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Cynthia
Just Said Yes June 2021

covid wedding— guests on standby list?

Cynthia, on February 25, 2021 at 10:34 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 38
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Is there a nice way to let guests know they are on stand by for the guest list?

We are currently downsizing our 160 person wedding to 90 (our venue cap with COVID restrictions). We have the cute downsize cards on the way to send out. There are a few guests we’d like to add back if we find out some people aren’t coming OR COVID restrictions loosen a little bit prior to June. What’s the best way to let them know?
I was thinking about sending the downsize card but adding an additional personalized note. But can’t think of how to phrase that note. Lol. Anyone else encounter this?

38 Comments

  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
    • Flag
    Oh goodness, I don't think so. That sounds impolite.
    • Reply
  • Shirley
    Expert November 2020
    Shirley ·
    • Flag
    No, there is not. Even during covid.


    You need to invite the number of people you can have. If you know some people will decline, you can call them beforehand and confirm that they wont be able to make it before not inviting them. But telling people they are on a B list, even during covid, is a no from me. At least keep the B list a secret if you're going to do it
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle Online ·
    • Flag

    This is called B listing or tiered invites and is always rude. There is never any situation where this is acceptable. Even in Covid this is incredibly rude. People do find out they are your 2nd/3rd/5th choices and get highly offended though they will never tell you.

    If someone declines, you deal with a smaller guest list and do not refill the guest list.

    • Reply
  • Shirley
    Expert November 2020
    Shirley ·
    • Flag
    ^Re above, an example is someone who told you they can't travel right now due to pregnancy or something like that. Not just someone you think might skip it.
    • Reply
  • Sally
    Savvy April 2021
    Sally ·
    • Flag
    I don’t have a great solution to this, but I feel your pain. I don’t think you are being rude. If covid wasn’t a thing, sure that would be BUT Navigating a covid guest list is hard and everything is ever changing. Every month is different!!
    You are doing your best despite a bad situation, and I think Covid wedding planning makes this more difficult than people realize.


    • Reply
  • A
    Super September 2020
    Alli ·
    • Flag
    Eeks, I would stick to the 90 guests and call it a day!
    • Reply
  • Natalie
    Savvy November 2021
    Natalie ·
    • Flag

    I think the best thing to do is not actually letting them know they are on "stand-by". Send out your new invites or new save the dates ...wait for that batch to rsvp asap. THEN send out the invites to the ppl on stand-by. If time is constricting then opt for a virtual or e-Card via email so they get it faster and can RSVP on-line. Then with those remaining who can't be invited due to covid you will simply have to let them know : "due to covid restrictions we regret to inform you our venue has informed us of a limited attendance. though we wish you were there with us to share our special day, we thank you for understanding." Something along those lines. Girl, they will understand!!! It's a pandemic. lol

    • Reply
  • Expert September 2021
    ·
    • Flag
    I don’t think this is at all “rude”, that’s not the best term to use - I think your intentions are very genuine and you’re not trying to make anyone feel less than by doing this. I think it’s a very thoughtful idea, I personally would just give those guests a call, even though it would be very tedious. Just so it’s a little more personal! My feelings wouldn’t be hurt if I received a card saying that you had downsized and weren’t able to have your original guest lists there. I’m sure a lot are wondering without you even saying anything!
    OR - call the ones who barely missed the cut off (that sounds kind of weird but..). Like the college friends or people you really wish you could have there, but there’s just not room in the restrictions. And the ones who are just old friends of friends or people you wouldn’t even realize weren’t there, send them your letter! I see no issue! Just be as personal as you can be
    • Reply
  • Michelle
    Rockstar April 2021
    Michelle ·
    • Flag
    There’s no good way around this. As the PP mentioned, your intentions are good but it will come across bad. Keep with your 90 person list & plan on all 90 to be there.
    We’re all doing the best that we can. Planning a wedding during a pandemic isn’t for the weak!
    • Reply
  • Brigitte
    Dedicated May 2021
    Brigitte ·
    • Flag

    I would consider livestreaming your ceremony! That way, anyone who didn't make the restricted list can still participate in a way. I have 2 different invitations. One for in-person and one for livestream. When it comes time to send out the invitations, I'll send the in-person ones to the number of guests that are allowed, and the livestream ones to the people who were on the original list, but didn't make the list with the restrictions.

    • Reply
  • L
    Lady ·
    • Flag

    This is horrible, do not do this. Have one list and stick to it.

    • Reply
  • Cynthia
    Just Said Yes June 2021
    Cynthia ·
    • Flag
    Thanks to everyone for their insight! Obviously the point of me asking is to not make any missteps so I appreciate those who were tactful and thoughtful in their responses.
    • Reply
  • K
    Devoted October 2021
    Kristen ·
    • Flag
    You’re definitely in a tough spot, and it sucks! Just to add some color to why this would come across poorly, if you had a couple close friends on standby for a 10 person/family-only wedding, they would likely be happy to be included. Because you are allowed 90 people, inviting someone conditionally means “you aren’t one of the top 90 people we know” -ouch!
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I agree, I don't think it's rude because many of us had to remove people from guests list and later on got to add them due to the restrictions constantly changing. I wouldn't send the people you can't invite a standby card or anything. I'd just order extra invitations and maybe send them out a week earlier than normal and give people a deadline of when they need to rsvp by. As people decline you can send out invitations to the other people. I see inviting people later on when people decline no different than sending out 90 invitations, then the next week they change restrictions to were you can have 150 people so you send more invites. It's also no different than they say now you can have 90 people so you send out 90 invites, then them tell you that now you are limited to 50 guests, so now you have to uninvite people.
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I also agree with this
    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    I feel like right now people are a lot more understanding with everything constantly changing and up in the air. You don't actually know what your wedding will look like or how many guests you will be able to have until the week/day of the wedding.
    • Reply
  • J
    Master 0000
    Judith ·
    • Flag
    There simply is no polite way to put people on standby. Invite those for your new cap, and that is it.
    Just saying paople have to be in a waiting line puts you in a high status, and says they do not much matter. That they are second best, and only ger in if more desirable people don't come. Better to blame the cut on covid, and leave it there, once people have been cut once.
    • Reply
  • Victoria
    Beginner July 2021
    Victoria ·
    • Flag

    We decided to have an A-List and a B-List, but the B-List is a secret. We sent out our A-List invites first with a tight RSVP turn-around time so we could still invite our B-List from the guests that declined during the first round. We wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to invite the B-List without it being blatantly obvious they were invited last.

    In all honesty- our family and obligatory invites took up almost all of our A-List, so our B-List is our friends that we actually want to invite. They aren't after-thoughts or second-rate, they just couldn't be invited because of capacity restrictions. So, don't feel guilty. Smiley winking

    So, my advice would be don't let people know they're on the B-List...but make sure you have enough turn-around time to invite them so it's not offensive.

    • Reply
  • Katie
    Rockstar August 2021
    Katie ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I agree with all of this 👏👏
    • Reply
  • Jess
    Devoted May 2021
    Jess ·
    • Flag

    We cut down our original list of 150 to 100, so we are sending out invites to the 100 and dis-invites to the 50. But we have no clue what the actual total of people will be allowed yet. Our gov announces new capacity restrictions at the end of each month for the following month. Our venue just told us to plan for 50% capacity. Right now our state is only allowing 25 people in a gathering, but our venue is anticipating it to go back up to 50% capacity by May (which would be 100 people). It doesn't make sense that we would plan according to what the current restrictions are if we can have more by May. There is a chance that we will have to reach out to some people after invites go out and let them know that because of restrictions, we have to reduce our list even further. I think a lot of people are super understanding that everything is up in the air right now.

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