When it comes to your wedding, you should get to invite every single person you want. But unfortunately, it's just not that simple. From family needs to venue constraints, there's a lot to consider before you make yourfinal count. Here, our experts reveal the key points you must consider before you decide just how you're your bash will be.
Consider your budget.
According to Kelly Heyn, owner of SociaLife Event Planning in New Jersey, your budget should be the number one factor in how large your guest list grows. "Without a realistic goal on what you would like to spend, you will not know how many guests you can even afford to invite," she points out. So create your budget first, she says, by calculating your largest costs and even the smallest expenses that can quickly add up.
"Typically, couples only think of the venue when they consider their guest count, and tend to overlook the little things," Heyn says. "But with more guests come the additional expenses of invitations, stamps, favors, stationary, transportation, and even larger cakes. Consider all of the extras when you are factoring your guest list as they quickly add up." Should you find at any time your guest list has grown past your budget, "I advise going down in guest count to allow yourself to get the wedding of your dreams," says Alicia Matsumoto, owner of Bespoke Design.
Consult your families' must-invite lists.
Your guest list is not the only one you'll have to consider, say Heyn and Matsumoto. Both of your families will likely have people they'd like to see in attendance. "After you have an idea of what you would like to spend, have everyone on both sides of the family create their must list," says Heyn.
Matsumoto advises setting a limit on how many guests each family can add to their lists. "That way," she says, "no one is surprised down the road." Of course, if your families are footing the bill, expect them to have a stronger say in how large your guest list becomes. "This means sometimes they will want to invite people that you are not as close with, but just remember that they're giving you this wedding day so it's part of the price you pay," says Matsumoto. "That being said, it should not give your family free reign to invite anyone they want!"
Consider your guests' comfort.
Your venue may boast space for 250 guests. But if that means cramming in everyone so that they feel like sardines, you may want to cut back on how many people you invite, Heyn points out. "Make sure that your venue can absolutely fit your guest count," she advises. "Ask them to see a floor plan with that number of tables and seats. You ultimately want you and your guests to enjoy the wedding experience and not feel too cramped on the dance floor or bumping into tables and chairs all night."
Categorize your initial guest list.
One last tip to help you determine your final count, says Matsumoto, is to create your dream list broken down into color-coded categories. "Categorize guests into various groups from must-haves to distant acquaintances," she says. "If you find a venue or discover that your budget won't allow for all the people you would like to attend, it makes for easy editing later on." Not only that, she says, "it also helps to create rules to guide you in who should receive that coveted invitation. For example, if you haven't spoken to the person in a year or more, they probably don't need to be on your guest list."
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At preschool drop-off another mom pointed out,"Your daughter's socks don't match."
I turned my palms upward in a je ne sais pas and wrinkled my nose, "Rough morning. Can’t win ’em all.”
My then four-year-old was Little Miss Mismatched. She loved Disney princess dresses paired with rain boots and purple flowered leggings with her green and gold Packer t-shirt.
That morning, I picked my battle.
She walked into the kitchen dressed in a thin ballerina dress and no tights. I shook my head, unh-uh. It was January. In Chicago.
Without tears, she marched back to her bedroom to change. This time she dressed in weather-appropriate clothes, but her socks didn’t match (one Minnie Mouse, the other mini dalmatians and polka-dots.
Mismatched? Pheh. Not a battle worth fighting.
Now, at five and eight, many of our conversations are about fashion and what people are wearing. I mostly give my girls free reign selecting their outfits because I love their fearless sense of style and the random pairings that look unintentionally chic.
Yet now is the time to lay out our values. Now, before they are teens and tune me out and their friends in. I want to encourage my girls to express themselves, yet not without guidance.
10 Things I Want My Daughters to Know About Dressing Themselves
1. Dress for You and You Alone: There will be pressure to follow trends worn by your peers. It'll be tempting to emulate Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez. Know this: I love and accept you for you. Please stay true to your personality and embrace your individuality. Pick your clothes for the right reasons: What makes you feel comfortable? What makes you sparkle?
Feeling good about yourself on the outside has an impact on your confidence and how you feel on the inside. Looking good, feeling good, right?
2. Find a Signature Look: Uncover your inner French girl and develop your personal style. Train your eye to spot a look that sings to you. When you're shopping at a store or in your closet, ask yourself: Does this shirt add a pep to my step? Do I walk a little taller, smile a little brighter when I'm wearing this dress? Do I love it? If so, you've landed on a keeper.
Rock your style with confidence and no apologies. You are beautiful if you’re dressed like Princess Elsa or the singer Lorde. Be true to yourself.
3. Be Mindful of Dress Codes: How you dress for school is different than how you dress for the daddy-daughter dance. That one you know, but there will be many more rules for dressing and they’ll probably shift as you age (like smart casual and business casual).
You’ll need to consider the setting, the culture, and even the country. Then you’ll need to know how to code switch. If you're uncertain about what's appropriate or inappropriate, ask someone you trust (You can always pick me. I’ve got your back, girl.)
4. It's Important to Know What Not To Wear: Let's chat about the runway outfits and the awards show glam in US Weekly Let's pore over In Style together and talk about what's in, what's out, and why? This way you know how prevent your crack from peeking out of your jeans. No whale tails, sweetie. If you aren’t yet familiar with the term, let’s keep it that way.
You’ve been begging me to get your makeup done at Macy’s and we’ll do that on a mommy-daughter day. It’s complimentary, yet you are expected to buy a product. I’ll spring for that 20-dollar palette of eyeshadow if you go halfsies. I know that sometimes an expert’s opinion will resonate more than mine. I’ll smile because I’ve been you. I remember.
5. Make Sure Your Logo Matches Your Mind: What do you want to say about yourself? I know, I know, it's just words on a t-shirt, but I read them and so did the boy sitting next to you in math class. If you're wearing a shirt that says, "I Call the Shots," do you know what that means? Do this words speak to you?
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While new policies on age and dress could be implemented at the Wynnsong 16 multiplex theater in west Mobile, some city officials are hopeful more changes are still in the works.
And they also want Carmike, Inc. – the parent company that operates hundreds of theater complexes nationwide, including the Wynnsong – to communicate better with the city's Police Department and the Mobile City Council.
The requests come about one month after a melee broke out in the theater's parking lot on Christmas night that involved hundreds of youths and resulted in four teenagers suffering non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Police Chief James Barber, on Tuesday, acknowledged he had spoken with Carmike officials about heightened security at the cinema but that follow-up interviews were more difficult with top corporate officers.
"We are still waiting on that follow-up meeting," Barber said, anticipating that discussions between police and Carmike could take place within the next "two to three weeks."
"We are dealing with a large corporation with 300 cinemas," he added.
Wynnsong reportedly is imposing a curfew beginning on Feb. 1 restricting youths from visiting the complex after 8 p.m. unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian at least 21 years old. On Wednesday, there was no sign on the cinema's front door detailing the age policy.
The only public notices on display detailed dress and conduct codes: Sagging pants and lewd attire is prohibited as is profanity, loitering, and loud music. Another posted sign notifies attendees that back packs, packages or bags are subject to inspection and that guns and weapons are not allowed.
Meet with us
Councilwoman Bess Rich, who represents the west Mobile area where Wynnsong is located and is head of the council's Public Safety Committee, said she first learned of the theater's self-imposed regulations from a TV news report.
She said on Wednesday that she hoped Barber had more details about Carmike's new policies. Also, she said she remains hopeful that Carmike officials travel to Mobile and meet with the committee. Carmike's corporate headquarters is located in Columbus, Ga.
"The movie theater experience represents a big part of our residents' entertainment venues, and has a ripple effect on other businesses," Rich said. "I am still hearing that residents are uncomfortable about going to Wynnsong. It is important that anything which changes people's opinion that their security and safety is provided for, will go a long way for them supporting the business in the future."
Carmike has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
"I do hope that the Public Safety Committee ... will have an opportunity to meet with the upper management to discuss security of patrons," Rich said. "Not in a punitive manner, but one where the council is informed and can understand exactly how the security policies and program to be implemented by Carmike helps to encourage confidence and our residents attendance."
Rich's committee met with Barber on Jan. 5 to discuss the Christmas incident in which youths – ranging in ages from 8 years old to 18-year-old adults – congregated in the parking lot for hours. Police have said that as many as 400 juveniles were gathered outside the cinema complex during the evening.
At around 10:14 p.m., four teenagers were shot leading to an eruption of chose that spilled into nearby businesses and streets. No arrests have been made, but police named 17-year-old Johnny Vail as a person of interest. Vail is being held in jail on unrelated gun charges.
Barber told committee members that he felt Wynnsong's surveillance system was inadequate, and that police were negotiating with the corporate offices about including the cinema in the department's "Project Shield" program.
Project Shield is a new partnership between the private sector and police that allows authorities access to live security camera feeds. Since the program's inception this summer, police have been able to gain access to more than 2,000 surveillance and security cameras city-wide. Popular teen gathering spots, such as Bel-Air Mall, are participants.
Meanwhile, business owners close to the Wynnsong property say they haven't been affected by the Christmas night incident.
"I don't feel like it has affected us," said Laura Farley, manager of Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q. "There are usually cops around."
Jerri Reese, owner of Party Central at the nearby Shoppes of Schillinger, said she generally feels that west Mobile is safe and that the Christmas incident was an anomaly.
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