(Closed) Seeking advice about who to invite…

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
673 posts
Busy bee

The baseline should be inviting everyone of the same status in your family. In other words, if you invite Cousin Joe, Cousin Sue also needs to get an invitation. Sure, Cousin Sue might be flat broke right now, but what if she wins the next half a billion dollar lottery game next July? Not to mention, when Cousin Sue chats with Cousin Joe and he mentions the invitation he received, now you have to tell Sue you thought you knew enough about her personal finances and desire to travel to make these decisions for her instead of giving her the chance to get back to you.

You need to decide the guest list first. Don’t invite more people than your venue can hold. If it is important that many family members be invited, then make your list first and the only look at venues that can hold that number. If you place a bigger priority on the look and feel of the event, then pick your venue and make your guest list fit. That might mean leaving all of the cousins off. These are only priorities that you and your guy can set.

Post # 4
11419 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

You need to have an A List and a B List, but etiquette requires that anyone on your B List not KNOW he or she is ON the B List.  Thus, people who are in the same circles must be invited at the same time so that person X does not speak to person Y and discover that person X has had her invitation for three weeks, while person Y has yet to be invited.

So, I would develop your lists accordingly, inviting the first “tier” of guests (those whom you could not possibly NOT invite — immediate family and very close friends — and anyone else who is in the same family or social circle with these “must have” individuals. Then, you could wait until you begin receiving declines to start sending your second round of invitations.

I personally did this with great success. I originally invited ONLY the number that my venue could hold, as I was terribly concerned about what would happen if more guests accepted than my venue could accommodate. However, I had my calligrapher prepare the envelopes for almost all of my intended quests up front and then, as soon as I began to receive declines, I was able to get the next few invitations in the mail immediately. Ultimately, I invited something like 208 or 212 guests, and I ended up with 150 acceptances, and, of those, 148 actually made it to my wedding.

By the way, I highly recommend sending your invitations out earlier than normal, if you plan to take this approach.

Post # 6
10453 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

I agree about A list and B list.

Post # 7
1663 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Can you find a place that doesn’t have minimums?


I agree with PPs, you need the guest list before you figure out other things like the venue… due to these issues that you’re seeing.  We are ruling out venues that have number minimums or food/beverage minimus that are very likely to be higher than the number of guests we end up with (or total spending on food/beverage).


It is a guessing game… I also think the B-list strategy outlined by Brielle above is a good one.

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