Wedding Guests & Reply Card Etiquette

What’s one more guest, right?!  Sometimes when planning a wedding or a large formal event we start out with a tentative number for expected guests, assuming that cousin Ed in California won’t be attending our North Carolina event, or that not everyone who is invited will be able to attend…but one way or another, it seems like our guest lists continues to grow and surprise us!

One of the most common questions we hear from brides is, “Just how do you reduce your guest list?”  It’s not easy, but it can be done.  You can do the ever-popular A and B list, where as your A-list guests decline attending your event you can then begin sending out wedding invitations to your B-list guests.  This is not something I’d advertise to family and friends, but do most brides do it?  Absolutely.

The other option you have is limiting the number of “plus one” guests you have.  If you have ten single friends, and you’re trying to cut numbers, invite your single friends only and eliminate, “and guest” from your invitation envelope wording. Who knows, your old college roommate and your childhood best friend may just hit it off.  If you’re not sure if you should cut guests, you can always invite your guests to bring a “plus one”, as it does tend to make a guest who does not know many people at your wedding feel more comfortable.

We have all heard the horror stories from brides saying that they invited 75 guests and after they did their final head count they were up to over 100 guests.  When wording your reply card, be very careful not to leave your reply card open so that your guests can bring as many guests as they’d like, unless your budget allows for it.  We always suggest leaning away from using wording like, “Number of guests____” as this means that each guest will fill in their own name and can put any number in the “Number of guests” field.  In other words, you could have two guest’s names in the M________________ line on the reply card, and their number of guests could read 4.  Does this mean your two guests are bringing 2 other guests with them, or that there will be six total attending?  It can be very confusing, thus we always suggest wording your invitation, addressed envelopes and response cards very clearly.

Do you have an etiquette question about guests and reply cards that wasn’t included above?  Send us your burning questions and our wedding experts are happy to help!  There’s always a rule or guideline in the wedding world to help!

Tags: reply card etiquette, reply cards, response cards, Wedding Advice, Wedding Etiquette, wedding guest etiquette

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