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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 38

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...

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

  • Melody
    Expert April 2021
    Melody ·
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    Agreed! We're also live streaming and have 2 sets of invitations. They just came in this week, so we'll be sending those out this weekend. It wasn't much extra work on our part - just designing a second invitation. We also set up a second wedding website specifically for those who are invited virtually. That one includes a digital guest book for them and doesn't include things like the venue location or the in-person FAQ section.

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  • Brigitte
    Dedicated May 2021
    Brigitte Online ·
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    Oh having a second website is a super good idea! I wish I had thought of that before I ordered the invitations... I think everyone will understand though. Maybe if I can get my livestream vendor to have a separate link, I can change the website on those invitations.

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  • Melody
    Expert April 2021
    Melody ·
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    I'm sure they will! COVID is making everything a bit funky, but I've generally seen people have a lot of grace in these situations. We'll have our live stream link on both websites so those invited in person who either can't make it or would prefer not to attend an event because COVID can join in virtually as well.

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  • Sophia
    Savvy September 2020
    Sophia ·
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    We sent everyone on our guest list an invite with an insert saying depending on how things go with COVID restrictions, we may need to make cuts. That way everyone was invited and knew we intended for them to be there, and ultimately it was out of our control if we had to disinvite. Once we got the total number back of who wanted to attend and looked at the total number of people we were allowed to have at the venue, we contacted people individually to let them know that we indeed had to make cuts, but told them if anyone dropped last minute we would contact them. When we were getting last minute cancellations from family members, we contacted friends who had been cut to let them know we had spots. Everyone was understanding of the whole situation and it worked out well in the end considering! I think you need to send your cards to every single guest just to make it fair (even your wedding party and close family that are obviously A list).
    • Reply
  • Shelly
    Rockstar January 2022
    Shelly ·
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    I agree with this completely, and it seems like a great plan!!

    I don't think it's rude seeing that we're in a pandemic, and couples are having to be creative while wedding planning. I agree with pps that you shouldn't let anyone know about the b-list, that way you avoid hurt feelings! Our friends cut their list down drastically and my FH and I were B-listed. We had no problem with that and understood, but our issue was that they sent out STDs, we received one, then heard nothing until a friend of ours said "Oh yeah, ya'll didn't make the cut and weren't invited". The couple didn't notify us, send a notice to guests they had to cut from the list, nothing. We even sent got them a gift for their wedding before knowing this, and didn't even get a 'thank you' card lol.

    So again, not rude as long as you go about it the right way! Smiley shame

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  • Cyndy
    Just Said Yes May 2021
    Cyndy ·
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    We are doing a virtual option (and investing in a nice livestream production) and sending it as an invite to many, many people that we can't include in person. We have a group of about 30 close friends and family that live in the area that we plan to invite to share the day with us virtually, but that I will reach out to individually and let them know the situation. I know them well enough that I know they won't think its rude if invite them to join in person a week before the event. Hell, there's a couple that lives down the street from the venue that if I called them the morning of, I know they'd be happy to join! COVID is very real where I live and people get that.

    I think its more of a matter of how you say it (we have room for a few more to join us in person, would you like to join/we would love to have you join?) and who you are saying it to- people you know well enough that would not 'feel' offended if you invited them the week before.

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  • Cyndy
    Just Said Yes May 2021
    Cyndy ·
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    This is a nice idea too! Just communicate with people, they may be a lot more reasonable than you think.

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  • Megan
    Expert March 2022
    Megan ·
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    The wedding coordinator I talked to just said to order extra invites just incase some people decline and then you can send out to your plan b. I completely get where you would definitely want to get your original plan a list invites out early so plan b ones can go out at a reasonable time.
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  • Llcool_Kay
    Expert July 2021
    Llcool_Kay ·
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    I think you shouldn’t let them know they’re on stand by. If they are invited then they aren’t invited. If you do find out someone declined then you can send out another invite but NEVER tell someone they’re on a B list.
    • Reply
  • Kari
    VIP May 2020
    Kari Online ·
    • Flag

    You've already given a good rationale for downsizing your wedding and informed all your guests that this is necessary. Invite the 90 you want, and say nothing additional to the other 70 people. As you get "nos" from your 90 person RSVP group, individually reach out to those on your secret backup list and tell them you would like them to come to your event. Don't let people know they are waitlisted at all, that is rude. But if additional spots open up and you reach out to additional guests that were on your 160 person list but not the downsized list, they will understand.

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  • Megan
    Just Said Yes April 2021
    Megan ·
    • Flag
    Have you already sent out your invites? If so, and you have to downsize after the fact then that is not your fault at all. But I would not initially tell people that they are on a “b” list. I had a “b” list as well! I had people that I was going to invite if I had a ton of people decline. I just would never tell them. I wouldn’t invite them until you know you have the room for it!
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  • Roberta
    Beginner June 2021
    Roberta ·
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    Would you mind sharing the wording you used for this?
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  • Sophia
    Savvy September 2020
    Sophia ·
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    Sure thing! Here’s what we said: “ Please know that each and every one of you mean the world to us and have been invited to participate in our marriage union. We remain completely committed to each other and to getting married on September 5th. However, the pandemic may require us to make changes to the event including the numbers of guests permitted to attend” then went onto say RSVP on our website and keep looking at the website for any updates.
    • Reply
  • Roberta
    Beginner June 2021
    Roberta ·
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    Thank you. This is very helpful.
    • Reply
  • Sara
    Just Said Yes June 2021
    Sara ·
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    I would personally reach out to those people and just explain the situation. It’s not that you don’t want them to come but will hopefully be able to re-add/invite them if immediate family/friends can’t come. I feel like these days everyone needs to be flexible and realize it’s not about them but about you, your fiancé, and your special day
    • Reply
  • Georgia
    Savvy May 2022
    Georgia ·
    • Flag

    I know its covid times, but this would be rude and would offend anyone on the B-list or standby-list. Honestly I can't see this working out well.

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  • S
    Savvy September 2022
    Stephanie ·
    • Flag

    I would disinvite people if I had to, but I wouldn't ever tell someone that they were on the "B-list" or anything like that.

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  • Devoted June 2021
    ·
    • Flag

    My fiance and I have also cut our guest list from 80 to 46. We made sure to not send info about the wedding or even mention to those outside of wedding party/ siblings and parents. Once we cut the list we sent out save the dates. We did receive information of a household that does not think they will be attending, to which my mother has advocated adding her sister and husband to the list. Even though this is what we will do if our formal invite is also denied, we have not told any one of a possible invite, not even my mom. This way no one gets their hopes up if it doesn't work out. That was our main reason for trimming the list before we sent save the dates out, we didn't want to have to uninvited or reinvite if things got better. We plan to collect our final headcount 3 weeks before the wedding and if we get a rejection from the one family that has projected their doubts then we will invite the other two guests my mother requested. So I say it may be best to not say anything until you know for sure you are inviting them.

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