Post # 1
Fiance and I viewed what I personally thought was an absolutely perfect venue for our reception today. I fell in love, and we were pretty set on it. Until we got home. We sat down to get a better idea of who we would be inviting to our wedding in Sept 2013.
A little background: Fiance and I live in Chicago and plan on having our wedding here. His family lives mostly in Buffalo, NY. Most of my family lives in Pennsylvania. Almostwall of our guests would be visiting for the wedding. Fiance has a large family. I have a relatively small family and circle of friends.
We crunched the numbers and found that we mabend exceeding the size that the venue can hold with a dance floor. But one thing we were finding was that we were having difficulty compiling a guest list. We have a general idea of who would and would not come to our wedding (depending on closeness to that person, their financies, Ect) However, do we only send invitations to people we are sure can make it? Then we wouldknow leaving out family members and inviting others and probably be faced with “why wasn’t I invited?”
Personal experience tells me the best etiquette is to invite everyone and their mother. This not only leaves no one out, but aprep allows people to send gifts in the mail should they wish to. But we KNOW not everyone (probably not even half) the people we would then be inviting would make it. But we cannot assume some people wouldn’t come if they are invited after all. So I guess in the long run… I don’t know how to compile a guest list to use for searching for venues when I don’t know the right way to invite or not to invite people.
Any help or advice greatly appreciated as I am freaking out a bit 🙂
Post # 3
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
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 # 5
The issuethen for me is many venues have minimums. If we book a place for say 100 people because that’s how many we invited… And only 65 show up.. Not only have we lost a lot of money but the space would be far toolarge for so few people
Post # 6
I agree about A list and B list.
Post # 7
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.
Post # 8
So i was looking over the A List and B list idea. It seems like one that definitely might work for our little problem. At first we thought we wouldnt have enough room at our venue. Well we learned we can easliy fit 100 people (which is already more than id like at our wedding) so we thought we were in the clear.
His mom made up a guest list of his family for us, and we are over by like 20 people! Many of those are cousins he never speaks to or i have never met. So i would wger our A list would look like this:
– bridal party
– my immediate family including a few cousins
– his mother’s family including cousins
– his aunts and uncles on his father’s side of the family.
As declines roll in, we would add:
– My great aunts and uncles
– his cousins on his father’s side
My question then is whether or not we send save the dates to everyone on the list, or just the A list?