Massachusetts-Boston

guest list/RSVP question (large family)

edited November 2015 in Massachusetts-Boston
I would love some help and advice if anyone would be kind enough to help.

My fiancé has a large family, emphasis on the LARGE.  Between his mom and dad's side he has 25 Aunts and Uncles and 52 cousins and they are all very close.  My family is not too large but even with inviting the bare minimum on both sides, we are in way over our heads.  We can't seem to find a wedding venue that we love (we are planning an estate wedding) and will fit this large crowd.  Tented reception will not work; bug spray does not work on me and most of my family and we get painful reactions to bites.  

We had to result to cutting out our friends from the list.

Obviously not everyone we invite will attend, but I don't want to invite more than the venue can hold and hope people can't make it.  Is there any proper way to send out a second batch of invitations/RSPVs to friends that didn't make the list in the event some family members cannot attend?  Maybe RSVP cards with save the dates, or sending the invitations really early?

Thank you in advance for any help you might offer.

Re: guest list/RSVP question (large family)

  • I would love some help and advice if anyone would be kind enough to help.

    My fiancé has a large family, emphasis on the LARGE.  Between his mom and dad's side he has 25 Aunts and Uncles and 52 cousins and they are all very close.  My family is not too large but even with inviting the bare minimum on both sides, we are in way over our heads.  We can't seem to find a wedding venue that we love (we are planning an estate wedding) and will fit this large crowd.  Tented reception will not work; bug spray does not work on me and most of my family and we get painful reactions to bites.  

    We had to result to cutting out our friends from the list.

    Obviously not everyone we invite will attend, but I don't want to invite more than the venue can hold and hope people can't make it.  Is there any proper way to send out a second batch of invitations/RSPVs to friends that didn't make the list in the event some family members cannot attend?  Maybe RSVP cards with save the dates, or sending the invitations really early?

    Thank you in advance for any help you might offer.
    Hey OP!  Totally understand the huge family thing - we were in the same boat, except my family is the size of your FIs.  Makes for interesting planning! :)

    Anyway, to answer your question - unfortunately no, there is no easy or polite way to do this, which is what is referred to as B-listing around here.  You have a second-string of guests you want to invite after you get enough No's from people, without letting them know that they are second-string.  If you lurk a bit on the Etiquette board, you'll see a ton of threads about this and why it is generally frowned upon as rude to your guests - and the advice you will get is to plan the wedding you can afford with the number of people you can afford and fit in your venue.  It just doesn't feel very nice as a guest to get your invite 3 or 4 weeks before the wedding when it's obvious you were invited late.  And it's too much to expect of your guests to ask them to RSVP with save the dates, as not many people are able to commit to something that far out.

    Are you guys in over your heads budget-wise with the full guest list, or just size-wise because all the venues you like are too small?  If it's just venue-related, I would keep looking for venues that can hold everyone you really want to invite.  Sometimes it means something slightly different than you envisioned, but if having all of those people there is the most important thing, then it should trump that.  The ladies on here can offer lots of help on thinking outside the box for venues!

    If the issue is budget or that having an estate venue is your top priority (which is totally ok), then I would cut your guest list down to what you can afford and fit comfortably in your venue (and always plan for 100% attendance).  It's ok to have a smaller family wedding if that's what you can afford and it fits your vision.  You just have to decide what is most important to you.

    If you need any help with venue ideas, let us know!! :)


  • Ditto what @frenchiekin said!
    Also-please don't think that a "solution" to this is planning a "tiered reception," this is also very rude.
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