We’re trying to decide how many people need to be on our B list. How many people usually RSVP no to a wedding?
It’s a painstaking process, but having an A and B guest list is a way to ensure the greatest amount of people get the chance to attend your wedding. A lot of things determine whether or not a guest can come to the wedding, including where they’re traveling from, how many invites are sent out and whether or not children are included in the celebration.
There’s no magical formula to determine how many invitees will RSVP “no,” so having a B list and second set of invites ready to go is a must. “I would say about 20-25% will say no to a local wedding, and maybe 30-35% for a destination wedding,” says Annie Lee, principal planner for Daughter of Design.
If you’re planning on having a B list, send your A list invites out early—we generally recommend 6-8 weeks before the wedding day, but in this case, start sooner. Ten weeks will give you more time to calculate replies and revisit your guest list. Once you start receiving regrets, send invites out by starting at the top of your B list and slowly making your way down as more ‘nos’ come in. Ideally, this should be done 6-8 weeks before the wedding day, although sometimes last-minute invites can’t be avoided. You don’t want anyone to know they’re on the B list, so don’t send invitations out after you’ve reached the two week mark (when most RSVPs are requested). It’s also a good idea to create a second set of reply cards in case the RSVP date on the original card has already passed.