Post # 1
I’m one of those brides who is really freaked out by the guest list. Our venue only holds 85 people and we’ve got 115 on it (we’re in the process of seeing about cutting it and I think we’ll be successful). Of all the details, issues, and idiosyncracies of wedding planning this is the ONLY aspect of it that has kept me up at night and put a relentless hard ball in the pit of my stomach. I go through spurts of totally freaking out that we’ll offend someone, overlook something, etc.
But I keep hearing that this is one of those things that tends to take care of itself, so I thought now would be a good time to share those stories and ask ourselves some pertinent questions about our quest lists. Some are rhetorical, some aren’t, but food for thought regardless. I’m curious as to how afraid we really need to be. And I’m also curious as to if the saying “no one cares about your wedding as much as you do” translates to the guest list.
Has anyone’s wedding been ruined because they’ve/you’ve gone over the limit with the guest list?
Do people really remember if they’re not invited to a wedding?
Are people understanding of space restrictions?
Has anyone been shunned/blacklisted because they didn’t invite someone?
Share your thoughts!
Post # 3
Well all of our RSVPs arent in yet, but we are getting close. We invited over 200 (about 215) and our venue only holds 150 (seated) so i was freaking out!! I really dont like receptions where there arent enough tables for people to sit at so i didnt want this at all! Well, today is the deadline and we only have 107 coming and I think our finaly number will be around 130-140 which is perfect! If we only have 140 that means 35% of people said NO which for a destination wedding (everyone has to travel by plane or drive several hours) is just about right! If we end up with 150 then it means 30% said no. So I really wouldnt worry too much about it!
Post # 4
i am hoping this works out in the end for me as well being that our capasity is a HARD 120- no more. and we invited 153…. so hopefully there will be enough nos. i would prefer to be hovering right at 100…
Post # 5
Maybe I’m totally out of it, but why invite more people than you know you can fit? Our venue holds 170, so we’re initially only sending out 170 invites. Once we start getting “no’s” we’re going to send out a few more invites to anyone who didn’t make the initial cut. Sorry if I offend anyone with my B-list mentality, but I have to believe distant friends, relatives, co-workers, and friends of friends must understand space and monetary restraints!
Post # 6
Our favorite venue was already booked for the standard ballroom when we wanted to start our process as year and a half beforehand – so we had a similar problem: Max guest list could be 60 people for the smaller room they had available.
We decided to keep it “fair” by just doing family and very few friends who couldn’t bring a guest unless married – it was our way of keeping the peace. What this ended up looking like was an entire table of people that I’m not fond of whatsoever (read: nearly despise) are coming and a whole group of family friends on both sides that have been instrumental in the success of our lives are left out. That table represents 1/6th of our guest list so it’s not like a larger wedding where they just “blend in”. And just a heads-up – our acceptance rate was 120% with people actually inviting themselves through our website that we never even talked to them about. I finally started giving out the fire code specialist’s telephone number at the county so they could explain to these people what maximum occupancy fire codes are. No seriously. . . . they offered to sit at the gift and cake tables.
I don’t know your situation, but I’ve found in my wedding process that people are going to be offended by just about every aspect of the process (*gasp! You’re wearing white and you have a kiddo!) (*gasp! You chose yellow instead of red or pink for your main color!). I had to let go of the people pleaser personality in me, and get to the nitty gritty of what I am paying so much for – the celebration of my marriage.
Good luck to you!
Post # 7
@MrsMcGyro: we have a B list as well – but there are several people on our list that i know they will say no so hence the extra initial invites. theres always a chance that they surprise us and come, but techincally i have never heard of a wedding thats over like 50 people where everyone said yes.
Post # 8
A general rule with wedding planning is that 20% of invited guests will not be able to come. This of course is no gurantee and can vary based on your personal guest list.
We invited 177 people to a venue that can only hold 160 max. So far we have had 21 people say no to us so at the max we will have 158 at the wedding which is great!. We also are still waiting to receive half of our RSVP cards back so it could be less.
I went with the general rule that not everyone will be able to come, but a the same time did not allow the guestlist to get completely out of control. Maybe you can put 10 people on a B list until you get some nos in the mail?
Post # 9
I wonder if the smaller the wedding the higher the acceptance rate. . . . .
Post # 10
We invited 110 and it’s looking like we’ll have around 65. I wouldn’t freak out yet 🙂
Post # 11
We wanted a small wedding on a schooner – max capacity 49. But we have large families so we found a place that fit 150, since our initial guest list was 120. Then FMIL added 28 people total, my mom added 3, and then we learned that FMIL “forgot” a few people that “simply HAD to have an invitation”… we’re now at 156… and I’m hoping for “no’s” because we are paying for it ourselves… selfish? Maybe. But why should anyone want to pay over $60 per plate for people that they’ve never met?!?!!
Post # 12
@MrsMcGyro: The reason for this is people know not everyone will come. Most venues want a contracted amount based upon how many people you think are coming. So if yo invite more than you have contracted and some say no, then you wont waste money paying for people that didn’t show up.
Post # 13
I worry about this, too. We’re inviting 92 adults plus 9 children. While our venue and budget can accomodate many, I’d really LOVE a number closer to 65-70 adults. That would allow us to add in all sorts of nice extras like a champagne toast and signature cocktail instead of just beer and wine, and Godiva favors instead of Lindt.
Post # 14
@Sarah71710: I googled that question. According to a veteran wedding planner…who’s website I cannot remember, smaller weddings have a much higher turn out percentage because mostly family members and close friends are invited and those people are less likely to decline.
Post # 15
im terrified of this actually. i’ve had nightmares about it and we are still 7 months away!
our venue holds 128 max (130 if you count us at a sweetheart table). there are 155 on our A-list. we looked at the list after getting some feedback on the STD’s, and realized now we have about 100 for sures, and 55 we have no ideas. our parents say every single person (almost all of that 55 are their guests) will “for sure!” come. if that happens–we’re screwed. most of them are local, or within a 3 hour drive. plus, we’re getting married before wedding season really kicks into gear so most people should be free.
i’m counting on some of our out of state friends to say “no” at this point.
Post # 16
If you don’t want to freak out. Only invite capacity in the first round. But some people will say no. I’m having a small wedding…started at 85 will probably end up around 90. We did not do save the dates, just spread the date informally. We learned that at least 5 people wouldn’t be able to make it.
We ended up inviting 113 and I started to get panic attacks (not real ones). Everyone was saying yes included my mom’s friends that would have been my B list. Then I got a no…I was so excited and realized this one couple was not actually on my list! I knew we were inviting them, just never got their address and added them. So total now is 115. Then I realized that FI and I were not on my list…so total invited was actually 117.
We are currently at 72 yes, 9 no with 1 1/2 weeks to go to deadline. Of the remaining, I’m expected 6 nos (including two plus 1s hopefully) and the rest yes. We should end up right around 90. So it all worked out I think, but I was totally stressed out and actually cheering whenever I got a no in the mail. Sad.