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Etiquette

I hate guest list editing

So my fiance and I are doing a final round of editing our guest list before we send out our save the dates, and we're getting stuck on a few things. 

After booking our venue (which max capacity is 216 people), people kept getting added to the guest list. The original cap was 200, now we're at 221 (we should've been firmer with the cap, but my mother in law has a lot of friends and is contributing 1/3 of the wedding cost). There are also a few of my FI's friends who have SOs that either he didn't know about or didn't think they were serious enough to get a plus one, which will bring us to around 227ish.

1. Should we try and get our list down to 216 people?
2. Is there a limit on "how serious" a relationship has to be to warrant an invite for the SO? I read somewhere that the relationship should be a year old, or the couple is living together. Is this true? 

Thanks!!

Re: I hate guest list editing

  • @ShesSoCold--yeah, that's what I was thinking. Everyone kept telling me that 10-20% always decline, but I've been reading differently lately and I do NOT want to have more people coming than can fit. 

    @CMGragain--wow, I didn't even think of that! I thought Save the Dates HAD to go to everyone you're inviting. Should we definitely be sending them to OOT guests? That makes the relationship dilemma a lot easier because quite a few of these couples are on the rocks at the moment. Our wedding is July 2nd 2016, so it's the Saturday of July 4th weekend. 
  • So my fiance and I are doing a final round of editing our guest list before we send out our save the dates, and we're getting stuck on a few things. 

    After booking our venue (which max capacity is 216 people), people kept getting added to the guest list. The original cap was 200, now we're at 221 (we should've been firmer with the cap, but my mother in law has a lot of friends and is contributing 1/3 of the wedding cost). There are also a few of my FI's friends who have SOs that either he didn't know about or didn't think they were serious enough to get a plus one, which will bring us to around 227ish.

    1. Should we try and get our list down to 216 people? - you HAVE to. People sometimes have 100% RSVP rates. This number also needs to include you, your FI and all vendors.
    2. Is there a limit on "how serious" a relationship has to be to warrant an invite for the SO? I read somewhere that the relationship should be a year old, or the couple is living together. Is this true? - NO. Anyone in ANY relationship for ANY length of time should be invited with their SO, by name. 

    Thanks!!
    See my responses above, bolded.
    I would like to add, what happens if you invite all these people, and they all show up? in my experience with MAX capacity that means the most people that can possible fit in that room with out being unsafe.. that doesn't mean comfortable, just everyone can make it to the exits and not die.. so what if you have 217 of the 227, you will have to turn away one person.. you can not be over maximum capacity.. 
    This.  We invited to our max capacity, so 200 people.  130 ended up coming and THANK GOD.  It would have been so uncomfortably crowded with 200 people, and we would have had no dance floor.  130 ended up being perfect.

    Also, my cousin got married last year, her venue had a max of 200.  She invited 280.  210 showed up.  It was an outdoor venue so they made it work but it was very uncomfortable for all the guests, and they ended up having to do the dance floor in a different area, so you couldn't even see it from where the tables were set up.  

    Lastly, I sent STDs to everyone, and wish I didn't, for the reason I mentioned above about the venue.  I had so much stress between the time I realized the size of the venue (we had it booked before we did STDs but I didn't really think about the logistics of it all), and the time we started receiving RSVPs.  Don't do that to yourself.
    Married 9.12.15
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    ryanandjoe4SP29japrincess24
  • So my fiance and I are doing a final round of editing our guest list before we send out our save the dates, and we're getting stuck on a few things. 

    After booking our venue (which max capacity is 216 people), people kept getting added to the guest list. The original cap was 200, now we're at 221 (we should've been firmer with the cap, but my mother in law has a lot of friends and is contributing 1/3 of the wedding cost). There are also a few of my FI's friends who have SOs that either he didn't know about or didn't think they were serious enough to get a plus one, which will bring us to around 227ish.

    1. Should we try and get our list down to 216 people? - you HAVE to. People sometimes have 100% RSVP rates. This number also needs to include you, your FI and all vendors.
    2. Is there a limit on "how serious" a relationship has to be to warrant an invite for the SO? I read somewhere that the relationship should be a year old, or the couple is living together. Is this true? - NO. Anyone in ANY relationship for ANY length of time should be invited with their SO, by name. 

    Thanks!!
    See my responses above, bolded.
    I would like to add, what happens if you invite all these people, and they all show up? in my experience with MAX capacity that means the most people that can possible fit in that room with out being unsafe.. that doesn't mean comfortable, just everyone can make it to the exits and not die.. so what if you have 217 of the 227, you will have to turn away one person.. you can not be over maximum capacity.. 
    This.  We invited to our max capacity, so 200 people.  130 ended up coming and THANK GOD.  It would have been so uncomfortably crowded with 200 people, and we would have had no dance floor.  130 ended up being perfect.

    Also, my cousin got married last year, her venue had a max of 200.  She invited 280.  210 showed up.  It was an outdoor venue so they made it work but it was very uncomfortable for all the guests, and they ended up having to do the dance floor in a different area, so you couldn't even see it from where the tables were set up.  

    Lastly, I sent STDs to everyone, and wish I didn't, for the reason I mentioned above about the venue.  I had so much stress between the time I realized the size of the venue (we had it booked before we did STDs but I didn't really think about the logistics of it all), and the time we started receiving RSVPs.  Don't do that to yourself.
    My MOH's sister had a brunch wedding, invited 280 people her max capacity was 200, 220 showed.. there were 20 people with out seats.. There was a lot more drama that happened before, and at that wedding, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall, and the seating only made it worse. 
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  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited October 2015

    @CMGragain--wow, I didn't even think of that! I thought Save the Dates HAD to go to everyone you're inviting. Should we definitely be sending them to OOT guests? That makes the relationship dilemma a lot easier because quite a few of these couples are on the rocks at the moment. Our wedding is July 2nd 2016, so it's the Saturday of July 4th weekend. 
    I wouldn't send out STDs until early January.  That is plenty of time for people to make plans.
    Save the Dates are a very new practice.  Many etiquette books do not mention them at all.  The danger is that you absolutely MUST send a formal invitation to anyone who has received an STD, even if your relationship has changed.
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    SP29
  • Skip the STD's except for TRUE VIP's (people who have no chance of being cut - such as your Favorite Aunt Wilma and Uncle Fred) and those VIP's who will likely need to purchase plane tickets.  Otherwise, skip them entirely!  They're really an unnecessary add-on which tend to bring more frustration than what they're worth.

    Yes, you'll need to do some cutting, but IMO, it's best to do this when it's time for the actual invitations instead of being obligated to invite "Former Co-Irker who left in a Blaze of Glory" who you sent a STD to...  Some people will naturally weed themselves out.

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  • aurianna said:
    My MOH's sister had a brunch wedding, invited 280 people her max capacity was 200, 220 showed.. there were 20 people with out seats.. There was a lot more drama that happened before, and at that wedding, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall, and the seating only made it worse. 

    omg I want story time!
    She was ultimate bride-zilla.. So I think they got engaged December last year, and the wedding was middle of September this year. First my MOH was already my MOH before they were engaged, they had a bunch of family drama and she didn't decide to actually go to the wedding until a week before (after her sister begged her to come).

    MOH (lets call her Anna) and I were at a bridal show together, and in line to pay behind us is her mom, the sister she still doesn't speak to, and the sister getting married. They look at us shocked and I said Hi, and Anna just turns and walks away.

    She decides that she needs everyone and their brother at the wedding, this is a Sunday brunch wedding, which are fine to have a large one, I guess in my mind I always imagined them to be smaller and more imitate.. I digress, she invites her mom's side, stepdads, dad's side (most don't speak to him due to abuse) stepmoms side, Dad's wife from between mother and current stepmom. EKK at this point I wanted her to go and I replace her husband so we could bring popcorn and stand in the corner to watch it all unfold. (I don't get along with this sister, she tried to internet argue with me once over stupid BS and after a while I just used meme's and GIF's b/c she is BSC, in the course of all this she invited me to her house to fight her, and threatened to fight me the next time I saw her, and then said I was going to be a fat bride, and blocked me from facebook, so we are not dealing with someone who is really vary mature)

    A few months before Anna sisters wedding, she is venting to me about what is all going on.. So it was two months out and the they had been through 3-4 dresses, and were headed to Davids Bridal to exchange it once again. She demanded that her mother pay for it every time I think there was one more change back to the first dress in the end.. There was NO food plan, no venue plan, nothing.. all she had planned was what she, groom, and WP were going to wear... SO it all fell to her mother.

    I know she asked Anna to be a BM Anna said no she didn't want to even go to the wedding because of very good reason of previous mentioned family drama.. (4 sisters soo glad I have only one)

    All over facebook the last few weeks her mom is posting all kinds of DIY projects she is doing for the wedding, with the youngest sister, and bride no where to be found.. three days before the wedding the mother on facebook stated she forgot reserved signs and had to find some fast, well Anna was coming to my house that night, and she watches Anna's kids during the day, so I offered my very nice cardstock printed ones for free, I have 3 weeks tons of left over card stock and I could have had replacements for me before I left work that day.. I get a text from Anna, saying "mom said 'thanks but Bride wants us to buy some "us" meaning me'..

    Honestly I couldn't believe most of it, but it was something everyday, it made me feel so much better about where I was in planning and being so prepared. 

    I was not at the wedding, I heard there were lots of arguments, and Anna was left out of the sisters portrait, I believe they had a hog roast and it was good (she expected her mother to cook as well but her mom finally said no to something), but not enough seats for everyone. I really wish I could have been a fly on the wall

    Sorry to hijack the post.. :/
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  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    So my fiance and I are doing a final round of editing our guest list before we send out our save the dates, and we're getting stuck on a few things. 

    After booking our venue (which max capacity is 216 people), people kept getting added to the guest list. The original cap was 200, now we're at 221 (we should've been firmer with the cap, but my mother in law has a lot of friends and is contributing 1/3 of the wedding cost). There are also a few of my FI's friends who have SOs that either he didn't know about or didn't think they were serious enough to get a plus one, which will bring us to around 227ish.

    1. Should we try and get our list down to 216 people? Um, YES!  You can't exceed the venue's max capacity. . . it's capped at a certain number  for a reason, firecode being one.  Plus, you need to factor in all of your vendors into that max capacity number too- DJ, photographer(s), and anyone else you hired to be on site that day.
    2. Is there a limit on "how serious" a relationship has to be to warrant an invite for the SO? I read somewhere that the relationship should be a year old, or the couple is living together. Is this true?  No, that's just BS.  You don't get to decide how serious a relationship is except for your own relationship.  Invite all guests who have an SO with their SO.  You don't have to give single guests a Plus 1, but it's a nice gesture if you have the room, which it sounds like you do not.  However, you should really build a buffer into your guestlist and assume that by the time you send out invitations any and all single guests could have an SO that would need to be invited.

    Thanks!!

    MesmrEwe said:

    Skip the STD's except for TRUE VIP's (people who have no chance of being cut - such as your Favorite Aunt Wilma and Uncle Fred) and those VIP's who will likely need to purchase plane tickets.  Otherwise, skip them entirely!  They're really an unnecessary add-on which tend to bring more frustration than what they're worth.

    Yes, you'll need to do some cutting, but IMO, it's best to do this when it's time for the actual invitations instead of being obligated to invite "Former Co-Irker who left in a Blaze of Glory" who you sent a STD to...  Some people will naturally weed themselves out.  No, she needs to cut her guest list BEFORE her STDs go out.  An STD is a sign to the guest that a formal invitation will be coming, so it's very rude to send people an STD and then not actually invite them to the wedding.



    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • Before you finalize your guest list, I suggest you go see your venue when it's set up for max capacity. Every venue I've seen set up for max capacity is pretty terrible. A tiny dance floor. No room for people get up and walk to the bathroom without making 50 other people get up and pull their chairs in, since the tables are so close together. Too many seats at the tables so people are crowded and can't pull their chairs in all the way. 

    My guess is that if the max capacity is 216, this means at least 10 people/table and the tables super close together. The room probably won't be actually comfortable unless it's a max of 180 or less (i.e removing 4 tables). 


    For a holiday weekend wedding, I think it's fine (and even wise) to send everyone STDs. Most people's friendships/family relationships don't change that much over 9 months or so, there's no reason not to finalize your guest list now, and send everyone a STD.

    Just make sure that your final count includes yourself (for seating reasons) and all necessary vendors (for fire codes), and that you are counting on EVERY guest having a significant other by the time the invites go out. So, if currently you have 20 truly single guests, assume that's going to be 40 people. So if you're inviting a max of 180 people, you need to save 20 spots for those "phantom" guests, so your current named guest list will only be 160 people.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Thanks, everyone!!! It's really really reassuring to know that these fears aren't in my head. Whew! My FI and I talked it over and we're figuring out who to cut, and DEFINITELY not sending the STDs to everyone. It's a bit more work, but I feel way less stressed :) 

    Thanks again!! 
    SP29[Deleted User]
  • Thanks, everyone!!! It's really really reassuring to know that these fears aren't in my head. Whew! My FI and I talked it over and we're figuring out who to cut, and DEFINITELY not sending the STDs to everyone. It's a bit more work, but I feel way less stressed :) 

    Thanks again!! 
    Hey OP, I think some easy cuts are your mother-in-law's friends. Just because they're paying for a 1/3 doesn't mean it's open season on everyone they've ever known or are trying to impress. Does your fiance know these people? Did these friends play a role in his life? A wedding is not just a social event; all guests should have some kind of relationship with the happy couple. (This may be a controversial opinion but it's one I feel very strongly about.) 
    I agree, especially if your having an issue with venue capacity. 
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  • Thanks, everyone!!! It's really really reassuring to know that these fears aren't in my head. Whew! My FI and I talked it over and we're figuring out who to cut, and DEFINITELY not sending the STDs to everyone. It's a bit more work, but I feel way less stressed :) 

    Thanks again!! 
    Hey OP, I think some easy cuts are your mother-in-law's friends. Just because they're paying for a 1/3 doesn't mean it's open season on everyone they've ever known or are trying to impress. Does your fiance know these people? Did these friends play a role in his life? A wedding is not just a social event; all guests should have some kind of relationship with the happy couple. (This may be a controversial opinion but it's one I feel very strongly about.) 
    I agree, especially if your having an issue with venue capacity. 
    I agree with this too. I realize some people may have a generous budget, and perhaps enjoy throwing large parties in general, but *I* feel a wedding is a bit more of an intimate event and should be shared with people the B&G would want to share their marriage with. 

    Weddings are not reunions and not a dinner party. So if MIL wants to invite these friends because she wants her friends to see her son get married (just as an example- maybe this isn't the case at all), then I would suggest she throw her own party some other time where her friends can meet her son and his new wife. 
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    This is why we recommend getting a guest list first before booking a venue. Or if you do get a venue first, make sure it's big enough to fit as many people as you want. I booked my venue before my guest list was final, but my venue could hold 400 people, and there was no way I was ever going to have that many people at my wedding.
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