Wedding Guest List: Invite Neighbors to Our Home Wedding?

Q:

We're having a reception at my parents' home, which is in a pretty small and quiet neighborhood. My mother thinks that we should invite all of the people who live on our street to the reception, just out of courtesy. I'm okay with it -- although I only really know one of the families, and none of them know my fiance -- but my dad is not (he doesn't want to pay for 30 more guests). What should we do?

A:

There's not a set rule on whether to invite the neighborhood to an at-home wedding, but courtesy is key. While it would certainly be a nice gesture to invite them to your celebration, if they're not close friends you shouldn't feel obligated to add them to your guest list. That said, it's probably not every day your neighborhood hosts a huge party, so be sure you're not stepping on any toes. Set a firm time when the music will end (after all, your neighbors will probably want to go to sleep a little earlier than your guests), and be sure that the parking situation has been dealt with -- hire valets if necessary to be sure no one's winding up with guests' cars parked on their lawns or blocking their driveways. Once you've hammered out all of the details, create a little newsletter to stick in neighbors' mailboxes to let them know of the upcoming event and let them know that everything -- from the noise to the cars -- has been taken care of.

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