Estimation of Guests

posted 3 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
686 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Yes, we’re dealing with this too! My fiance and I live in the South, and have friends all over the country and world. We’re planning the wedding long distance, in New England, where I’m from. My parents and a few family friends still live there, but none of our relatives and none of our close friends! I just couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere but “home” but it’s proving to be a challenge, especially estimating guests. 

Even more complicated, his sister (who got engaged before us but told us to set our date before her since she didn’t know) is getting married only about a month and a half before! So while we don’t really feel “in competition” to her wedding, we do realize some relatives won’t be able to make both. And there are a LOT of relatives. Like, 100 immediate relatives from his side.

Add to this that at least three other couples from our group of friends are also getting married next summer! So who knows which of our friends will be coming?!

So, we are doing an initial RSVP on our save-the-dates. After the advice the Bees gave me, we will be sending these out later than I originally said, now in November/December. We’ve been blasting our website all over Facebook for those really curious about the date, so we can get a realistic estimate for who is coming (or more specifically, who is NOT). This is unconventional, but I think you and I can safely say our weddings are pretty much like a destination wedding so the rules get changed a bit! Except it sounds like you have the advantage of at least planning your wedding near your home. 😀 The only other way I could think of was to literally call everyone on our list and ask if they thought they might be able to make it, and even then that doesn’t really nail them down.

Anyway, good luck! It’s added stress but I know it’ll all work out!!

Post # 4
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I would say estimate 80% to be on the safe side, it will likely be closer to 70%. Our venue has a max of 300 and I’ve set our max guest list at 330 which we are still painstakingly try to get down from 400+. I found a site that said estimate 90% local will come and 65% out of towners, so I think that’s a pretty fair estimate. 

Post # 5
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

We had about 85% out of town guests and a few out of the country. No one out of the country made it (which we assumed that they wouldn’t), but of the 102 invited, we had 85 yes. The only people who couldn’t come were some OOT friends, the three guests from out of the country, and two cousins from out of state, and one friend in-town.

Post # 6
1793 posts
Buzzing bee

You know, it could go either way as far as your OOT’s.  I know one bride whose MIL PROMISED the OOT relatives would never attend but needed a courtesy invite. Well, there was a beloved OOT 84 yo aunt who decided that if she was going to see all of the family one more time, she needed to attend the wedding.  That made all the others come too!

Sometimes people see weddings as a great opportunity to see the whole dang family and sometimes they just don’t want to spend the money to attend.

I will strongly encourage you to plan for 100% attendance even though it is unlikely.  Why?  My DD who got married in the middle of a snowy Michigan Winter had 96% attendance, and my DD who got married on a gorgeous May Spring day in Michigan only had about 65% attend.

My 4th DD gets married next Summer and the one thing I have found is that unexpected expenses show up in the couple of weeks prior to the wedding and if you have budgeted for 100% to show up and you only get 80%, you have some wiggle room in your checkbook.

Post # 8
1416 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

About 60-70% of our guests will be out of towners, including FI and myself since we are getting married in my hometown back in the US. I read online that a good way to get a rough estimate for how many guests will attend is to multiply the number of out of town guests by 65% and the local guests by 90%, and then to just add those two numbers together.

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