Photo: Julian Abram Wainwright
Having a B-List of wedding guests is either an idea you love or one you hate. On the one hand, it's a great way to keep your guest list down — invite the number of people you'd like to have, and then if anyone can't make it, invite B-List guests to fill the spots. On the other hand, though, it can be hard to navigate and decide who makes the cut, and even harder to prioritize who gets that coveted spot if someone can't attend. And if you're having a destination wedding, is it even an option at all? Our experts share their insight into the destination wedding guest list.
Inviting your B-List is all about timing. You have to balance sending your first round of invitations out early enough that the second round doesn't immediately feel like an afterthought (so no, your RSVP deadline can't be two weeks before the big day!), but not so early that you seem too far ahead of the game. With a destination wedding, however, the timeline is a little different. Since you're sending save the dates six months in advance and invitations 12 weeks before the big day, you might think you've got a little more wiggle room. In a sense, you do — after all, the RSVP deadline is seven or eight weeks before your wedding date, which is before non-destination wedding invitations are sent out. But the trade off is the reason why destination invitations go out so early. With flights and hotel rooms to book, it's hugely helpful to guests to have a little extra time to make plans, and those guests on the B-List wouldn't have that same luxury.
If you're on the fence about a few guests and decide you'd like to invite them if other guests can't make it, consider asking for a preliminary RSVP when you send out save the dates. This way you'll know four to six months before your wedding whether your VIPs can make it, and you'll be able to stick a save the date in the mail to your B-List guests right away.
It also depends on the type of destination wedding you're having. Is your gang from New York heading to Cape Cod for your big day? This really walks the line between local and destination, so a shorter timeline isn't as big a deal. A train ticket or a rental car later, and those B-List guests are good to go. But are you heading west to California, or east to Europe? It's probably better to narrow down that guest list to the people you really want to have join you, and skip the B-List altogether.