Guest list VS How many people will be there.

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
22124 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2011

We had almost a 30% decline rate, but a large part of that was we got married in the middle of July so there were a lot of family vacations and such planned.

Post # 4
1527 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would be too nervous to deal with over-inviting. 

Post # 5
3442 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We invited about 110 people, got about 10 declines, so our total should have been 100 guests, but 7 people randomly didn’t show up at the wedding who RSVPed yes (btw, still haven’t heard from them. rude.) so we had 93 guests at the ceremon & reception (about 96 at just the ceremony)

Post # 6
2467 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

@Waitingbee57:  I have read far too many stories on this website about EVERYONE coming to feel comfortable doing this. That being said, I suppose I am doing it anyway. My venue can hold up to 150, which is about how many we are inviting, but we are only planning on about 30 people coming for budget purposes (it’s a detination wedding far far away). Stupid, I know, but I know for a fact that the vast majority won’t even consider coming.

For an at-home wedding, I wouldn’t do this unless some of these are really just courtesy invitations for people you know won’t come, such as your great-great-grandmother who can’t leave the nursing home, etc. 


In your situation, you should pick about 40 people to be B-listers , but choose wisely. They must not be connected to A-listers, or they will find out that they are B-list. Good luck!

Post # 7
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I don’t know exact figures (because we invited several people we knew wouldn’t be able to make it), but we had over 90% accept.

Post # 8
2076 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I would never be comfortable inviting more people than my venue could hold, but that’s just me. Our room’s capacity was 230. We invited 225 and had 135 RSVP yes.  All 135 showed up to the wedding (yay for no no-shows!). Our decline rate was a little higher than typical because our wedding was in California and DH’s family is on the East Coast. we knew prior to sending out invitations that at least 50 of his relatives were not going to come so our decline rate was about 20% which is pretty average. 

Post # 9
1560 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Waitingbee57:  are you inviting a lot of people that will have to travel? We invited 225 but the final count is 140. About 50 people out of 225 were out of town invitees.

Post # 10
1599 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Waitingbee57:  Out of 100 invited including +1s for everyone that is single (not just people we know) we had 90 RSVP yes.  We only had ONE rsvp no that we thought would actually come- the rest are +1 declines. So we basically had a 95-99% affirmative response rate.


I wouldn’t risk it. Invite your capacity and make a B-list for post-rvsp date.

Post # 11
667 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

No. Only invite as many as you can afford/fit. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have 100% coming and no room.

P.S. Please don’t B-list. It is really rude. And yes, they will know you were a second choice. One list. Below your maximums, period.

Post # 12
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

Only YOU know your Guests…

But I would be too afraid to over-invite, and then discover everyone (or nearly everyone) could come

Then what ???

You call people back and say… “Sorry we’ve changed our minds?”

Uh, no

The best way is either to trim your Guest List, or go with an A & B List Plan (that is properly managed… in that way your Guests will not know which list they were on)

Hope this helps,


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