Have you heard of the wedding invitation A, B and even C-List methods? This post will help you understand the hows, whys and how to maneuver these discrete lists. Rarely can a bride invite everyone that her little heart desires with such restrictions as budget, the venue capacity, lots of extended or distant family, colleagues and all of their plus-one’s. Therefore most couples opt for the B-List method when sending their invitations.
This is obviously a sensitive subject, so as a couple you need to choose your A, B and C-Lists discretely and with care. You don’t want your guests gossiping and someone finding out they didn’t make the A-List, causing hurt feelings and creating an awkward situation. If people are prone to talk and in the same social circles, you may want to put them on the same list so they will receive their invitations at the same time. People want to feel wanted, not like an after thought.As a rule of thumb, send out your wedding invitations 6-8 weeks prior to your wedding date (sooner if you are having a destination wedding or if you are not sending out Save the Dates). Typically up to 15% of guests RSVP to weddings for whatever reason with Respectfully Decline. Put your RSVP date one month prior to your wedding date, so when these RSVP’s trickle in this  gives you the opportunity and enough time to send out your B-List and then C-List.HOW DO YOU DETERMINE YOUR A, B AND C-LISTS?

  • Your A’s will be the people that you absolutely don’t want to get married without them there, this includes immediate family, the bridal party, close friends and people your parents insist on having.
  • Your B’s are the one’s you really want to invite, but don’t have the venue capacity or budget for a larger head count. These people are typically new friends, old acquaintances, colleagues or friends of friends.
  • Your C’s are people that maybe you aren’t as close with such as distant relatives, acquaintances or neighbors for example that you would love to have if you can make it work.


  • If you have the budget and venue to accommodate everyone that you want to invite with all of their plus one’s, then you can send all of your invitations out at the same time.
  • If you know all of your invites will be returned with Happily Accepts, then you can send out all of your invitations at the same time to your allocated amount for your budget and/or capacity.
  • There has been a rise in intimate weddings, so if you are like a lot of modern couples choosing to celebrate only with the closest people to you even if you get some Regretfully Decline’s, you may prefer the budget savings rather than trying to fill a seat.

Let me know how your guest list is coming! Do you plan on using the B-List method? Have you found the B-List method to be helpful? Have any tips for other brides? Let me know in the comments below and also visit Start Wedding Planning for more wedding planning tips.