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  • Writer's pictureKatelyn Pike

Creating a Rotating Invite List

I am going to say it because I feel like there is someone out there that may read this that really needed this reminder… only invite the number of people your venue can hold AND that you can afford.

Now let me explain…

I OFTEN see brides on the internet talking about RSVPs, RSVP deadlines, guest counts, second round of invites… all that. But typically in these conversations, there is a side conversation going on that goes something like this:

“My venue only holds 150 people, but I invited 200 because not everyone will come, right?” … wrong.

Well, sometimes.

Yes, the larger the guest count you have, the higher probability that more people will RSVP no. However - take it from a girl that had a 99% RSVP yes rate - there are absolutely a chance that everyone you invite will come to your wedding.

So here is what I recommend... a rotating invitation list:

  1. When making your invite list, start by brain dumping everyone you (and your fiancé, and both families) want to invite. (I like to put it in a spreadsheet on the computer so I can copy and paste people into different categories in the following steps. Able to invite 200 people? Create a column with 200 rows to begin filling in names - and addresses too.)

  2. Then, begin to categorize those people. But not by “must have” and “would like”, but start with the first category of “must have AND wouldn’t miss it”. Begin listing off those people in your spread sheet row by row who are your must have people that you KNOW wouldn’t miss your big day for anything. Essentially - the list of people you know will be there. This will let you know the number of spots you have left after this group of people.

  3. After that, how many more invites do you have left until you “fill the room” or “hit the budget”?Take the number of slots left and start filling it in with your must have people that you would be unsure if they would be able to make it but that you hope they will.

  4. Still have slots left? Now begin adding in the “would like” people in the order of priority. But don’t go over the capacity you’ve recently created! (2-4 over… that’s whatever. 50+ over, don’t do it!)

  5. Now what about the rest of the people, add them to a second round list. And yes, it may feel harsh. But as soon as you hear someone say “we can’t make it, I’m so sorry” send out that invite to the top person on the second round list.

  6. Continue this till the date you have to give numbers to your venue. What helps is making your RSVP date earlier than the typical 6 week mark. Make it 8-9 week before the wedding, but start checking in with those “would like” people that got invite that you’re slightly unsure about their commitment to your wedding. It’s ok to reach out to someone… if they are important enough to get on your wedding day invite list, then it is perfectly fine to shoot them a call, check in on their life, and ask if they PLAN to come to the wedding. Get that verbal RSVP. Cause they may be a no… and just didn’t know how to reach out and tell you. That allows you to keep going down the list and invite more people! Or they are a YES and then woohoo!! Can’t wait to see you!

Inviting more people than can fit in the room or than you can afford can spell disaster. Some venues are very strict on the number of people they can fit - and what if you're 50 people over?! Can you imagine having to un-invite someone!? And you definitely don't want to have to pay thousands of money over budget because more than you could afford RSVP'd "yes". So though it might create a little extra work, I definitely recommend creating a rotating invite list!

Have questions? Email me at! I am happy to help!

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