Q: We thought we had our wedding totally figured out: we’d do a big ceremony and garden party with appetizers in the afternoon for everyone we know, love, and should invite. Then we’d do a smaller dinner and dancing later that evening for just the people we’d actually want to invite to an expensive dinner party.
But no one warned us how easy it is to send email save the dates.
After a few excited weeks of pressing “send,” we are now running up against fire code in our church (we simply can’t change venues), and I’m having panic dreams about being hot, sticky, smushed up sardines in an uncomfortably packed church. There are about twenty people on the list that were “we should invite because… they are in our cohort in grad school/they were our roommates/they would love to be invited” kind of folks. Folks that we wouldn’t personally care if they were there or not.
How, dear APW with all the answers, how can we reduce our guest list without being the rudest newlyweds on the block? Aren’t email save the dates less legit? Can we just pretend they were lost in spam boxes? Can we just pretend their paper invite gets lost in the mail? Can we set up an overflow room for our B-list friends? Are any of these made-up justifications acceptable at all?
—[insert face palm emoji here]
A: Dear IFPEH,
Nope, nope, nope they’re not, my dear. You sent the email, and by doing that, you set the guest list.
You told people to save the date. That means (one would assume) they saved that date. They reserved this space on the calendar for you. You’ve called dibs on a spot in their schedule, and you’ve gotta follow through.
Now your choices are the following: change the venue (I’m unclear on why this is a no-go, but I’ll take your word for it), set up an overflow room if there’s a real-deal fire code safety issue, or cross your fingers. It’s not likely you’ll get a hundred percent affirmative response, or anything close to it. Not everyone is going to come. Maybe, just maybe, a happy wedding miracle will happen and you’ll get a bunch of declines.
Do everything in your power to get all these guests squeezed in there. And if it looks like you can’t without putting lives at risk, start making some personal, profusely apologetic phone calls to those you’re nixing. But oof. That’s a last resort, you hear me? Last resort.
Meanwhile, all the rest of you think twice before you hit “send” on those save the dates.
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