I have a confession to make—We not only have an A guest list, but also a B list, and maybe, possibly a C list.
I know some of you must be absolutely horrified at that notion, but hear me out. I think it’s the most realistic way of creating a guest list. Let’s be honest, even if you only have one list, there are different categories of guests:
1) Family Members: immediate, extended, and remind-me-how-we’re-related-again extended family.
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2) Your friends: the close ones, the ones you wish were closer, the ones who were close but have moved away and you haven’t spoken to in years.
3) Your courtesy invites: like your boss, those coworkers you’ve worked with for five years but you don’t really know anything about, and those neighbors that your parents insist you “have” to invite, but “they won’t come anyways.”
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When you boil down to it, there is a reason each person was invited to your special day, but the reasons are not always the same, and some reasons are just better than others.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is, life is messy, relationships are messy. We do not have equal relationships with everyone on our guest list, thus, why does it make sense for us to have only one guest list, especially when your guest list is spiraling out of control?
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In an ideal world, you might book a venue that could hold every single person. However, due to budget, venue size limitations, and the acceptable wish to not have 500 people at your wedding, I think it is perfectly reasonable to be more selective with who you invite.
Thus we have our:
A: absolutely have-to-invite without a question
B: want to invite
C: probably should invite?
We currently have 82 people on our list, 56 As, 26 Bs, and 0 Cs. Clearly, we’re not utilizing our C list effectively, but I’m sure that total and distribution will change as we get closer to inviting people.
Our venue can only hold 60 people. I really don’t want to invite 80 people and pray that 20 of them will say no (25%). What if they all accept?
We would absolutely love to share our day with everyone, but realistically we just can’t. I hope our B list doesn’t get offended, but I like to think if they’re being honest with themselves, they should know they’re our B list.
That being said, my goal is to make the transition between A and B list as smooth as possible. We plan on sending out our A list invitations very very very early (like 3-4 months out early). Hopefully, we will get enough responses that I can feel comfortable about sending our B list invitations at about two months out. Considering two months is fairly standard for invitations, that should be enough time for our B list to respond, and not feel like they were unwanted.
I’m sure most people have some sort of A/B list, even if they didn’t directly come out and say it. I like to think that those who get offended are those who were guests of brides and grooms that didn’t handle the situation with the most tact, but maybe that’s not true.
How do we take care of our guest list the most graciously so that everyone feels wanted and loved? Did anyone else do an A/B/C list and have any recommendations for how to do this successfully and offending the least number of people?