5 Painless Tips for Navigating Your B-List

Etiquette, Invites & Stationery
Navigating B-List Wedding Guest List

Photo: Getty Images

For many couples, one of the worst parts of wedding planning is coming up with a guest list you can both agree on. He's dying to invite all of his banker buddies from work (and there's a bunch of them), while you'd feel terrible leaving some of your extended family out even though you're not super tight. What's a torn couple to do then? Create a B-list! Here's how to decide who goes on it, when to send those invitations out and more.

1. Have a B-list ready to go early on
Take it from Posh+Folk event producer Hanna Ramleth and plan ahead by identifying your second round guests at the same time as your A-list. "This will help to relieve stress right before your wedding if you have more seats to fill and are wondering who else to invite." You can even order it in terms of priority. For example, if 10 people from your A-list can't come, then the first 10 from the B-list get the invite, no headaches involved.

2. Really analyze your A-list
To get a better idea of how many save-the-dates you should send out initially, Ramleth recommends taking a good look at each guest on your primary list and judging whether or not they are likely to attend. Of course, some predictions will be way off and others spot on. If you have zero wiggle room in your budget, however, we suggest playing it safe for now and only inviting the max number of peeps you can afford.

3. Keep close friends and family in the same tiers
Because the last thing you need is a couple of mutual friends comparing notes and finding out one was second best, yikes! For this very reason, wedding planner Sandy Malone, owner of Wedding in Vieques, advises putting all the cousins or co-workers you'd like to potentially invite on your second-tier list. "You have to make sure they're all on the same RSVP deadline invitation, or they're going to know what you were up to."

See More: Tricks to Trimming The Guest List

4. Put a later RSVP date on your B-list invites
Speaking of RSVP deadlines, you'll definitely want to print some reply cards in advance with a later date for your second round list. "This way, the RSVP date will match with the timing of guests actually receiving them," explains Ramleth. It's a win-win for everyone, plus there's no unnecessary drama.

5. Do an extra early round of invitations for questionable guests
If you're stressing out about being able to narrow down your A-list in time, consider doing one extra early round of invitations for friends and family that live far away or probably won't be able to make it, offers Ramleth. "Figuring out if these folks are attending will help you determine how many invites you can send out to guests that are more likely to come."

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