While they are gorgeous and I’m happy with how they turned out, the price tag didn’t bring me much happiness, nor did having to print out addresses (we had the option to pay to have them printed, but I’m wayyy too cheap for that route since I knew I could do it myself).

I did take a stand on the RSVP front though. After seeing the price of RSVP cards and hearing stories about all the confusion and suggestions to mark them with UV markers to know who is who when they come back with no name, I just wasn’t interested in the runaround. It sounded way too complicated when I knew there had to be a way to utilize technology to do all the work for me.  One of the first things I did to start wedding planning was to download some wedding planning spreadsheets. These were Google spreadsheets which was convenient in many ways: 1) They are electronic soI’m not lugging around a huge binder (think Ted and Lily from How I Met Your Mother); 2) Multiple people could access the spreadsheets if I give them access and; 3) Google Forms integration.

Because I knew I wanted an online RSVP setup, I looked into Google Forms. I didn’t really know much about them other than the fact that they existed. What I didn’t realize is that some wedding websites actually offer RSVP services. Since I had already created our wedding website, I didn’t really want to go this route, so the Google Forms option looked better and better. When I discovered that you can link a Google Form to a Google Spreadsheet, I knew I had hit the jackpot.

I could create all my own questions and all the answers would automatically push to the spreadsheet.

I mainly did a trial-by-error method of learning how to use Google Forms. It’s pretty self-explanatory if you’re moderately tech-savvy. I also adjusted the settings a bit to better suit my needs. For the purposes of being a good blogger, I set up an example form in a few minutes.

It’s that easy, just a few minutes!

From a Google spreadsheet, click on Tools, then select Create a form.


You will be taken to this screen where you can fill in your information and create questions.


Google Forms is awesome because you can mark certain questions as required and you can have different types of questions (multiple choice, short answer, long answer, dropdown options, etc).  My favorite thing about Forms is that you can create a “password.” This was a little tricky and I had to do some research but I really didn’t want our form to be open to just anyone.


To set a “password,” select Short answer as your question type, then click on the three dots icon at the bottom right, then select Data validation. This will generate a line that gives you the option to set an answer. You can select Text (seen in the example) or you can select Number. If you select Number, ensure that you change the second dropdown menu to “equal to.” I put this question in the first section (important) and marked it required so anyone that found the form had to put in the password before seeing any of the questions. I also changed some of the settings (the gear icon in the top right) to collect email addresses for people that RSVP, so  if we had any information we needed to disseminate before the wedding, we had a contact option for each guest that was coming.

I started our questions in section 2. By creating sections, people using the form will only see one section at a time. To put a password on the first section means they are unable to see the rest of the form without answering the password question correctly. Rather than sending out an RSVP card, the first thing our guests will see when they flip over their invitation (please let these people flip the invitation over to see what all that text is!) is:

Please RSVP at our wedding website:  www.address.com
Password: Password

(other wedding info)

(even more wedding info)

I made sure to put the website and password in larger font than the rest of the text.  I tried to make it as obvious as possible.

Our questions are:

  • Who are you?
  • Are you coming?
  • Great! Who is coming with you?
  • Total number of people in your party (including yourself)?
  • Will you be attending the Post-Wedding Brunch on November 2nd?
  • Does anyone have any dietary concerns we should be aware of?
  • Where will you be staying while you are in Charleston?
  • What are the dates of your trip to Charleston?
  • What is 1 song that will make your night if you hear it?
  • Are you excited?
  • What are you most excited for?
  • Do you have anything else you’d like Megan and Timo to know about your visit, their wedding, or in general?

Now that we’ve sent out invites, some reflections on the online RSVP:

I think most people are afraid of the online RSVP. They think it will be difficult. I’ve had to encourage friends who “only use their phones” by explaining that the site is mobile friendly, (yes, I did that for you, friends). In fact, I had to bully my parents into RSVPing to their first child’s wedding. SERIOUSLY? I’ve found out through the grapevine/talking to invitees that they will be coming, but they haven’t RSVPed yet, even though they have purchased plane tickets! WHAT? (This also leads to a bit of self-reflection where I have to acknowledge that I’m not like most people and for me, I would have RSVPed yes, then bought my plane ticket.)

I was hoping we’d get a majority of RSVPs from the invites we sent out within the first month or so (haahahahahahahahahahahahah, our RSVP by date is Sept 15th) so I could send out round two, with a grasp on how many people I knew were coming, but it doesn’t seem like that is going to be the case. Oh well.

Did you do something unconventional in the planning process?  How did it go?

 

  • 7/1

    Hi all!

    First of all, let me apologize to my friend, Rachel. Rachel got married a few years ago and I was hurt that she didn’t invite me or any of her other friends from junior high through high school. Now, as a Broke-Ass Bride, I totally understand and apologize for being mad.

    OK, let’s talk about one of the most difficult aspects of your wedding: the guests. Who do you invite? Who do you leave off? Do you listen to your parents?

    Guest List.jpg

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    I think I mentioned before that I split our list and told Michael that his family was his responsibility (a decision that I still stand by). The difficulty of this is in people asking, “why didn’t cousin X get invited?” I dutifully respond, “Michael was in charge of his side of the family, take it up with him.” I love being able to this because I HATE confrontation and I like deferring the blame.

    What I ended up doing, since I have a large family who live locally, is inviting my whole family and a few close friends. We each had 75 invites and 56 of those (on my side) are people I am directly related to.

    What Michael did, since most of his relatives live in other states/countries, is invite his grandparents, aunts, and uncles, but no cousins. He said that most of his cousins he has never met or met once when he was little and he wanted to save his invites for the people closest to him. While I totally respect and understand this choice, it did rub some people the wrong way. Luckily while I tend to be more of a people pleaser and would have bent if people complained, Michael stood strong — which I really admire.

    The other rough subject of invites is plus-ones. We have had a few people that were shocked that everyone did not get a plus one. Even if I could afford for everyone to bring a guest, I wouldn’t want them to! My wedding is about celebrating with the people I love –I don’t want random people there. I don’t want my sister to invite a guy she met that morning at Starbucks to the most important day of my life (this won’t happen because my sister is 13). The question then becomes: How do we keep  our guests from inviting unwelcome guests (and how do we categorize “unwelcome”)? What we decided was that we would allow people to invite their boyfriends/girlfriends as long as they had been dating for at least a year. To minimize our risk further we didn’t send our invites to “Johnny Smith + 1” but rather, “Johnny Smith and Andrea Biltmore.” Then, the thought is, even if Johnny and Andrea break up, he can’t bring a stranger.

    How did you deal with the guest list? Did you get any major pushback?

    Jess
  • 6/5

    And so it is time. Time to stop avoiding the inevitable and start putting people's names into a spreadsheet. *dum dum DUUUUM* I had been dreading this from the moment that ring slipped onto my freezing finger (see first post), and valiantly tried to ignore it for as long as possible. But now we are looking at caterers, and the thing that caterers need is numbers and for…

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    5/14

    Excuse me while I rant for a moment, BABs, but maybe some of you can relate. Why the heck will hardly anyone RSVP for our wedding? Sure, we did go the non-traditional route by sending out video e-vites instead of paper invitations.  But still!  We included the link to our wedding website at the end of the video AND in the original email!  Our wedding…

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    4/5

    Photo: Andie Freeman Photography Dear Liz, I’m in a bit of a wedding dress dilemma. When I started out I thought we would have to pay for almost everything ourselves and I thus set out to find a beautiful low-cost dress. I tried all the bridal fairs, shopped around and got very depressed, not just about the cost but the actual style of the dresses!…

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