(Closed) Out of State Guest List Etiquette…HELP.

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3376 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@partyplanner83:  Honestly I’d send out the save the dates and then see what the responses are from there. We had an OOT wedding as well and after we sent out the STDs we got quite a few emails, calls, etc from people saying “I just don’t think we can make it”. 

Edit: I also recommend creating an “A” and “B” list. Like reserve the “A” list for family and close friends, and the “B” list can be just friends, any co-workers, etc, that will get a spot on the official guest list if people from the “A” list can’t attend. 

Post # 4
12624 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Honestly, my advice is to talk to your fiance and explain that it’s not fair that you’re cutting your already-smaller list to accomodate his larger one.  If he wants to invite that many people, perhaps his parents should be chipping in and contributing.  I would stand my ground on this and not cut any further.  This day is about uniting both of you, not you continuing to cut to accomodate him with no concessions on his side.  It’s just not fair.

But to answer your question, I don’t think there is a polite way to ask if people are coming.  Just send save the dates to people you are 100% sure you are going to invite – out of towners, etc.

Our wedding involved significant travel for most of our guests, but still about 75% of those who were OOT came.

Post # 5
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@abbie017:  +1

Unfortunately, there’s no polite why to ask people if they plan to attend before you send STDs or invitations.  Besides, people’s plans change.  They might find out later that they can come and then what?

I think the best solution is to sit down and figure out how many people you can afford and then divvy up the guest list.  For instance, if you can afford 100 people, then he gets 40 seats, you get 40 seats, and the last 20 seats are for mutual friends.  If you don’t fill up yours or if he has a slightly larger family, then you can think about giving him some of yours.  It might not be even in the end, but at least you’ll start on even ground.

Post # 7
12624 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@partyplanner83:  We had a kid-free wedding, so that actually helped us a bit.  People with young children opted to stay home, since they couldn’t bring the kids to the wedding.  We only had a couple families where this was an issue though. It honestly came down to finances for most people – could they afford the travel and the hotel and a wedding gift. 

Guests on my side had a 500 mile trip to get to me, and DH’s side had about 900 miles to travel – so it was pretty significant for everyone.  I was shocked when so many people did actually come!

Post # 9
794 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@partyplanner83:  I don’t think you should ask prior to sending out StDs.  I agree with the above advice about making an A and B list.  Put family and the people you MUST have there on the A list, then make your B list.  Once you get “no” responses you can invite the B listers.  I’m in a similar situation, FI is from Ohio and I’m from Florida…wedding is in Florida.  He also has a larger family and is older…so just more people in general.  We stuck to 150, and though I honestly don’t know how many are “mine” and how many are “his”, I think it’s pretty even.  

Post # 10
12624 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@partyplanner83:  I think you’re doing all you can!  I agree that local guests can find their own childcare – they probably already have a babysitter they know and trust and should be able to make plans with adequate notice.

If you give your Midwest friends and family enough notice, I’m sure most of them will do their best to make it.  Weddings are a big deal, and people like to celebrate with their friends.  I would give them as much notice as you can so they can budget accordingly.  Next time you talk to some of them, casually drop that you’re going to have the wedding where you live, and see if they volunteer that they’d try to make it.  It obviously isn’t a commitment, but if they say off the bat “oh, it’s too expensive” or “it’s too far,” you know how they’d be leaning on responses.  We sent out our STDs about 9 months ahead of time, but most guests already knew what the date was when we set it a few months prior to that.

Post # 13
8169 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

@partyplanner83:  my FI has a huge family and lots of friends.  i have a very small family.  we set our budget based on 130 people.  i am inviting 50 and i told him, he could fill in the rest with his guest list.

the first thing to do if figure out how much you can afford then make the guest list. 

your sides don’t have to be even.  but you shouldn’t have to cut people who you really want to be there because he has family or friends who live closer.

if people decline, you can always invite people from his side if you are willing to spend the money.



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