Creating Your Wedding Guest List

My Fiance and I actually had the deposit on our venue the day after we got engaged (we had picked the ring out together and were waiting for it to be sized — in the mean time, we had talked about plans). We had a specific date in mind, needed a larger venue and wanted a venue that was fairly centrally located. And centrally located may be putting it loosely — we are inviting guests from all over the country. It did not take us long to realize that we cannot please everyone. For some, the venue is in walking distance. For others (provided they choose to come), it will be a plane ride across the country.

Now that we have the venue, came the though part– just how many people were we going to invite? Our guest list started out with a very high number — in fact that number was so high that it would have easily put us $10,000 over the estimated budget. I was quick to jump on Pinterest and see what the 100s of pins about choosing your guest list had to say. Honestly, I was extremely shocked at what some sites deemed to be appropriate etiquette. Here’s my take on some of the most common wedding quest list questions. Warning: When I write, I speak my mind and tell it like it is!

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1. Do I Have to Invite Kids to My Wedding? Most websites will tell you invite everyone’s kids or no kids. This I disagree with. I will have kids at my wedding, but I will not be inviting everyone’s kids. What kids will be invited to my wedding? Obviously, the children in my wedding — these are going to be nieces and nephews — I think they should definitely be there. I will also be inviting older children in my family that we are close with — the family members I see all of the time. And one final addition to my kids list will be the families who will be unable to travel from out of town if they cannot bring their kids with them. Am I likely to offend people? Yes, but I am keeping in mind that this is our wedding, our budget and our rules. No matter which rules I play by, I am going to be offending someone and we’ve come to realize that that’s just how it’s going to be. If having certain adults attend our wedding, means that we are going to have to invite certain children, that is how it’s going to be!

2. What’s the etiquette for plus-ones? This question drives me absolutely crazy. I found this answer on and love it–for the most part!

You should invite guests who are in long-term, committed relationships with their significant others. But for friends who are casually dating or single, you don’t have to invite them with plus-ones – again, as long as you’re consistent. Of course, those who are living together, engaged, or married should be invited as couples – even if you have yet to meet the significant other.

There is only one thing I disagree with….do I really have to the girlfriend of an under-age family member who is sharing an apartment with his girlfriend during college? I’m going to say no. If I do that, I might as well let my high school-aged cousins bring their “boyfriends.” You guys know what I am talking about…the boyfriend that they RVSP with is likely not going to be the boyfriend that they actually have when our wedding date is actually here. High school relationships change all of the time…at over $100 a head…I’m not paying for someone’s high school boyfriend or girlfriend.

I’m planning on implementing the same plus on rule across the board…whether you are 30 or 60, we just don’t want people bring a date for the sake of bringing a date — if it’s a serious committed relationship (even if we haven’t met your significant other…great! We cannot wait to see you with the love of your life).

3. What about co-workers? Most of the articles I’ve read said invite everyone, no one (and don’t talk about your wedding at work) or only invite those who you see outside of work. I work in a very large department. Inviting everyone (and a guest) would mean inviting probably 150 additional guests. That’s just crazy…plus I am not inviting individuals who call me every other name under the sun but my own name! What I’ve decided? I’m inviting the small group of individuals that I work with only a daily basis (we are a team, work together and get along great). I’ll also be adding a few other individuals in the department that I have a relationship with outside of work. I’ll be asking everyone to keep things quite and keep the wedding talk to a minimum (especially when others are around). Weddings are exciting and hard not to talk about!

That’s my take on wedding etiquette and honestly, I’m not so sure that there really is a thing as appropriate wedding guest list etiquette. There are no rules anymore…it’s your day! Do what makes you happy and what’s in your budget. What is your least favorite thing about creating your wedding guest list?


Repurposed Birchboxes: DIY Will You Be My Bridesmaid Boxes

I’ve fallen off the blogging bandwagon for quite some time, but I am really excited to get back to blogging and even more excited to announce that I am getting married! I figure a wedding is the perfect reason to get back into blogging. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event and I want to document every minute of the planning, preparation and all of the fun leading up to and including the big day!

I’m going to kick off the first of many wedding-related posts with something I thought was extremely important: asking some of my favorite girls to be in my wedding!

Let me just start off by saying that I am a huge fan of Birchbox. I love getting my box in the mail every month, I love reviewing the products and I love the Birchbox points system. In fact, I’d say for the past year and a half that I’ve purchased a vast majority of my makeup and skincare products from the Birchbox shop. I’ve always saved my Birchboxes, but was never really sure what I was going to do with them…until I got engaged. Like many brides-to-be, I’ve become extremely addicted to any and all things wedding on Pinterest. I quickly fell in love with the idea of creating a “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” box.  And that’s when I knew that I was going to get good use out of all the empty Birchboxes I had been collecting.

This post simply shows items I choose to include in my boxes…you can definitely personalize anything in these boxes and make them 100 percent your own! I opted to use my wedding colors for this box. My primary color is going to be navy with accents of white and blush. 

What You’ll Need (in this case, what I picked to put in my boxes!):

  • Solid wrapping paper.
  • Shredded paper.
  • Ribbon.
  • Sticker letters.
  • Iron-on rhinestones in bridesmaid/maid of honor.
  • Paint swatches.
  • Candy.
  • Lip gloss.
  • Jewelry.
  • Small decorative cloth pins/paper clips.
  • Card Stock.

Making Your Boxes:

1. My first focus (of course after buying all of my supplies) was creating the outside of the boxes. I simply wrapped the tops and bottoms of the all the Birchboxes I was planning on using separately. I used a thick, solid white wrapping paper that I had purchased from a dollar store.

2. Next, I used letter stickers purchased from a local craft store and applied the words: “Will You Be My” to the outside of the box. I opted to stick the letters to the right side of the box as I was planning on placing ribbon on the boxes once they were complete.



3. Next I placed shredded paper inside of the Birchboxes. I used a navy shredded paper that I had found in dollar store. (Helpful hint: I bought three bags of paper, but only ended up using one to make 6 boxes). This paper not only makes everything look great, but it’s also a great way to secure the items in the box.

4. It was time to fill up the box. In each box, I placed two Lindor truffles (wrapped in blue paper), a mini Bite lip gloss (I had purchased a bunch of these at Sephora on Black Friday. They came in a set. Three mini lip glosses for $10) and navy bubble necklaces that I had purchased from Simple Addiction Boutique. I also secured the iron-on rhinestone bridesmaid or maid of honor emblem at the top of the box. This way when the box was opened it completed the sentence…Will You By My Bridesmaid/Maid of Honor?



5. I also added paint swatches (that I picked up at my local Lowe’s) to indicate that wedding colors. I found Navy and then the actually paint names of my blush and white are blushing bride and wedding bells. How awesome is that? I secured them together with tiny craft clothespins. I picked mine up on Etsy before I realized that I could have purchased these at my local craft store!



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6. I also used card stock to print out a some small details about the day, the dresses and the bridesmaids’ role. I’m going to type out what I used just in case anyone wants to reuse this…it will be much easier to see!

Our Day!

______ and I are getting married!





The Dresses!

Each one of you are uniquely beautiful! Our main requirement for attire is that you are comfortable and gorgeous. Who better to pick out your dress than you? Our color is going to be navy with accents of white and blush. We ask that you wear navy. More details and shopping to follow!

Your Role!

We want you to…

Enjoy this day with close family and friends.

Look and feel beautiful.

Whip away happy tears.

Understand how much your presence is appreciated.

Will you be in our wedding?

These were also pinned together using the mini clothespins.



7. Finally, I applied navy blue ribbon the the outside of the box and tied it in a bow. The boxes were ready to give! (Helpful hint: These boxes are easy to ship as well. I’d recommend adding a few layers of tissue inside the box for added protection. Shipping is about $3-4 depending on were you are trying to ship).



Overall, these boxes were a huge hit with my maid of honor and bridesmaids. Once I had purchased all of the contents for the boxes, it only took a couple of hours to assemble everything. I made 6 boxes for around $75 (I also love to bargain hunt and use coupons!)

If you decide to make anything similar leave a picture down below and tag me on Instagram @runningonsmiles