Remember the game we played as kids, remember plucking petals off a flower and alternately saying, “loves me” or “loves me not”? Planning your wedding guest list can be either, “I want them” or “I want them not” or go about it in an organized manner, which will be less random than otherwise.

Ideally, we would want everyone to be present on the big day but at the same time we may have restrictions with the venue or our budget. Let’s face it, weddings can become expensive if left uncontrolled, not only with the caterers or the decorators but also with the number of guests invited.

Over the years we land up meeting a lot of people. Some of them we maybe meeting everyday but may not want at the wedding. Then there could be also be those whom we hardly ever get to meet, but would like to share our celebrations with. The biggest nightmare is leaving someone out before it’s too late so lets start with the big picture.

A time tested way is to make an Indian wedding ecard  guest list of everyone whom we know, whether they be our friends, our relatives, colleagues, neighbours or acquaintances. This ensures that no one gets left out when we start shortlisting because we will be eventually making lots of lists as we go about filtering people in order to make the final list. By the way, it’s a good idea to delete all those who can be avoided or those whom we don’t want at the wedding at all.

Start off with this master list and first tick those whom you would really like to have at the wedding. If the numbers are not enough then we move on to selecting more people and if the numbers are in excess of what you want then the painful task of fine tuning begins, which frankly can be very frustrating.

I remember a friend who became quite ruthless and put up filters in place like for those she hadn’t spoken to within a year and those she thought wouldn’t matter even if they felt left out. What’s the worst that could happen? They wouldn’t invite her to their wedding! That’s it.

Sometimes we are members of a group and may be close only to a couple of them but would land up meeting others regularly again. That is when it gets tough. If others get left out, it may feel awkward explaining to them. In such cases, either the whole group gets the invite or none at all. But then it’s a bullet you have to bite, so think out of the box and if you want to exclude a few then plan your strategy well in advance. How to get away without offending the rest ? Well, I personally would really struggle with this one at least.

Fortunately, in Indian weddings we have a host of pre-wedding functions anyway. It is nowadays an acceptable way for you to spread your “maybe” guest list over them. Some of your Indian wedding card guest list can be invited for the Mehendi, some for Sangeet and some for any other function you may like to create for the purpose.

A way out is to have a couple of extra get togethers whether pre-wedding or even post wedding. I know of a girl who invited her yoga class friends and her gym friends to a pre-wedding party at her home. They had a great time and even though they weren’t invited to the wedding they did not feel ignored. So you maybe can do the same for your office colleagues or any other close set of acquaintances.

At the end of the day, don’t get too hassled or hard and fast about the numbers. A few more or less don’t really matter. The idea is to have a memorable event and it’s best to make it happen in an inclusive manner and live happily ever after.