Who to invite…how to write your guest list.

Now THIS, this is a toughie. I’ve had this conversation with so so many couples about who you ‘should’ invite v’s who you ‘want to invite’. Chatting to one of my longest friends the other day, who’s recently relocated to the other side of the world, and even more recently got engaged, we talked about her plans and the fact they only want a small guest list is worrying her. Do you invite your friend’s parents, do you invite their siblings? So many maybes!

Hence this blog post…The task of writing a first edition, adding to, the first round of cuts, pruning again, and then one more trim to end up with a final guest list is one of the, if not the most stressful tasks you’ll have to complete in the very early days of your wedding planning.

I saw a picture recently that said ‘let’s decide who we’re going to invite to our wedding, and who will never speak to us again’. While it made me chuckle, it’s still true (and silly some people think this way not getting an invite).

You don’t have to invite your Nonna’s, neighbour’s, niece’s milkman who picked you up from school…once. Nor do you have to allow for the fact a good friend MAY have a partner by then. Base your invitations on who is your world, the people that are involved in your day to day life and you chat to, and more importantly SEE regularly.

Hopefully this great flowchart I found will also help too!

Who to invite to your wedding


For those here in spirit…how to honour a loved one missing at your wedding.

I’ve had quite a few couples lately who have lost a loved one and wanted to honour them at the Ceremony. Now as you know, it’s your day and should be done entirely your way – including doing whatever you want during your Ceremony.

What you want to do it make it memorable and loving and ensure these words go at just the right spot in the Ceremony.

Here’s a few ideas to honour that special someone who can’t be with us on your big day.

  • A special seat. Having a photo, a flower, or something that reminds you of them on the seat where they would have otherwise been sitting. But be conscious of things like if it was your father, and your mother has since remarried, this may be a bit confronting for them
  • Say a few words – mention them in the Ceremony or have a poem dedicated them in your programs. You could also include a poem or passage in the ceremony & mention that you’re dedicating it to a loved one.
  • Stop and think – take a minute during the Ceremony to reflect on those who cannot be with us and remember the good memories you have of them.
  • A few bars – If there’s a song that just always reminds you of them, have it played at some point during the Ceremony. Perhaps when signing or afterwards during the Congratulations.
  • Wear your heart on your sleeve – if you have a brooch, earrings, a hankie or anything else they gave you, wear it on the day or have it on your pocket. Another option for this is to have something for guests to wear to remember, a ribbon or a lei of flowers.
  • Burning bright – have a candle or small lamp that you can light at the start of the Ceremony that will burn in their honour

These are just a few ideas we can use to honour a loved one, but if you have something in particular in mind, just let me know, it’s your day afterall.

Stop, collaborate and listen!

This new mantra of mine (well ours, I’ll give him some credit too) is something I wanted to share after a recent conversation I had with someone. After a long, in-depth, lighthearted conversation a friend (who is also planning her wedding) had initiated about a supplier she’d met with, she turned and said ‘no, I think I’ll just do it my way, they don’t know what I want’.


This brings me to point number on of this article – stop.

When you’re in the planning stages, stop, work out what you like, and what exactly what is it you’re looking for? And then pick 3 suppliers you really love at first inspection. Whether it’s a florist, venue, celebrant or dress designer, there is no point making 16 appointments to look at things because you’ll get swarmed with information that just won’t stick.

So visit 3, if none of them suit, pick 3 more.

But be sure to have a really clear idea of what is it you want, this makes it easier for everyone involved and is a sanity saver. Saying to a florist ‘I want purple in my bouquets’ just doesn’t help them and chances are you won’t be happy with the final result.

So instead of going in unarmed, too vague, or on the flip side being so over specific and not willing to budge, collaborate.

Look at their previous works; discuss what you think you’re looking for. Look at other things their working on currently. Chat about trends and what else you have planned for your Wedding and how they can help it come together. Working together is a collaboration and should act as a melting pot for ideas.

Finally, listen. There’s obviously a reason you’ve decided to meet and chat with this supplier – you like what you’ve seen so far. So listen to them. They haven’t spent years perfecting their art to have someone walk in and then discuss taking the DIY path or looking on Esty to copy their ideas and work.

More often than not the vision you have in your mind and reality are two very different things.

It’s not that easy to make things yourself! Ordering a dress from China may not work out. And getting a friend to photograph your day because ‘they’re really into photography’ could end up a disaster and remember you can’t go back and do it again.

If these people are taking the time to meet with you and share their knowledge and experience, have the courtesy to genuinely listen and use the opportunity to ask any questions you have, use their expertise don’t abuse it.


Splurge or Save? » Shannon Fleming Civil Celebrant - […] always work either, (here’s another great blog on this and working with suppliers – http://www.shannonfleming.com.au/stop-collaborate-and-listen/) and can often end up costing you more financially as well as in […]

Perth Wedding Upmarket

When: Saturday 25th August 2012
Time: 10am to 3pm
Where: University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Hall Undercroft
Entry: Free

There are hundreds of wonderful designers in Western Australia, but the best of the best are sometimes hard to unearth. The upcoming Wedding Upmarket is about connecting brides-to-be with local designers to create a truly personalised, custom and handcrafted wedding to ensure your event is in a league of its own. Come and meet the designers, peruse their wares and discuss how they can help you create your own custom wedding, gain inspiration, purchase DIY kits, source unique products and services.

We’ve done all the leg work for you and handpicked Perth’s leading designers, the best of the best, who you can meet all under one roof at UWA’s Winthrop Hall Undercroft. Products and services will include handcrafted jewellery, veils, wedding couture, stationery, stylists, flowers, gourmets plus lots more.

 Head here for more information!

Hello world!

Hello and welcome to Lasting Impression Ceremonies and Congratulations on your Engagement.

Here you’ll find all sorts on how to get Married and organise your other special occasions, what you need to know about your special day. If there’s something you need an answer to and can’t find, feel free to get in touch and I’ll do my best to answer.

Happy Exploring!