Tips for Handling Your Wedding Guest 'B List'
March 23, 2018
Creating your guest list is arguably the most stressful part of wedding planning. You have your family and friends from all your life stages. Then you add your fiancé's friends and family, your parents' friends, and your future in-laws' friends. Now you have to think about how many people your venue – and budget – will fit!

Because all venues and budgets have their limits, an overflow, or "B list" is a great way to include more of the people you love. Here's how to navigate your second guest list with as few faux-pas as possible:
Make Your Guest Lists Early
Start making – and separating – your lists ASAP! When you ask your fiancé, parents, and future in-laws for their lists, give them a number and a deadline. You don't want them listing 100 guests if, in reality, they only get 30 names.

The sooner you and your fiancé separate the lists, the sooner you'll be able to send invitations, receive RSVPs, and include as many people as possible.

Be Consistent
While it is your wedding, you don't want friends within groups comparing invitations and feeling like they didn't make the cut. The best way to navigate dual timelines is to decide one set of criteria for close friends and family and apply it across the board.

Whether it's high school, college, work, church, etc., decide what qualifies for A list and B list and stick to it for every group.
Send Invitations Early
Most couples send wedding invitations 4-6 weeks ahead of their wedding date and request the RSVP card three weeks before the ceremony. By mailing your wedding invitations 8-10 weeks out and requesting an earlier RSVP, you'll have more time to receive your A-list responses and mail your B-list invitations to take their place. Your roommate from freshman year might never know she didn't receive the first round of invitations!

Bonus: Include a digital reply option (email address or wedding website) for even quicker RSVPs!
Prioritize Your B List
Set thresholds for your overflow list. Who are the top 10 people you want to invite if some guests from your A-list can't make it? By prioritizing your list with names of people who barely missed the cut at the top and people who would be nice to see at the bottom, you'll be ready if A-list guests RSVP "no."

The sooner you mail their invitation with a separate RSVP card, the less obvious it will be that they didn't make the original guest list.
Print Separate RSVP Cards
The RSVP card is often a dead giveaway for the B-list. Nobody wants to receive an invitation with an RSVP due date that's already passed.

Print a few RSVP cards with separate (later) due dates for your B list. The response card timeline should line up with the invitation timeline, so pick a date that's at least a week after your guests will receive their invitations.

Keep Your Lists Secret
Who you invite to your wedding is completely up to you (and your fiancé). Never tell your friends or family who's on your B list. You'd never want to hurt a friend's feelings who might end up getting an invitation after all.

By the time you've mailed all your invitations, you'll feel like you've performed a small miracle! Keep in mind that, when it comes to guest lists, the earlier you decide (and mail), the easier (and less obvious) it will be to your B list.

Style Me Pretty Contributor - Madeline Littrell is a corporate PR strategist and freelance writer. Born and raised in the South, she loves big hair, country music, and chicken fingers. Madeline lives in Dallas with her Sheltie puppy, Tennessee.