(Closed) Guest list calculation-how many to invite versus how many won’t come

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
639 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

i have these scary thoughts myself.  my venue for the ceremony has a 120 person capacity.  And we are wildly unsure of who is going to come or not … oh my!  we could have 50 or 160?  i have no clue.  Don’t “they” usually say you can estimate that 20% won’t come?



Post # 4
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Typically, you can expect about 70 percent of your guest list to attend, give or take 10 percent either way. Usually smaller guest lists of 100 or less will have a higher YES rate because you’re usually inviting close friends and family who wouldn’t miss your wedding. When you start inviting upwards of 15-200, you might expect your YES replies to fall closer to the 50-60 percent mark because, well, you’re inviting more people 🙂

Hope that helps!

Post # 5
36 posts
  • Wedding: August 2010

I went through our “ultimate-if-we-could-invite-everyone-we-wanted-to guest list” and estimated whether they would come or not using 1 for definitely coming, .5 for maybe coming, 0 for definitely not expected to come (for if they were older and wouldn’t travel or something like that). Then, we added that column together and had our ‘estimated yes’ number!


(I don’t know if that made sense..haha. I can explain more if you need me to!)

Post # 6
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

There is no magic number, despite what many people will tell you. Always prepare for 100% to show up.

Post # 7
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

The ‘formula’ is normally 20-30% don’t come if you have a large guest list. But I agree that since your list is smaller, I would prepare for 100% to respond yes and maybe have a few people in mind for a B list.

Post # 8
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Claxton Farm

This was something we agonized over too! 

Our venue’s prices go up once we go over 100 people, so we’re inviting around 110, have planned for 100 (budget-wise) and anticipate 75ish attending. If we tip over 100, we’d be beyond shocked, but we could manage it.




Post # 10
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I have heard between 80-85% of people will show. I fear that 100% will show and I will be grossly over budget. I HATE these numbers games!

Post # 11
3539 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

our venue allows for 200 max which is ok. but we are inviting 160 and budgeting for 150 so if more come its not really a problem venue wise. If less than 100 rsvp yes come i will be def be inviting B list guests because the venue would look really sparse. Almost like rent a crowd but in a nice way?

Post # 12
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

Ahh! I hear ya!! We are having our wedding where we live, California. Our relatives are scattered throughout the country though. Many of them love to travel but I just don’t know how many of them see traveling to CA for a wedding as one of those “vaca’s” they’d want to take. So i agonize daily over the guest list. So we made three lists, although i’m pretty sure i’ll have to make another…a list of all the people we will be inviting, then a list of who we think will come, a list of who we WANT to come, then next to who we want we did a number thing too.

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