The Wedding Guest ‘B’ List – The Dos and Don’ts


The Wedding Guest ‘B’ List – The Dos and Don’ts

Deciding who you want to invite to your wedding can be stressful, especially if you plan to have a smaller event. There are so many people from every stage of your life as well as your partner’s, so who do you choose? Over and above that, you need to consider the fact that not everyone will be able to make it. This is where that all-important ‘B’ list comes in. When you need to create a second guest list, it’s important to tread carefully, which is why we have put together a list of dos and don’ts.

If you need a way to organize your guest list, ask me for my Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide – there’s a chart in there and you can print unlimited pages of the guest list!

Do Start Early

The sooner you can make an ‘A’ and ‘B’ list, the better. If your family is planning to invite guests of their own, give them a deadline for those names. Being able to finalize your ‘A’ list by getting RSVPs early on will ensure you’re not inviting anyone from your ‘B’ list too late in the game.

You can always send out save the date cards to give everyone the head’s up of when your wedding will be so they can block the date well in advance. My husband and I sent custom stickers with them for people to put on their calendars – if this is something you want to do, let me know as I’m still making custom stickers 19 years later! This will start the culling process as people who know they can’t be there will likely speak up at this point.

Aim to send your formal invitations at least 8 – 10 weeks before the wedding if you have a second guest list. This gives you more time to ensure you’re not hurting anyone’s feelings. It’s also highly recommended that you use digital RSVPs to speed up the process. If you do plan to print your RSVP cards, make sure there is a batch with a later RSVP date – you don’t want someone on your ‘B’ list receiving a card with an RSVP date that’s passed. Don’t forget to number your printed RSVP cards so when someone sends you their back blank, you will know who it belongs to.

Don’t Tell Everyone About Your Guest List

When you’re dealing with a ‘B’ list, it’s best to keep your guest list a secret until further notice. You never know who might let your wedding slip to the wrong person at the wrong time, leaving you in an awkward position. Your wedding planner, family, and wedding party are the only people you need to discuss your guest list with – just make sure everyone is aware that there’s a ‘B’ list.

Do Sort Your ‘B’ List

It really helps to know which people on your ‘B’ list you would prefer to have at your wedding by placing them at the top of the list. This way, once guests start falling off your ‘A’ list, you know who to send an invite to first.

In the UK, wedding guests are sent different invitations depending on which part(s) of the wedding they are invited to. Not everyone is invited for the ceremony, formal meal, and late night meal and party. Often just closest friends and family are invited for the whole day, and co-workers and neighbours are invited for the later events like the dance and 9pm buffet. This is a great option for your ‘B’ list because they likely won’t want to spend the day with loads of people they don’t know, and it saves you money on the reception. Just make sure you have a separate set of invitations and RSVP cards for these people so they know what time they should arrive.

By keeping these simple dos and don’ts in mind, you can avoid any guest list awkwardness as you plan your wedding.

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