P's and Q's: Perfecting Your Guest List

The next installment of our P's and Q's wedding etiquette series is perfecting your guest list. As one of the first priorities when planning your wedding, the guest list (and keeping track of RSVPs!) is one category that requires meticulous attention. Yes you may have an enormous extended family and want everyone to be included somehow, but there are ways to minimize the crowd and still enjoy everyone's company. Here are a few helpful pointers:

1. Counting out kids

It's completely acceptable to request that parents make other arrangements for kids at your wedding. Most parents would probably appreciate the night out, too. We asked our expert Design Consultant Lia for some tips:

What are some good ways to say "No kids allowed" without offending guests?

The details card is the perfect place to include a polite explanation for excluding children, such as "Your presence at our wedding is very important to us, however we are not able to accommodate children at the ceremony or reception." 

If the wedding happens to be at a venue that serves alcohol (such as a winery) something like "due to the nature of our venue..." can be as easy explanation.

Addressing the invitation envelopes to the adult guests only is another subtle way to pass the message.  "Mr. and Mrs. Hemmingway" is more specific than "The Hemmingways" or "The Hemmingway Family." 

If budget allows, having childcare available in a separate location is a nice courtesy to extend to guests who may have a hard time traveling without the whole family.  As with any delicate situation, picking up the telephone for a personal conversation is a respectful way to curtail any potential issues before they arise.

2. A and B guest lists

When coming up with A and B guest lists, be sure to keep a few things in mind:

  • Send A-list invitations a few weeks early and with an earlier RSVP date to allow sufficient time for the B-listers to get their travel plans in line.
  • Stay on top of your list. The day you get a regret, send out your next invitation.
  • It's best to send any invitations at least four weeks before the wedding date. Send invitations outside of your hometown or state first, and save local invites for last.

Is it OK to invite guests to only the reception?

As more couples have private ceremonies these days, it's totally acceptable to invite guests to the reception only and they'll likely be all the more excited to celebrate with you at the fantastic party!  Invitations should clearly state "the pleasure of your company is requested at the wedding reception" and guests invited to the ceremony should receive a separate ceremony card as well. 

For more helpful advice on perfecting your guest list, head over to our handy Wedding Advice page!

P's and Q's: Wedding Etiquette

It's a real pleasure to introduce a new blog series titled P's and Q's. We ask that you - or anyone you know - write us with any questions or thoughts that relate to weddings, be it making a guest list, how to say no, and much more. Be sure to follow us on Facebook/Twitter for real Q&A from our brides and grooms and we'll have our expert team tackle the responses.

We know one of the hot topics when it comes to wedding etiquette is wedding invitation wording. There are endless variables involved with wording your invites just right. Whether you're addressing both families in the invitation or hosting a casual event yourselves, the wording can always get tricky. Our consultant team at Hello!Lucky has seen just about everything, and is offering their top notch advice for all those sticky situations. Today we're focusing on simple wording techniques for save the dates. As the first piece of information your guests receive, the save the date sets the tone for the rest of your wedding. Before you send your save the dates, be sure you have the following checked off your list:

Guest List / Venue or Location / Date / Style or Formality / Color Palette

It's true planning a wedding can get exhausting. Gather your friends and family to help get organized from start to end, and follow our Wedding Planning Timeline for support. This timeline recommends sending your save the dates 6-8 months in advance, depending on the location and if you have guests that will need to make travel arrangements. When it comes to wording your save the dates, you want to be certain you list basic important information including the date (of course!), location, and your names. The rest is up to you! Be sure to check out our save the date wording samples for tips when hosting a formal, informal, or casual wedding.


We asked our wedding wording expert and design consultant Lia what she thought about wording your save the dates:

Since save the dates set the tone for the wedding, a formal affair requires a traditional approach.  The design would coordinate with the wedding invitation so that the entire suite has a cohesive feel.  Full names should be included and dates should be spelled out.  Information regarding children or attire is best included with the invitation on a separate details card.


Lia's tips for wording a casual save the date card:

Have fun with it!  Wording can be playful and should match the personality of the couple getting married.  Save the dates that include photos are a great way to let that personality shine while showing off gorgeous engagement shots!



For destination weddings, Lia suggests:

Chances are most weddings will be a destination for at least some of the guests, so save the dates should be mailed six months in advance to assist with planning.  Listing a wedding website gives guests access to travel and accommodation information, but for very formal weddings a separate card should be included.  If the wedding is being held in a popular travel destination or at peak season, its a good idea to reserve a block of hotel rooms as early and for as long as possible.

Do you have any questions about wedding wording? Have a sticky situation and need help from the experts? Let us know in the comments below!