This question is the solid yellow line down a two way street. One side leads to the guest list and the lanes just merged from two to one (let me ride this metaphor, won't you). The other side of the street leads away from my wedding.
1. Who do we invite? 2. Will they come?
Question one was easier (relatively) for me. I only have a handful of friends and I set a limit in my head: If I don't talk, email, text, IM or comment on myspace with you at least 3 times in the last year, year and half...you aren't invited. For the simple fact that I am an introvert in an extrovert shell, I don't have many friends and am hoping the ones we invite will come enjoy are day with us....
Which brings us to question 2. How important am I to you? Inevitably, for myriad of reasons, people won't come. I am having a tough time relating this to my relationships with these folks. Perhaps it is because I never met a wedding I didn't attend (I missed Lesley's, but we had another wedding to go to that day in town and her's was in NYC...and that was a really tough decision for me). So to think that my cousins (who all have school aged children) may not attend because they have commitments, makes me a little sad. In contrast, all of FI family and friends are within a days drive. Mine? Not so much. So the turn out for FI will be significantly higher than for me.
Ah, see the popularity contest this becomes?
I have a friend, she was a great friend for a great while. She acted as a mother figure to me, my mom being 1000 miles away, I appreciated it. I filled a daughter role for her, her own daughter, my age, lives 2 states away. I was there witrh her the day her husband died, she has picked me up and pushed me forward in many ways. But, like many relationships in my life, I see the value in what we had and feel that our friendship has run its course. I saw her last in September? October? I haven't emailed or called her since. She hasn't reached out to me either. Our lives have changed and not that there isn't room for her in my life, we are just not that importnant to each other anymore. I cut her from the guest list. I feel bad, I know when she realizes that she hasn't been invited, she will feel bad.
I also have new friends, friendships that are growing all the time. They aren't on the guest list. I feel bad.
Having to define a friend and justify how important a person (and their companion) is to you based on cost and venue size feel shallow. But I know that when an out of towner gets the invite and they have to figure out travel costs, they are essentially doing the same to me. Figuring out how import I am to them.