Post # 1
Future Mother-In-Law has a “B” list all written up that she gave me with her “A” list. She told me that as people say no (from her list) she wants to invite people from her B list. I wasn’t really sure what to tell her so I just said we would have to see if we have enough invites left over once we send them out to everyone. We will have enough supplies left over to send invites to her B list but I’m not really sure that I want to do this.
These are people from her work that she occasionally talks to and “feels bad about not inviting.” However, she is inviting other people from work who will likely say something about being invited. So basically the B people will hear about the invites from the first round then possibly get an invite a couple of weeks later. I think this will seem rather tacky and obvious to them.
I did try to explain to her that the RSVP will also seem weird to them. We are sending the invites out at 8 weeks and we are allowing a little over 4 weeks for a response. We already have the RSVP printed so we can’t change the date (and I wouldn’t want to anyways since we need numbers for our caterer). Since don’t live in the state where the wedding is taking place (and where most of our guests live) we probably won’t be getting RSVPs back until about a week after we send them. At this point people will have under three weeks to RSVP (that is IF someone from her list says no and sends it back right away). She said she doesn’t really care about that, but if people say no 2 weeks before the RSVP deadline and we send someone from the B list an invite, they will have about a week to RSVP which will definitely be strange to them.
There’s also the fact that I just finished printing, stuffing, sealing, addressing 150 invites and I just want to be DONE. I don’t want to have to address, put together, stuff, and seal more invites. I just want to sit back and mark down RSVPs (and make my favors). I guess I could just tell her she has to prepare them but as we are in different states that doesn’t make much sense.
Did you have a “B” list? How did you do it so that people didn’t know that they were on this list? Should I just put my foot down and tell her no?
Post # 3
We aren’t having one. We’re inviting everyone who we actually want there.. I think it’s a little excessive to be inviting alot of co-workers, or people you occasionally talk to because you “feel bad”.
Post # 4
I would not do a B list and am not doing a B list. If you are not in my first round of invites you are not getting an invite, regardless of how many people RSVP no. I’ve been B listed before and it feels extremely gift grabby and second best. Some might look at it as “Oh, well you should just be happy they wanted to include you.” but I think of it as, if they wanted to include me, I should have been included the first time, not as a fill-in, gift giver. If I’m not good enough to include the first time, I’d rather not be included at all. The only time “B” lists make any sense are when you don’t originally give someone a plus one, and then later on say that they can bring a plus one.
So basically, I think B lists are incredibly rude, and I am sure I will offend some people with that statement. I’m not bashing those who do B lists, but it really sucks to be on a B list in my opinon. What about a reverse “B” list. Lets say two events were on one day, your wedding and something else. You invite a guest to your wedding and they wait to see if the other event is going to get rained out (your wedding is indoors so it would still be on). They agree to come to your wedding, but that was only if their FIRST choice didn’t happen. They might want to be there, but they would have rather been at the other event. Your event is just a filler.
Post # 5
Yes, I had a “B” list, and I ended up being able to invite a number of friends whom I really wanted to invite but whom I could not invite until some family members and other friends had declined.
This actually worked very well for us. However, I imailed my “A” list invitations about 12 weeks before the wedding, allowing approximately nine weeks for our guests to respond.
Post # 6
Nope. I am inviting the people I want there, period.
Post # 7
@IcaJess13: Actually, even Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners, says that B-Lists are not wrong. The only etiquette breach would be to let someone know that he or she is on the “B” list.
Post # 8
Etiquette Snob here… (comes with my career)
As mentioned, B-Lists are totally fine… the secret is in how one manages them.
The key is that people don’t discover they are on the B-List.
So you send out your Invites well in advance of the RSVP Reply Date (8 to 12 weeks ahead) and as the NOs come in you send out HALF as many new Invitations.
So you get a NO from the Jones Family (Mom, Dad & 2 Kids = 4 people)… you now can send out an Invitation for 2 people (total)
This is to allow for the possibility that someone may actually change their mind down the road from a NO to a YES
The key element is tho that NO INVITATIONS should be issued with under 2 weeks lead time before the Reply Date or the Event (whichever comes first)
I had a B-List over 30 years ago for my first Wedding… and it worked perfectly
And the practice is often used by Brides because Weddings are soooo expensive, and as such the ORIGINAL Guest List needs to be trimmed down (people you’d love to invite… but just can’t find the funds to). This is where B-Lists come in handy… you get to add people you’d love to have there as others send their regrets
As to your FMIL’s wishes for these to be work people… well that is up to you (I take it you don’t know many of them)
IF the Inlaws have money in the mix… then I’d probably do it… especially so if the NOs coming back are from their side anyhow. OR if you just are interested in “keeping the peace”
On the plus side, at least in my experience the first time round… Friends of my Parents tended to show up with some of the best gifts (not that that should be a motiviation… but it can be a reality)
And having these people there did make my Parents happy
So it really was a win-win-win for all involved.
Hope this helps,
Post # 9
@Brielle: Honestly I don’t care if someone says that it is OKAY to do that, I disagree. It is rude to me, and pretty tacky. If they aren’t good enough to invite in the first place, don’t use them as fillers and space holders later on.
I think it is pretty foolish just to be a sheep that thinks that etiquette is law and not be concered with how it makes others feel. But please, tell me where exactly I wrote that it was a breach of etiquette? I believe I simply stated how I feel, and I don’t find anything wrong with that. I was actually aware of the fact that it isn’t an etiquette breach.
Not going to change my mind that this, and my opinion is that doing it is rude and tacky.
Post # 10
Nope! If they weren’t on my a-list then I didn’t want them there bad enough.
Post # 11
And for the record, etiquette does not trump logic.
Post # 12
@IcaJess13: You certainly are entitled to your own opinion on this. I was simply trying to address the issue from an etiquette perspective. Thank you for clarifying that you were not attempting to tell the OP that B-lists are wrong but, rather, that you personally dislike them.
Post # 13
We are because my FIL’s have a bunch of people on their list. We already know a lot of the A list won’t come, so we will send them their invites early and then move on to the B list when we get the responses back. And I’m printing my own invitations so the RSVP dates can be whatever I want.
Post # 14
@RockStar33: My thoughts exactly. If you really wanted those other guests there you would have found a way to accomodate them too. (Spend less on other areas, find a larger venue, etc.)
@This Time Round: See, my problem with people relying on etiquette to back something that is (to me) clearly rude and tacky, is that most people who do so pick and chose which etiquette rules to follow. They might have a B-List and say that it is FINE to do so because etiquette says so, but then turn around and ask for cash gifts. I think it is pretty foolish to rely so heavily on etiquette rules, in fact, I think it is pretty foolish to rely only on them and not leave any room for free thought (which I’ve come to see that etiquette rules don’t leave much room for personal thought, it is either “you do it this way” or “you’re breaking the rules”!)
And seriously, saying it is only a breach of etiquette if you get caught is like saying stealing is only illegal if you get caught. I mean, there has to be a reason WHY you don’t let people know they are B-Listed, right?
Post # 15
@IcaJess13: I have also been on the receiving end of a B list and found out about it (the bride didn’t really try to help it) and it didn’t feel good. I also feel like her co-workers are going to think we’re just gift grabby if we do this. The only reason I’m considering doing it is because I feel bad for my Fiance. He had a HUGE fight with her this morning about it and was pretty bent out of shape. I’m tempted to just keep the peace because I don’t want her to keep giving him crap about it because I just feel bad for him. I think I’m just going to explain to her that these people will likely know that they are on the B list and they will likely feel bad about that. She care a lot about what people think about her so I guess she’ll have to decide if she would rather leave someone out or if she would rather people know they were on her B list.
@This Time Round: I guess my problem is that it will be pretty obvious who is on the B list (unless Future Mother-In-Law can somehow get all of the people at work on the A list to keep quiet about it). Fiance and I have never met any of her co-workers so I personally don’t care if they come (which I guess sounds terrible but we really are just inviting them for her). Since she is helping out a little bit I will probably end up doing it just to keep the peace.
Post # 16
TO @IcaJess13: well you are certainly entitled to your own opinion. The “tradionally accepted” Rules of Etiquette have been around for Decades (and some for 100s of years). They exist because they work.
And more often than not a Bride who comes on the Bee here and asks for help is because she has (a) found herself in a situation she doesn’t have a clear cut idea on how to handle, OR (b) she has not followed the Rules of Etiquette in the first place, and because she didn’t sit down and calculate each and every possibility (who does)… now finds herself in a sticky situation
In BOTH cases the Rules of Etiquette can be a clear guideline on a tactful way out of that situation
(As in this case… the Guest List is too BIG for the venue / funds available… “We’d love to invite 150 but only have room for 100… how do we cut the list down”…. I mean HOW MANY TIMES have we read that post ???)
I get that not everyone is going to adhere to each and every rule (lol, even I don’t at times… BUT I know there could be a consequence to that action… it is just that I’ve reconned that I am willing to take that risk)
And so it goes.
(BTW… Not inviting someone to a Wedding… or sending out their Invitation later than someone else’s is not an illegal activity… infact some folks stagger their mail out on purpose. So as much as you tried to make a “dramatic” comparisson it hardly equates… not quite the same as stealing something).
— — —
TO @MrsBeck: I see your point of view… as I said in my first reply… this is a decision that the Host makes. In reality, it has been my experience that fewer people “talk” in life than we all imagine (Wedding Invites far more a topic of social conversation when one is in their 20s and 30s… than ever in ones 40s and beyond, lol). And if anyone says something it would most likely just be to your Future Mother-In-Law on the Q-T “Oh just wanted to say we got the Wedding Invite in the mail… it was nice to be included”
And yes, keeping the peace when it comes to Inlaws can certainly be a good foot to start off your married life on. There are lots of other times / situations where you’ll want things to go your way… and well if you have the space (and it would be because of the NOs coming in) then I’d say go ahead and please her. Just ask her ahead of time, to have the names prioritized for you… so you can send em out in the order she’d prefer to see there vs just willy nilly.
Hope this helps,