(Closed) How do you deal with inviting your "B" list wedding guests?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
4804 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We didn’t. I don’t think there’s a real polite way to say, “Hey, some of the people we cared about coming more than you can’t make it to the wedding after all, so want to come fill their spot?”

And yes I know, no one intends it that way, you want to just have as many friends and family there as you can but budget or space restrictions won’t allow it, etc. But I just don’t agree with it. We made our guest list and finalized it, including everyone that was important to us, or that our parents really wanted there and we said okay to. Then we found a venue that would work with that number of guests within our budget, and whenever someone did decline it just meant we were saving some money.

I know it’s not really the answer you’re looking for, but just my opinion – I don’t think there is a good way to do this, someone’s feelings will always get hurt.

Post # 4
Member
6125 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@BummedBride:  Hi and welcome! 

I was always told that having a B list was poor etiquette and should be avoided.  It kind of gives the feeling that they weren’t important enough for the first round.  I am not sure there’s a tactful way to even do it.  If someone sent me an invitation in the mail with a few weeks to spare, I’d know I was B listed.

Post # 6
Member
6125 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

What if you just got a venue that would hold all of the supposed guests?

Or you could just keep the guest list to immediate family and a couple friends, but then no cousins or aunts/uncles, etc?  Just something that has a line.

I completely know what you mean, but there is not proper etiquette way around it.

Post # 8
Member
7908 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

Really, the only way to do this if you absolutely must is to have one set of invitations but to set the RSVP date as late as possible and then send out the first batch about 2 weeks earlier than normal (so 12 weeks out instead of 8-10) and then as you get a no, send out an invitation, ceasing at 3 weeks before the RSVP dealdine.

Post # 9
Member
7908 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

@BummedBride:  You should click on “reply” to get the linked @username. This is the best way because all thsoe links will be automatically updated if the user changes his/her unsername. The user is not notified either way, but the linked names are easier to see.

Post # 10
Member
39 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2012

The people that really care about you should be happy to receive an invitation, no matter if its 3 months before your wedding or 3 weeks.  People should understand that weddings are expensive and, yes, unfortunately you must first invite some family members before you get to your good old college buddies.  I like the idea of sending out the first round of invitations with an initial, earlier RSVP date and then the next round with a later date.  I’d just send invitations out B list invitations as you get declines and if people are that upset and refuse to come, they really weren’t that good of friends to begin with and you’ll know you were right to not put them on your “A list” to begin with. : )

 

 

Post # 11
Member
4804 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@mrsSonthebeach:  +1 on both linking usernames, and the best way to do this as far as RSVP dates go if you have no other option. Oh, and try your best not to have people who know eachother well on different lists, because if they’re anything like my family/friends they’ll be asking if the other got their invite yet. Kinda annoying but it happens.

Post # 12
Member
3721 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

It is horrible ettiquite, but we are doing it. Here is my policy– we have three lists: the save the date list, the probably will get invites list, and the true B list. We have an ideal capacity of 180 and will send out 180 save the dates. Everyone who gets a save the date will get an invite. We hope to get their preliminary RSVP before invites go out– if we know Aunt Cindy can’t come in from 3 time zones away, we will put her in as a preliminary no. If we know that FI’s friend won’t be flying her children in from Europe, that will be 2 more spaces. When it comes time for invites we will invite those with save the dates and any people we really wanted to invite but didn’t send a save the date to if there is an anticipated no. Then we will sort the remainder of the B list into groups of friends. If I have 8 coworkers I want to invite, I will wait for 8 nos and send them out (as long as it is within 6 weeks). If I only get 6 nos within the 6 weeks from event deadline, then they do not get invited.

Post # 13
Member
11228 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Many people believe that having a “B” list is poor etiquette, but, even Miss Manners says it’s not a crime to have one, only to let someone know that he or she is on it.

I had a guest list that was a bit too large for my venue, and I knew that not eveyone would be able to attend, especially since my wedding was semi-destination for the vast majority of guests and many states away for others.  However, I was not at all comfortable with inviting even one more guest than our venue could accommodate at maximum capacity, so I had a “B” list.

I had my calligrapher prepare the inner and outer envelopes for the top portion of my B list along with my A list so that the very day I received my first “unable to attend” response, I immediately could mail the next invitation. I continued to do this throughout the period prior to my RSVPs being due as long as sufficient time remained to mail the invitations and provide prospective guests with a respectable amount of time to respond. As I went farther down in my B list, I simply contacted my calligrapher to prepare the additional envelopes I needed.

As  @mrsSonthebeach: suggests, it’s extremely helpful — perhaps even necessary — to mail your invitations a few weeks earlier than normal to ensure that you have plenty of time to send B list invitations and allow sufficient time for responses.  In all, I invited 212 people for a venue that had a maximum of 170, and only 148 actually ended up being able to attend.

Post # 16
Member
504 posts
Busy bee

Our venue only holds 92 seated so we sent invites fairly early and have gotten 2 declines so far. So then we sent 2 additional invites out to people we werent able to invite a week ago.

We only sent invites out last week and we already got 24 accepts and 2 declines. It really helps to make sure you put the postage on the RSVPs. I think people get back the RSVPs quicker

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