Destination Weddings: Inviting B-List Guests to a Destination Wedding?

Q: I have a wedding guest list of 50 for my destination wedding in Hawaii. With such a small wedding guest list, there are plenty of people on my B-list that I'd still love to have -- I just need to be sure that I keep the total from going over 50. If some of my initial A-list guests decline my wedding invitation, can I then go ahead and extend an invitation to someone else?

A: This situation isn't too tough, believe it or not, but it's still important that you handle it without hurting anyone's feelings -- after all, no one wants to know they're on your B-list. The easiest way? Before you lick even one stamp, touch base with all the key players to see what their availability is on your wedding date. You can do this by talking to people in concentric circles of importance, if you will: immediate family members first, then the friends or family you plan on asking to be your attendants, then other family, then other friends, and so on. Barring unforeseen circumstances, you'll be able to get a good idea of your attendance figures right away, which will allow you to better map out your guest list. You can still send invitations to those you would want to be there but whom you know can't attend just so that they know how you feel. You can also extend invitations to your replacements right away, without them having to know that they weren't part of your initial 50. If you find later that your response cards are pouring in with regrets, go ahead and invite some new folks -- just don't wait too long, since they'll need time to make travel arrangements.-- JoAnn Gregoli

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Q&A: Invitations: Destination Wedding Etiquette?

My fiance and I are getting married in Maui and know that not all the 200 guests we would like to invite will make it. When we come back home, we are going to have a reception for everyone not able to make the trip. I've read that when getting married away and returning home to a reception, you should only send out wedding invitations to those you know can and will attend the wedding, then send out separate invitations for the reception. We both feel very strongly about sending invitations to everyone and then including (at the bottom) that a reception will be held in our honor when we return. We are afraid that if we follow etiquette, we will hurt people's feelings. Do we follow the rules or do what we feel is right?

by The Knot