(Closed) The Guest List…so many people

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1725 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’ve heard of doing A and B lists

Post # 4
674 posts
Busy bee

First of all, don’t invite more than you can either fit or afford. Assume that everyone can make it, even if it’s likely that many will turn you down. What will you do if too many say they can attend – turn them away at the door?

Talk to your families to see if they can give you some input on who is likely to arrive from out of state.

Though the A-B list idea has been mentioned, I would strongly suggest you be extemely cautious if you’re already down to close friends and family members. People will talk about your invitations, and there’s a good chance they’ll figure out if they received their’s weeks later than others in their social circle or part of the family.

It sounds like you guys need to limit it to family only or cut down on the number of family members. I know that’s not fun to think about, but if it is all you can afford, it may be the best option.

Post # 5
2105 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

You never know for sure, with in town and out of town guests, who can make it and who can’t.  Illness, work obligations, family obligations, financial constraints, etc can all affect any of the guests.  It’s best to know you can fit AND afford every guest you invite, as some girls on here have had extremely high acceptance rates.  I haven’t had my wedding yet, but of everyone I’ve talked with, they always say you’re surprised by who RSVPs yes and who RSVPs no.  

Post # 6
1696 posts
Bumble bee

There are two ways of establishing a guest-list. One way is to set a number that you can accomodate, based on your budget and venue size. Having established that number, you divide it into the various categories of guest that must be present (for a wedding that would be “His Family”, “Her Family”, and “Our Friends”), decide how many of your total number you can have from each category, then list the potential guests in order from “must have” to “like to have but can live without” and draw a line under the last guest who fits within the set number. Fifty years ago, the proportions were typically 50%-50%-0%; twenty-five years ago the proportions were typically 33.3%-33.3%-33.3%; nowadays the proportions seem to be more like 25%-25%-50%.

That method works best for society parties where you don’t have to worry about family politics and the repurcussions thirty years down the road for damaged relationships, or for recurring events like dinner parties and debutant balls where you can include the missing people next time. But, it is also the most common manner nowadays of establishing wedding guest lists. If your “dream wedding” is inflexible about budget, style and venue, this is the method you are pretty much stuck with.

The other way of establishing a guest-list is the traditional method for weddings, and also in general for public ceremonies of any sort. In this method, you first identify the categories of guest that you WANT to have in attendance, taking into account their interest in you and in your wedding, and the long-term relationships that you may wish to reinforce or cement, and the likelihood that they will want to attend. Then you identify a representative for each group (traditionally “His Mother” who calls on “Her Mother”; nowadays you’d better add “Him” and “Her” to the mix as well, and maybe “Her BFF”). The representatives get together with iPods in hand to merge and prioritize their Contacts lists — or sit down over their “visiting books” if they are not yet fully iMigrated. Between them, they come up with a master list of guests, from which they get a total count. Armed with that total count, the hostess then decides what style of post-wedding entertainment she can budget for, and hires an appropriate venue based on that guest-count and budget.


Post # 7
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I would suggest doing an A and a B list.

Post # 8
6523 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

A & B lists can get really sticky. Especially if for some reason people start finding out they are B list. I think the best thing to do is start with those who you absolutely can’t have a wedding without. From there, evaluate your list and add in as necessary. 

Post # 9
5657 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2012

I think if you invite around 80-90 people, you’ll end up with around 50-60 actually attending, especially if a big chunk of those are out of state. Do not invite more people than you can afford or physically have room for. I wouldn’t do A and B lists.

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