So the guest list for this wedding has been very...fluid. It's been a lot of phone calls/emails with our parents, post-its with addresses all over my life. It started with our immediate families and closest friends, people we talk to on a regular basis (not just facebook birthday greetings once a year). I'm just glad it's not terrible etiquette that some people will be getting invites but never got save-the-dates. And it's not like we have an A list/B list. More that I'm scatterbrained, my parents forgot to mention someone, (or fiance still hasn't gotten his friend's addresses for me...haha) and we've made some new very close friends over the past couple months.
I finally just got everyone & their addresses into a little address book, because that is just so much easier for me to look at than any word document or spreadsheet. Technically we have 147 people including spouses, (or long-term established significant others - we're kinda playing this one by ear) and children. However, in my family, it is customary to include the extended relatives (i.e. my parents' aunts & uncles, cousins, second cousins...) in all invites, announcements, and christmas card lists. Though no one ever actually shows up to anything and they are spread out all over the US, though particularly in the midwest and east coast. There's about 40 of these family members so that cuts the list down.
I'm understanding why so many people are doing the e-vite thing these days. Not only it is simpler and less paper, it's just so much easier to get ahold of people in this day and age electronically. I've already had to update about 20 addresses just since sending out the save-the-dates! I have a lot of retired relatives that spend summer in one place and winter in another. And I have a lot of young 20s and/or still in college friends who bounce around between different living arrangements often. Which brings me to 2 more reasons why the actual guest list will diminish. 1) Many of my friends are 20-somethings and/or in college and can't afford to travel to the wedding. and 2) Some of my friends are way too awesome and keep traveling all over the world so a) I can't keep track of them and/or b) they will be out of country for the wedding. I know for a fact one friend will be in Peru and another will be in Uganda.
My feelings totally aren't hurt by anyone not being able to make it. I know they all love me and they are leading crazy awesome lives. They will be there for me in other ways and I will be there for them too. A Wedding is not the be-all, end-all friendship determinator.
Even if every single other person were to show up. Say all those 2nd cousins decided that February in Iowa on the farm is pretty darn cold and an excuse to go to California sounds like a pretty good idea. It wouldn't be a big deal. The more the merrier as far as I'm concerned. I know that can't be the case for all weddings out there. But for us, we're serving hors d'ouevres and dessert buffet, not a sit-down meal. The venue is my future parents-in-law's house which is plenty big enough to hold extra people. We have some flexibility.