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Guest List

BUILDING THE GUEST LIST FOR YOUR WEDDING

EVENT TYPE
If you already have a venue in mind, check with them about capacity. If it’s a destination wedding, you might also need to consider accommodations. Think about the sort of wedding you want – is it a big blowout with hundreds of people, a medium sized bash, or an intimate affair with just your nearest and dearest?

Private/Destination – with immediate family and a few of your closest friends, under 50.
Intimate – a small affair with around 50-75.
Bash – average with around 150.
Blowout – a large event with 200+

Many of the costs for a wedding are determined by the head, so figure out how many “heads” you can afford.

DREAM BIG
Write down everyone you can possibly think of that you might want at your wedding, if numbers and budget weren’t an issue. Go through your contacts, think back to the friends you have from different times in your life, including colleagues and distant relatives. This will ensure that you don’t forget anyone. Later, if you suddenly start wavering over an acquaintance, go back and consult this list. If someone wasn’t on it, they definitely shouldn’t make the final cut.

DRAW THE LINE
This is where you need to firm up the following:

  • Will you have children at the wedding? Yes, include all children, only children over a certain age or just those in the wedding party?
  • Who gets a plus one? I’d recommend including partners where the couple is married, engaged or in an otherwise long-term relationship, but depending on your age and your friends’ circumstances, you might set a different rule.
  • Are exes invited? The etiquette is generally: hell no, but of course you may have a drama-free relationship with an ex, especially if children are involved. I’d advise giving your bride or groom-to-be a veto here; basically, if they’re uncomfortable, don’t invite them.

BE CONSISTENT. Whatever your rules are, there is a lot less room for hurt feelings if you apply them across the board.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Both you and your fiancé will want to invite important family and friends. On top of that both sets of parents will have their ideas on who should be invited. One way to fairly decide would be to divide the list up. Start by dividing the list into groups: immediate family, extended family, close friends, co-workers. Then, place each group in order of priority. For example, it may be more important to you to invite close friends than extended family.

Once your priorities are established and you have set some rules, divide the guest count among each family/group. For example,

1/3 bride guests | 1/3 groom guests | 1/3 mutual friends
1/4 bride guests | 1/4 groom guests | 1/4 bride’s parents’ guests | 1/4 groom’s parents’
1/2 bride & groom guests | 1/4 bride’s parents’ guests | 1/4 groom’s parents’ guests

DEEPER CUTS
You may be able to eliminate whole categories (for example, if you make a blanket rule of ‘no coworkers’, that’s a whole group cut, and they’re sure to understand if you say you’re keeping it to friends and family only). If not, remember the group priorities.

Then when it comes to the crunch on individuals, ask yourself:
Have I spent time with them in the last year?
For coworkers, have you ever spent time together outside of work?
Has your fiancé ever met this person?
Would or did this person invite you to their own wedding?
Would your wedding be the same without them?
Are they likely to be in your lives going forward?

I have a set of worksheets that will help you work through this process (download link below).

GUEST LIST DETAILS
Now that you have your guest list you are ready to fill in the information for mailing your invitations.

Make sure you are clear who is invited when addressing your guest envelopes. If you are inviting the whole family then address to the “The Smith family”, if only the adults then be sure to name each, “Mr and Mrs John Smith and Ms Sarah Smith”.

You may decide to reserve a # per family. If that is the case you will need to add a line to your response cards that says something like, “We have reserved #___ for your family” or “ ___ of 5 will attend”.

Assign each response card a number and lightly pencil it in on the back, just in case someone forgets to write in their names. Make sure you also record that # on your spreadsheet (RSVP# column provided in free download).

Keep a waiting list (B-list) – so that as soon as you receive regrets you can send out invites to your top wait listers. Which is why it’s always a good idea to order at least 20-25 extra invitations.

COLLECT AND TRACK RESPONSES:   Guest List Spreadsheet 


DOWNLOAD:  Guest List Worksheets      |      ALSO AVAILABLE: Wedding Planning Check lists and Worksheets

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Meyer Lemon Donuts

MEYER LEMON BAKED DONUTS

I really wasn’t a picky eater growing up, but the one thing I didn’t like was lemon desserts. The closest I would get were lemon heads at summer camp, which I endured for the sweet center.
Now that my tastes have changed I’ve learned to love lemon desserts, well at least those made using Meyer Lemons. And they make the BEST lemonade.

BONUS RECIPE (makes 2 quarts): 1 cup juice, 6 cups water, 1 cup sugar. Mix well and enjoy!

I’ve shared this donut recipe before but I really wasn’t satisfied with the blackberry glaze (it tasted like powdered sugar). I wanted to find something that I actually liked and now I have. Yay! 😉
These mini donuts are one of my favorites for spring/summer.

So, I’m not great at take photos of the process. Someday I’ll figure that part out but for now I’ll just walk you through in text.

Start by grabbing a medium sized mixing bowl. Then whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. Zest an extra lemon or two, if you can, to sprinkle on top of the glaze.

Now grab a larger bowl if you are mixing by hand or use the bowl with your standing mixer. Whisk together the butter, eggs and sugar until smooth and pale yellow. Then add milk, lemon juice and greek yogurt. Using a whisk blend in the DRY ingredients until well combined. Lastly stir in the vanilla extract.

Now that the batter is ready… grab a spoon or spatula and transfer the lemon batter into a large ziplock and snip a small opening in the corner. Pipe into each donut cup, being careful not to over fill.

I have silicone donut forms so I put them on cookie sheets and placed them in the middle rack of the oven to bake for 12-14 minutes. My oven runs a little hot so I’ll check them about 10 minutes in to see if they are too brown and test the tops for spring back. Once done, turn them out and let cool on a wire rack for five minutes.

 

While they are still baking let’s start the blackberry glaze. You will need a blender or food processor to puree the blackberries and lemon juice. If you want to de-seed the puree you will need to double the berries and lemon juice. You can use a sieve and the back of a spoon over a small sauce pan to remove most of the blackberry seeds. Otherwise, pour the puree into a small sauce pan.

Place the sauce pan over low heat and add the butter and maple syrup. I like the glaze thick so at this point I removed from heat to cool slightly. But if you prefer a thinner glaze you can add 1-2 tablespoon of water.

Using parchment or wax paper under the rack spoon the glaze over each donut and sprinkle the extra lemon zest on top. Let cool another 5-10 minutes before transferring to a storage bin.
The donuts will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

My mouth is watering, just writing about these delicious and light donuts. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


FOR MORE:  Meyer Lemon | Recipes on Pinterest

Meyer Lemon and Greek Yogurt Baked Mini Donuts with Blackberry Glaze

Makes about 24 mini baked donuts.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Cool 5 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes

Ingredients

DRY Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 meyer lemons zest
  • cup sugar

WET Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter softened
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tsp meyer lemon juice
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Blackberry Glaze

  • 3 cup blackberries
  • 2 tbs meyer lemon juice
  • ½ cup butter or coconut butter softened
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbs water to thin
  • 2 Meyer lemon zest for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray donut pan with nonstick cooking spray. If you have two pans, spray them both.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the first 4 DRY ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter and eggs. MIX in the milk, juice and yogurt. Using a whisk add the DRY ingredients to the WET until well combined. Lastly, stir in the vanilla extract.
    Spoon batter into a large ziplock. Snip the corner and pipe into each donut cup. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until just golden brown and the tops spring back when lightly touched.
    While the donuts are cooking, make the blackberry glaze. Add the blackberries and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse until pureed. If you'd like the blackberry glaze de-seeded you'll need to double the berries and juice, strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve into a small pot. Use the back of a large spoon or spatula to press the puree through the sieve. If not de-seeding the puree, transfer the puree to a small pot.
    Heat the blackberry puree on low heat and add the butter and maple syrup. Add one tablespoon of water at a time to reach the desired consistency and turn off the heat. Let the glaze cool slightly.
    Once the donuts have finished cooking, remove from the pan and let cool on wire rack for five minutes. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper under the rack. Spoon the glaze over the donuts and then sprinkle lemon zest on top. Let cool completely before storing.

Notes

Should keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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