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Separating the Ceremony Guest List From the Reception Guest List

Having separate guest lists for Ceremony and Reception? Learn how to separate (and recombine) your lists here!

Christina Farrow avatar
Written by Christina Farrow
Updated over a week ago

It doesn't happen often, but as we all know there is a special case for anything and everything. Does your couple want to limit those who are attending their intimate ceremony to only close family and friends, while the reception attendee list includes everyone they've ever met from college to their local dog park? Here's how to keep track of two separate lists in your Guest List Manager.

Separating the Ceremony & Reception Lists

Whether the guest list was uploaded using one of the Aisle Planner Guest List Templates or by inputting guests manually, when creating a wedding guest list in Aisle Planner, by default, the Ceremony & Reception lists are one. In other words, they are identical—each guest party is invited to both the Ceremony and the Reception. While in this state, you can easily mark guests as attending, declined, waitlist them, or even delete them. But when it comes time to invite a certain group of guests to either the Ceremony OR the Reception, this is how it's done: 

✓ Step One
From the drop down event list selector, click on Separate Ceremony & Reception.

✓ Step Two
You will be immediately notified that your lists have separated and will be asked to choose which list you would like to view.

✓ Step Three
Go to the list you wish you work on and, from there, you can waitlist any guests for that event or delete them using the trashcan icon when hovering over their names.

Pro Tip
If the separation of the lists was made in error, don't worry. You can do nothing and when you refresh the page the list will be rejoined. Also, if the lists are in a state where they can be rejoined, you will see the option to
combine ceremony & reception lists here:

Rejoining Your Ceremony & Reception Lists

Separating the Ceremony & Reception lists is based on one of two things:

  1.  A guest is on the A list of one event and on the waitlist of another

  2. A guest has been removed (deleted) from one event and not the other 

Here's an example:
Johnny's 7th degree distant relative didn't make the cut for the intimate ceremony list he and Sam always wanted, but was for sure going to be added to their rock-your-socks-off reception. For tracking and invitation purposes, they wanted to create two very separate lists. But then(!) three months before the wedding, they decided to go big or go home. As a result, they invited all 200 guests to the ceremony as well. (Can I come to that party??)

As Sam and Johnny's planner, to rejoin the two lists you will need to find the guest or guests who are invited to one event and not the other and then re-invite them to both events. Remember, this includes the full deletion of a guest OR placing a guest on a waitlist. Here are the steps to take:

✓ Step One: Quick Add Box
If you take a look at the ADD GUESTS button at the top left of the Guest List Manager for both ceremony and reception lists, you can easily see if there are any guests that are on one list, but deleted off another. Click on the names to add them to the list from which they are missing. Do this for both the Ceremony AND Reception lists.

Once these guests are identified, click on the event selector to see if the Combine Ceremony & Reception option appears. If so, click that and you are good to go. 

If that doesn't do the trick, read on...

✓ Step Two: RSVP Summary Page
Here lies a summary of all your guests who are invited to all the events across the board. While looking at this, look for guests who are invited to one event (white box that is either blank, with a check mark, or with a circle and slash) and not the other (blank light gray box). After identifying the guests who are on one list but not the other, determine which list you want to add them to (or remove them from) in order for the lists to combine again. You may want to make a written note of these guests if there are more than a few so you may reference to it later.

✓ Step Three: Guest List Manager View
With the names of the guests taken from step two, view either your Ceremony or Reception list and change the list on which that guest appears so it matches that of the other event. For example, if Guest A is invited (List A) to the Ceremony and on Waitlist B for the Reception, you would change the Reception list to List A. In addition, you could change their Ceremony status to Waitlist B. As long as the list status matches for the guest, you will be able to recombine the Ceremony and Reception lists so they appear as one. When you've made all your changes, click on the event selector again. If your lists are in a state where they can be combined again, the option to Combine Ceremony & Reception will appear.

And, of course, if you are still having issues, please never hesitate to reach out to Customer Support at ❤️

About the RSVP Summary Page

What is that RSVP Summary page anyway? Glad you asked!

The RSVP Summary page is a completely sortable snapshot of your entire guest list across ALL events. You can easily see who is invited, who is attending, who is not attending, and who has yet to respond to each event for which you have a guest list. Even better? If you notice Uncle Bob is attending the wedding, but Aunt Jan isn't, you can easily click the box associated with the event she is to attend so you can mark her as attending and not have to go back to the guest manager to do so.

Here's what everything means:

  • White Box: The guest is on the guest list for that event and has not RSVP'd

  • Gray Box: The guest is not invited to that event, or is waitlisted

  • Checkmark: The guest is attending that event

  • Circle with a Slash: The guest is not attending that event

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