Thursday, October 29, 2009

Question of Etiquette

Ok, I've been wondering about this, and need some outside opinions. Our venue's max capacity is 300. Our guest list, as it stands right now, is at almost 380 people. And there may be more added to that after we get a list from David's parents (although we tried to think of anyone who would be on that list while making our's). We knew we'd be having a big wedding - After almost 6 years together, we have a lot of people that we're either close to as a couple or that we've gotten close to as individuals while at different colleges. I know people always say you can expect at least 20% of your guest list to either RSVP no or just not show up, which would bring us down to right at 300. I'm guessing it will be even more than 20% since we're getting married in the summer, although we are sending STDs, so I'm not sure what impact they'll have. Anyway, all that to say, we really can't be adding more people to the guest list. We should be going through it eliminating guests (that sounds awful!) if anything.

Here's what I'm not sure about: If someone who wasn't originally on the guest list talks to you specifically about the wedding, is it against etiquette to still not invite him/her? The last time I was at home for the weekend, David and I ran into one of our classmates from high school. One of our mutual friends reads my blog, and had shown her some of my ideas/projects. She said she loves everything I'm doing and was super sweet about it. The thing is, we hadn't originally planned to invite her because we hadn't really stayed in contact with her since we graduated. This has happened a few other times with people who we weren't planning to invite asking about details (date, location, etc.) or commenting on how excited they are for us. Are we "obligated" to invite them if we talk to them about the wedding? Of course, I'm not saying we should start conversations with people about our wedding if we don't plan on inviting them, but I don't think we should try to make room for people that we aren't as close to solely because we were polite when they asked about our upcoming nuptials.

What are your thoughts? Have you run into this problem? On another note, what percentage of your guest list are you expecting to decline/not attend?

I would definitely recommend using WeddingWire! We're starting to collect addresses to send our STDs and it will definitely help in keeping me organized (read: sane!)


  1. As a recently married I'd say invite only the people you really really want there and will remember were there 50 years from now. I know it sounds horrible. We had 115 people at our wedding, tiny right? We didn't get to talk to everyone who was there and we spent the entire night trying to make our way to each table. After the first dance and father-daughter dance we didn't make it back to the dance floor. I didn't even get to eat our wedding cake until the ride to the hotel. Many of my married friends gave me this advice, and I didn't listen. I wish I had. If you didn't stay in touch, don't invite them. They're probably being polite asking details about the wedding and aren't expecting an invite anyway :) Just my thoughts :) Another tidbit, would you be offended if you weren't invited to their wedding? If no, don't invite them to your's :-D

  2. If you invited everyone that you talked about the wedding, you're guest list would be outrageous! Although it is hard, you really should try whittling down your list as it stands right now. That's cutting it a LITTLE too close. What if EVERYONE on your list wants to come? It's unlikely, but possible!

    I agree with Stephanie; only invite those that you'll remember 50 years from now.

  3. Stephanie and Ali Joy said everything I was thinking! Honestly it won't be a problem I'm sure.

  4. This is something we run into very often, especially since we are having an intimate 70-person guest list. At one get-together with my friends, someone actually asked, "So are we going to be invited to your wedding? Or will it just be family?" We had been planning to invite some of the people present, but not others, so I had no idea how to respond. Might have to up the guest list by a few people after that!

    Anyway, I think if it's someone you just ran into and don't talk to regularly about the wedding, it isn't rude to skip the invite.

  5. Thanks for the award!

    I agree with the other girls. For this very reason, I'm not inviting anyone from work. Besides, they say it's a bad idea for various reasons. Anyhoo....since my wedding will be around 60---he has a VERY small family and we are being very picky on who we invite, I totally understand your position. A woman I work with has made comments about coming and I had to tell her it will be a very small, intimate family type thing. I felt weird but I had to do it. While she's a nice person I know I won't know her years from now. My family though and close friends, yes. I wouldn't worry about those people who have been rude asking like that (especially since you haven't stayed in contact with them since graduating) and let it go. The wedding is still a ways off and I'm sure they may not even remember.

    Wrapped in Happiness:

  6. It get sticky, doesn't it? We're also expecting at least 20% to decline, esp. because it is a destination wedding for at least half the guests...You can be polite but never feel obligated. It's a very personal decision and people just seem to love talking about weddings! It's just a fun happy topic, but they're probably not expecting to be on the must invite list :) hope this helps!

  7. ohhh and martha stewart has a great wedding planning section on her site! check it out!!

  8. You're right where I'm at number wise! We can't have more than 300 and we're at about 350 right now.

    Are you planning on inviting everyone all at once? Or sending out some invites after you get some no's back? I'm scared if we invite everyone and then have a very low no percentage that we won't be able to fit everyone. I'm holding out on some of our save the dates until I figure out what I'm going to do with invites.

  9. @ kmattso - That's exactly what we're trying to figure out. I don't know! Almost everyone says, 'You can expect ___ number of people to not show up," but then there are those other people who said "Almost everyone I invited came!" So I don't know! We're starting to gather addresses for Save the Dates so I need to decide soon! Let me know what you decide.

  10. While 20% is the average, it really can vary to be honest. I expect to have less that 10% decline.

    Don't feel like you have to invite everyone. Is your wedding going to be negatively impacted if a long lost friend doesn't attend?

    We are in a similar boat, as we are having a large wedding as well. I just nixed a few people from the list because since we've gotten engaged, we just aren't as close with some of those people. And, for people that ask about my wedding that I don't plan on inviting, I still don't plan on inviting. They voluntarily asked about my wedding - you know? Someone is always going to have hurt feelings, and the only people that matter are you and your fiance. Hopefully this helps (and wasn't confusing)!

  11. Oh this can be a touchy subject. I know people say not to invite work friends but theres no way that we can't. My FI's office is pretty close and I'm good friends with a few of them. We know we can't invite just 3 and leave the rest hanging so his entire office will have 2 tables! I'm really hoping that since ours is on a holiday weekend (Memorial day) the coworkers that we're not as close to will find their own holiday plans.

    I do, however, think that unless you're planning on inviting us (hey, you share your wedding with us daily!) you should keep you guest list SET. I also adivse sending STDs only to out of town/VIP guests. This way if someone you were planning on inviting who is a "fringe friend" loses touch with you in the next 4-5 months... you don't have to invite them. People should NOT expect an invite, even if they invite you to theirs!

    Good luck with this lady, I love your blog and I'm so grateful for your shoutout :) you're the cutest!


  12. This is a REALLY hard one...but I would definitely agree with the other ladies. Don't invite them if you don't actively talk to them. Like make a rule and stick to it for both of you - something like "If we haven't talked to this person 3 times in the last year, then they don't get invited." I know that it seems harsh, but it will keep your sanity.

    I was expecting about a 20-25% decline rate, and we actually had almost a 40% decline rate. Keep in mind that with the economy there will just be people that cannot attend. Our wedding did involve travel for alot of guests, so I'm sure that was a factor as well.

    We had 124 guests at our wedding, and I can honestly say that I did NOT talk to each person. I tried, I really did. We went to each table, but people were up and down out of their seats, and after the dancing started, I was on the floor most of the rest of the night. It's just how it is.

    So, make your invitations count. People understand that you can't invite them all, and they won't hate you forever for it. But, it IS hard to do it...Good Luck!

  13. We can only allow 200 and have a list of 300. Here's my thoughts (agreeing with everyone above):

    1) Cut out all children except for family (there was about 20 kids that I wanted to include but just can't fit & your friends don't typically expect their kids to be invited)
    2) Have a B list. We are sending out the first set of invites 3 months before the wedding and asking for responses by 5-6 weeks before the date. Then as the 'no's roll in, I will send out add'l invites giving them until a few weeks before the wedding to RSVP.
    3) Cut out 'plus ones.' Our thoughts are that if you are recently dating someone or are single, you will be invited as an individual without a guest added. On our invites we have a line that says "We have reserved __2__ seats in your honor." That way guests can't decide to add more than we can allow.
    4) Don't feel obligated to invite people that you talk to the wedding about or ask you about it. They're being polite but weddings are meant to be celebrated and supported by close family and friends and people who mean (or meant) something really important to you. I would love to invite every person I've ever met honestly but the truth is, I want the people who have been an influential part of my life at least one time or another and not just the people I used to go have coffee with after church that I no longer see or speak to.
    5) Use the 'wish' words a lot. I find that it's best to tell people "I really wish that we could invite you (and/or your children) but unfortunately we are on such a limited space and financial budget that we just had to be really selective about the guest list. I'm really disappointed but hope you understand." Btw, it is super tacky for someone to *ask* if they are being invited! My Mr. Fixit has a co-worker that keeps bugging him about it and he barely knows's truly so strange!
    6) Consider an 'after party' when you return from the honeymoon. Have a small (or big if you want) get together at your new home for your closest family and friends and all of those who were not invited to the wedding where you can share pictures and stories of the big event.
    7) Check out the services they have now where you can pay a small fee (like $250) to be able to have your videographer or a personal friend or family member set up a video camera with a wireless internet connection and broadcast a certain number of hours of your wedding and/or reception over the internet. Those who can't attend because of distance (or your limits) can log in at the time and day of the wedding and watch your ceremony and parts of your reception that you broadcast so they can be included. I can direct you to the site if you are interested.

    Hope this helps...ultimately, be respectful and polite but don't stress or feel guilty about it. As mentioned, someone is almost always hurt or offended when it comes to weddings. I also wonder how many will decline the invite. Though my fear is no one will so that is what I am expecting :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...