Hi @VGoode: I see you are fairly NEW to WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”
I am a bit of an Etiquette Snob, lol… here on WBee (comes from my career)
Truly you cannot invite more than you have space for… as there is indeed a chance that everyone could reply YES on you
Let me assure you that B Lists are fine…
They have been around for eons… both for Weddings as well as other major social events
The trick for the Host is knowing how to organize things so that your Guests ARE NOT AWARE they are B-Listed. Otherwise, it is a HUGE breach of etiquette !!
(So my BEST ADVICE when it comes to Wedding Planning is keep the details to your self… come to WBee if you need help or to vent… and definitely keep stuff off FaceBook… FB is a train wreck waiting to be derailed right thru the middle of your happy day)
There are a few keys to their success
First and foremost…
Organize your Guest List. Know WHO is on your A List and WHO will be on the B-List if there is room to accommodate them. Set out your B List by priority.
Organize your RSVP / Reply Cards. Send out your A List Round of invites with a good amount of lead time before the deadline… so you can manage to send out B List Invites as the NOs come in. OR have a second set of RSVP / Reply Cards with a different Reply By Date for the B List Invites.
The Process. As the Regrets come back in… you send out aprox 50% of that number again as Round B Invites (so have 20 Regrets in hand = 40 Guests… send out 10 Invites = 20 Guests). This ensures you have some “wiggle room” incase for some reason, someone who previously said NO calls you to say they’ve been able to rearrange things, and now will be coming
NOTE – B-List Invites DO NOT have to be sent out all at once… they can trickle out in the same way that the Regrets trickle in.
Typically the B-List folks are more local than the A-List folks (example, Co-Workers, Childhood Friends, Friends of Mom & Dad etc) … so having a shorter lead time to RSVP isn’t a big deal… folks you would love to have there, if only you could spare the space !!
Most people aren’t offended, they are actually thrilled to get an invite, and because they are “friends” vs family, and because of that, they don’t necessarily have the inside track that there were A List Invites sent out earlier, and they weren’t on that list
Again this is the part you want to try to make as seamless as possible, and not advertise the fact (so no one feels like an afterthought)
Like other things in Etiquette, where this all falls apart… is how many people today don’t realize how to make this work properly… so ya, it is NEVER cool to get an Invite AFTER the RSVP REPLY BY DATE has passed. (*Rolls Eyes*) Nothing could be clearer that one is an after-thought than that !!
If you have more Questions… just ask, I’d be happy to help