Photo: Courtesy of Brides Fine Wedding Papers
Making a guest list is one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding. When you're stuck between the people you love and your venue's capacity, choosing who does and doesn't get an invite can be stressful, to say the least. And of course, once you send out your invitations, the final headcount is really in your guests' hands! But what if, no matter how much you've planned, a lot of your guests are RSVP-ing "No"? Here's how our experts recommend handling a smaller-than-expected guest list.
If you've opted to make a B-list of guests to invite with a second round of invitations, you're in luck. While it's unfortunate that a large number of your A-list can't make it, you have the opportunity to invite friends you otherwise wouldn't be able to celebrate with. Just make sure that the second round of invitations includes a later RSVP date so guests know exactly when you need to hear from them.
Didn't make a B-list? Don't sweat it. There are, however, a few things you should make sure to do right away. The first is confirm whether your venue or caterer has any sort of minimum you need to meet. Do you have to have at least 100 guests, but you're ringing in closer to 80? Or does the food and beverage minimum seem easy to meet for a large crowd, but feel like a lot of money for a smaller group? Talk to your contacts about what your options are. In some cases you may be able to pay a fee to cover the difference, or offer additional or higher-end food and beverage choices to ensure that you meet your minimum even with a smaller guest list. See it as a great opportunity to splurge on your guests, instead of focusing on those who won't be attending.
If you're having a hometown wedding, think about whether there are any friends or coworkers you would have loved to invite. As long as they aren't super traditional, make a phone call or meet up in person to extend an invitation. You shouldn't send an email as a means of inviting someone to an event this formal, but do follow up on your in-person invitation with a nice-looking e-vite to make sure they have all the details in one place.
If meeting a minimum with your venue or caterer isn't a problem, consider this an opportunity to upgrade other parts of your wedding, whether it's adding extra flowers or renting nicer chairs and dishes. It will be an amazing party, no matter how many people show up, so enjoy!