When you have way too big a guest list for your budget, or just want to keep your wedding under 300 people so that you don’t spend your entire reception table-hopping to greet everyone—a wedding Must!—you’re likely to create a wedding invitation B-list. But how do you prevent wedding drama and hurt feelings by not letting anyone know they’re B-list?
When someone receives a wedding invitation a week before the big day, long after the RSVP date has passed, they know they’re B-list. And they tell everyone about it. Social media attacks often happen when this big insult occurs.
So to help keep anyone from catching the B-list scent, here are some smart tips:
1. Send out your invitations to you’re a-listers way ahead of your RSVP date. Plan on at least eight weeks prior to your respond-by date. People who know they won’t be able to attend may send back their regrets right away, opening up B-list invitation send opportunities. And when a B-lister gets her invitation with six weeks to go until RSVP date, she won’t see evidence that she’s B-list.
2. Monitor your Facebook page. If someone posts on your wall “your invitation arrived today! So pretty!” delete that comment as soon as you can, so that others won’t see it and wonder where their invitation is.
3. Don’t post on your own Facebook page a photo of you mailing out a huge stack of invitation envelopes. Yes, this is a big moment, but some people can start watching their mailboxes, or notice that their invitation arrived weeks later. Take a photo and save it for your keepsakes instead.
4. Plan your B-list invitation sends. When regrets come in, mark each one on your master guest list, using your spreadsheet or colored tabs on paper to identify groups that will all get their B-list invitations at the same time. For instance, if you have four co-workers on your B-list, don’t send a second wave invitation to one until you have enough regrets to allow you to invite all of them at the same time. They will chat about getting your invitation, and tensions can build when the last friend hasn’t gotten hers yet.
5. Don’t act on a hearsay Regret. If your mom tells you that Aunt Rita won’t be able to come to the wedding, wait until you get her regrets response card before you send an invitation to someone on your B-list. If Aunt Rita decides she can make it, your guest list puffs up.
6. If you’ll send E-invites, turn off the invitee list and comments that would let others see who is invited to your wedding. People who are invited will see that others are not, and could potentially tell them.
7. Don’t overcompensate when sending a B-lister invitation. If you go overboard saying, “I’m sending this to you again, since it must have gotten lost in the mail when I sent it at 9:15 am on Tuesday, September 25th at the post office on Ivy Lane” that’s a dead giveaway that they’re on the wedding B-list.
8. Create a cutoff date for B-list invitation sends. And just accept that not everyone on your B- or C-list may be able to be invited.
10. This one may sound ridiculous, but it has happened. Don’t send a photocopy of your invitation, saying you ran out but would love for that guest to come. Nor a scan of your invitation, hoping guests will assume it’s an e-invite. People can smell B-list status from a mile away on that one.
Some brides worry so much about offending friends, family and co-workers that they decide not to do a B-list at all. “I have enough to worry about, without monitoring my Facebook and Instagram,” and keeping NASA-level records to do B-list invitations in groups,” say many brides who work on their guest lists and then call it day when they get a final count.
People understand that wedding budgets are stretched thinly and that venues may not hold a ton of guests comfortably, and many won’t be offended if they don’t get invited. And then there are those who will get offended no matter what you do. That’s just a reality of wedding world, unpleasant but unavoidable. They’ll need to get over it and maybe just not invite you to their big day.