(Closed) We're sure quite a few guests will decline

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
322 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

It is risky to send some to friends early, and some a month or so later (if they are in the same friend group). it really depends on what happens if you have over 100. What is the venue capacity? If its 125 or so, I’d invite your friends now, and just see what happens. 

The exact number isn’t important, it should be who you really want to be there, within venue and budget constraints

Post # 4
1880 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Usually they say you get about 80% RSVPing yes, so I’d think you could invite about 120-130 and end up with about 100 coming.

Post # 5
9068 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I have been to a few weddings that have had 100% attendance rate so you can not rely on random statistics on RSVP acceptance. Each wedding is different. Invite the number of people that you can host period.

Post # 6
7976 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

You could always chase up the invitations and RSVPs… call people up and make some excuse, chat about how they are etc etc and the subject should come up naturally. Once you have all your verbal RSVPs then I would send out more invitations. We are chasing up RSVPs in a few weeks’ time. The wedding is still months away, but we decided that summer weddings require 6 months’ notice, if possible, because people are aready booking their holidays in the spring.

I was told by my cousin that the drop out rate at the last minute is also surprisingly high. He said that a surprising number of people had family emergencies… they got pregnant and had difficult pregnancies, they got ill… my grandmother also had a serious accident around the time of his wedding and was very close to death, so many of the extended family chose to be with her instead. He said that he invited over 100, and that about 15 people dropped out in the 8 weeks before the wedding. I suspect that about 70 turned up on the day?

Post # 8
26 posts
  • Wedding: April 2014

It depends. Could your venue afford to go over 100 or is that the absolute maximum?? I think if you can go over a bit, maybe invite a couple more people because you never know, some people you think couldn’t attend might be able to and if you invite too many extra, then you might end up with people sitting on the floor and you don’t want that!

Post # 9
68 posts
Worker bee

Wait for the RSVPs, then invite those on your B-list.

Post # 10
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Just wait. We had an A List (family), B list and now we are working through our C List (we did not start on ANY list until we were sure that we could offer an invitation to EVERYONE on the list). I’m not sure if people from different lists discussed when yet received their invitation – if they did, they have not mentioned it to me – but really, it doesn’t matter. The people who know us and love us will understand that we want them there, it is just the practicality of the situation (limited numbers at the venue) that means we have to do it this way. 




One thing we did do was give SHORT RSVP times (3 weeks) and sent out invitations EARLY (the first batch went out 6 months prior to the wedding). I was honest with friends who asked and told them we were inviting family first and waiting on RSVPs so we could invite as many friends as possible. 




We did have people ask if they could bring extras (we listed NAMES on the invites and RSVPs – there were NO plus ones) and we said no. If we have space once we are through inviting the people we really want there, sure – but we haven’t told them that. It is NOT common in our culture to bring plus ones to weddings so we actually found the whole thing very rude. 


One thing we found was that many people WERE willing to travel THOUSANDS of miles to attend; whereas some local people already had plans! I am also expecting some last minute drop outs – for example, three couples we are inviting are expecting babies 1-2 weeks after our wedding and have said they are attending. I’m betting on early arrivals or dropping out because they are just too pregnant (our venue is 2-3 hours from their hometown?!?). 

Post # 11
83 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

An old classmate of mine had an early RSVP deadline so that after the initial wave of guests replied, she could invite her B-list. I had no idea that was considered appropriate. I think I’d be a bit insulted if I found out I was invited only because some A-listers couldn’t come.

Post # 12
1188 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@breapple27:  I wouldn’t B list people.  It’s so rude to essentially tell someone “I’m only inviting you to my wedding because someone I like more couldn’t come.”

Post # 13
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

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@jcl12:  and 




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75% of our “B list” people were ALWAYS going to get an invite. But, we didn’t want to begin inviting friends without inviting AS MANY OF THEM AS WE COULD. So, we waited, and, like the OP, we knew some “A” list people would almost certainly decline. They did. So we invited 100% of our “B” list. I’m not entirely sure how that is rude? We always wanted them there; we just had to make sure we COULD invite ALL of them. 


Our A list was family. Family had to come first. We knew many could not make it, but given that our venue had a very finite limit to the number of guests, we HAD to get those declines in first before we could invite friends. If the family had all been able to attend, we would then have had some difficult decisions to make. 


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