(Closed) How do you trim….or take a saw to the ever growing guest list?

posted 9 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
2362 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden

I think this is a great case for A and B list, and sending your invites out a little sooner than you may have otherwise.  I personally wouldn’t take the chance on sending out 300 invites if you’re hoping for 150, or send out 150 either.  But I would send out 175 or 200 to begin with and then as “no”s come in, send out more invites.  We also thought many people wouldn’t be coming, but it seems like so far, many of those are surprising us and booking hotels!

Post # 4
5822 posts
Bee Keeper

Sending out 300 invites if your venue only holds 150 is a BAD idea.  You may be praying for declines, and people will surprise you and you’ll end up with WAY too many.  Like eriqua said, create and A list and a B list.  A list should consist of all YOUR close friends, your FI’s close friends, and both of your close relatives, cutting out adult children you don’t know.  The B list should include people like your parents’ friends and coworkers, more distant relatives, and anyone you don’t know that well.  Prioritize your B list, so that as you receive declines on the A list, you can send an invite out immediately from the B list.

You may be surprised at how many people will come to your wedding, and it’s much easier to have too few people than too many!

(We had a few people we thought were definite declines, they ended up coming…we even had people attend who weren’t even invited!)

Post # 5
354 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Agree with pps – definitely don’t invite 300 people if you only want 150 🙂 You may be surprised by how many of the in town people come, even if you don’t know them. If you’re looking for an easy way to trim the list, start by eliminating anyone that neither you nor your Fiance have ever met. That’s easier said than done, especially if your parents are paying for or signficantly contributing to the cost of the wedding, but at the end of the day, it’s your wedding, and if you’re going to have to cut people, the ones that you don’t know probably make the most sense.

Even if you don’t plan to send A and B rounds of invitations, definitely organize your list of guests by priority. It also helps to group guests by relationship to each other so that you can see cases where if you invite one person from a particular group, you would want or need to invite all of the other people from that group. This helped me to see where it made the most sense to make cuts. Good luck!

Post # 6
1565 posts
Bumble bee

Agreed – you can’t count on that many declines! I also vote for the A and B lists. 

Post # 7
1523 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I absolutely would not invite 300 people to a wedding space that can only hold 150 people.

We have A and B lists, but I don’t think we will ever end up going to the B list. I think most people say that 20% of people will not RSVP yes to a wedding, but I personally think that % will be unique to each wedding and situations. If you have bigger families, more people will RSVP yes for example. The number of Out of Town guests will also influence the RSVP numbers. If you want to go by the 20% will RSVP no rule, you can expect 240 people to reply yes to your wedding!

In terms of cutting the guest list I would come up with a new list that is the “core” group of people. Meaning they have to be invited. For Fiance and I the core group of people were family (parents, grandparents, aunts, unlces and first cousins), a group of our closest friends, and a group of people that our parents felt absolutely had to be present (family friends). Keep in mind that you also have to feed vendors (usually in a seperate room) and that you should invite your officiant.

We have also cut back on numbers by not inviting children and single guests will not be allowed a plus one. Our rule is that a plus one is allowed if the person and SO have been dating more than a year.

From my experience the guest list is a royal pain in the butt. I have had possesion of the guestlist all along and refuse to hand it over to any parents 🙂


Post # 8
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I agree with otthers, absolutely do not invite 300! As poster stated, general rule of thumg, expect about 20% to decline, in our case, we’ve had a LOT more unexpcted “yes”, irregardless of whether they personally know us or the distance in travel, people just LOVE weddings!


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