(Closed) Invitation Etiquette – Invites + People = storm brewing?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
204 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I want to know the answers to all of these questions, too.  I’m also terrified that people will bring uninvite guests.  And we seriously can’t have any extra people.  We will actually have to tell uninvited people we don’t have a seat for them, or ask them to get up and give the seat to our invited guests if there is a shortage.  I’m dreading this possibility.


Post # 4
2704 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Oh wow!  That’s a mouthful of questions.  Ok let me do what I can to answer.

1. Save the Dates go out 6-9 months ahead of time.  If you have a destination wedding, you should send them closer to the 9 month mark.  While I sent mine to about 95% of my guests, it’s usually recommended to send Save-The-Date Cards to only Out of Town guests and VIPs.  A STD = invite so by only sending them to a few people, it gives you more flexibility should something arise and you need to cut your guest list

2. Invites go out 6-8 weeks before the wedding.  If you are having a desitnation wedding, I would send them out sooner (maybe 10-12 weeks).  The problem with sending invites out too early is that people might not know their schedule that far out and will either forget or will be unable to commit.

3. RSVPs go out with invites.

4. Find out when your caterer needs a head count and put the RSVP date a week or week and a half before that date.  This will give you some time to track down those guests that didn’t RSVP.

5. Address the invites to only those you want to invite.  If someone adds a +1 then you can either accomodate that +1 if you want or you call up the guest and say that unfortunately you are unable to accomodate any extra guests.  Keep in mind though that all SO’s should be invited.  I would also talk to your caterer about how to handle extra guests that show up unexpectedly the day of.  The general trend seems to be that they will be able to accomodate a few extra people.

5A. Don’t put anything on your website telling guests to not RSVP for more people than listed on the invite.  I would find that insulting.  Assume your guests know how to respond.

5B. It’s definitely a good idea to have the link to your website on both the STD and invite.

6. Odds are you will have someone RSVP “yes” and then not show up (due to emergency, car break-down, etc).  There’s not much you can do about except get over it. 

7. I’m not sure how often guests RSVP “no” and then show up.  But if it does happen, do your best to accomodate them.  Talk to your caterer and venue about what to do if extras show up. 

7A. I wouldn’t do this.  I understand the desire to have a B-List, but they are rude.  With a wedding so small, I would worry about people finding out.  What you could do though, is if you get some declines is allow single people to bring a date.

8. If people don’t RSVP by the deadline, then you should definitely call and ask if they are coming.  If they are unresponsive or respond with a maybe, tell them (or leave a message) that you have to give your headcount to the caterer on X date and if you don’t hear from them/they give you a firm answer by then you will assume they cannot make it.

8A. I think having the option to RSVP both ways is excellent!


Honestly, there is only so much you can do.  I think the good majority of the time people are very good about coming when they say they will and not coming when they say they won’t.  I can almost guarantee that you’ll have to hunt down a few RSVPs, but just shoot that person a message – no big deal.  And you may end up with a few no shows – sh*t happens though and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it.

Good luck!

Post # 5
2022 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

If you are only having 36 guests then I think that it is feasibly to “track down” those who do not RSVP and ask them via phone, email, etc.  Honestly, since it is so intimate, I bet you would be able to get a verbal yay or nay from all of the guests!

Post # 6
2780 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Send invites out 6-8 weeks before your wedding, with RSVP deadline of 2 weeks before the wedding. Svae the dates should be around the 6 month mark. 

The people who RSVP with extra people let them know that their guests can’t come. If they try to show up with them anyways either have someone acting as security at the door or let it go. Same goes for those that said no but show up anyways. 

Those that say yes and no-show, let it go, there’s nothing you can do about it and saying anything will just piss people off. Emergencies come up.

Those who don’t RSVP by deadline, call them. Things do get lost in the mail.

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