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How is it that the most important decisions in planning a wedding are the ones that confront you head-on before you even have the slightest idea of what you really want? I'm mostly talking about two things, although one of them was fairly easily resolved when we took our first tour of Spruce Mountain Ranch in Larkspur, CO, leaving behind only the lingering question of who do we invite to our wedding and how on earth do we only have 125 people there and not step on anybody's toes?

By the way, nearly two months into the process, that question is still lingering.

It is entirely possible that determining our guest list is the single longest ongoing conflict in my relationship with my fiancé. In fact, I have recently realized that as soon as anyone raises the subject, my muscles tense and I find myself on the verge of choosing between fight and flight. I'm not sure what his reaction is because that would involve bringing up the subject itself, and that is not something I'm entirely prepared to do at this time (we seem to have formed a sort of a truce and I'm not willing to break that for anything).

And see, the problem is this: we both love our (rather large) families. We both love our extended families. We both love our family friends. And, last but not least, we both love our friends.

So, I ask you, what is an engaged couple with a restricted budget and unrestricted affection to do?

On a purely relational level, we had a breakthrough just last weekend. We were driving up to the mountains to spend the day snowboarding and Shayne very, very carefully mentioned that he had decided to invite a couple that we had previously elected not to invite. He'd given them their save the date, and they had been nice enough to say that if for some reason we became tighter on numbers than we'd thought we would be, they would simply not come.

He was so earnest in his re-telling of this conversation that any steam previously collecting around my ears dissipated and I found myself smiling, then laughing, as I told him that there was no way we could ask them not to come now that we'd invited them, and that it was fine - but that I was going to remove from his home any remaining save the dates just in case his generosity got the better of him again.

However, the greater decision of the guest list has not been resolved. Our current strategy is to agree that everyone who receives a save the date will be invited, but not everyone we will ultimately invite is receiving a save the date. This also means that we are, in other words, putting off the real decision and thinking that when our invitation-sending deadline rolls around well, we'll probably just go snowboarding and hope for the best.