So, you’re engaged. You’ve got a venue, a wedding date and now you need to make out the dreaded guest list. This part is hard, folks. How do you know who you should invite and who doesn’t make the cut? Let’s break it down.
Make a List
Yep, you hear those three words from us a lot during the planning process. And yes, we are planners to the core and love to make lists. Seriously guys, sometimes I put things I’ve already done on my list just to have the satisfaction of crossing them off #sorrynotsorry. However, listing out all of the people that come to mind lets you take a slightly more objective and less emotional look at things. Make your list in 3 Tiers in order of importance to you.
Really think about the people you put on this list. First off, how many can your venue hold? Make sure you’re not inviting more than can comfortably fit in the space. Next, how often do you spend time with the people you are considering? Do you send them a Christmas card? Do you even see them once in a year? Believe it or not, a lot of people on the first round might be those you were once close with, but maybe not so much anymore. Would you take them out to a nice dinner? Remember, having someone at your wedding is like inviting them out to a very nice dinner at your favorite restaurant. Except instead of just taking them out to dinner, you are also paying for their fork, their knife, their chair. More on that topic here. So it’s okay to be a bit picky when deciding who will spend this special day with you.
Do More Guests Mean More Fun?
Well, what is fun to you? Are you a social butterfly that loves to flit from group to group? Or do you prefer spending time with a tight knit group of people? Or do you just want to dance your face off on wedding day? It’s good to keep in mind that the more guests you have at your wedding, the more time you will spend greeting them, which might mean less time for other things like shaking your booty on the dance floor. But the more the merrier, right? As the stars of this epic party, everyone will want to speak with you personally, even if just for a few moments. They came to celebrate with you. And all that talking will have to happen at some point. It might be during cocktail hour, during dancing or even during dinner (leaving you not much time to grub). Try to prioritize what’s important for you personally to accomplish during your reception whether that be talking, dancing, eating or something else and think about how your guest count affects that.
Is It Tacky to Have an A List and a B List?
We don’t think so…with a few caveats. Narrowing this down is hard, ya’ll. You are planning an epic party and initially, you might want everyone you know to be there and share this experience with you. Having an A list and a B list can take a little of the pressure off and help you prioritize without feeling like you are seriously leaving people out. However, if you decide to have an A list and a B list, be sneaky about it. Guys, no one wants to know that they didn’t make the A list. If they are going to come party with you, make them feel like they were all carefully chosen to share that experience. If their invitation comes rolling in the week before the wedding or the RSVP card clearly shows a date that passed a month ago, the cat might be out of the bag. So, if you choose to do an A and B list, send the first round of invitations early. When sending to just one list, we recommend mailing invitations 8 weeks before the wedding with the RSVP cut off at 4 weeks out. If you’re doing A and B lists however, I’d send out the first round 10-11 weeks out. Set the RSVP date at 7 weeks before the wedding and as responses come in you can start at the top of the B list and work your way down. Once the RSVP date passes, take a few days to follow up with those that haven’t responded. Send any remaining B list invitations at no later than 6 weeks before the wedding and set the RSVP date for those NO LATER than 3-4 weeks before. Also, make sure you know your specific deadlines for vendor head counts when choosing RSVP dates; sometimes florists or caterers need your final head count a full 30 days in advance.
Our two biggest pieces of advice here are:
- Make sure to put separate RSVP dates on the B list invites. Getting an invitation with a passed or nearly here deadline is a dead giveaway.
- Think carefully about guests who know each other closely but might be on different lists as you don’t want to hurt any feelings if one got invited earlier.
In the end, the most important thing is to make sure those you truly care about are there to celebrate your wedding day with you. We are talking about this over on Planning + Prosecco here. How did you choose your guest list? Did you do an A and B list?