(Closed) Guest list count anxiety — help!

posted 5 years ago in Reception
Post # 16
24 posts
  • Wedding: May 2017

We invited 135 to our wedding and had a lot of out-of-state invites, and guess what….134 came! Only ONE RSVP’d no! You need to cut your list down for sure. I think it’s easy to do when you stop to consider…”Who do I absolutely NEED by my side to witness this important life event? Who has truly made a difference in me and my fiancee’s life? Who do I know for a fact will still be in our lives a year from now? 3 years from now? 5 years from now?” Also…one thing that really helped us was looking at our guest list and crossing off people we hadn’t talked to or kept in touch with in over a year. Sometimes you think people are important to include, but then you realize that you actually haven’t kept in touch with them–even a phone call or an email in over a year? They can’t be that important…everyone has time for a 10 minute phone call or a catch up email in 12 months. It might seem harsh, but you need to cut some of these people!

Post # 17
287 posts
Helper bee

I personally would not feel comfortablue inviting more then I could host. My FI’s mother says to invited more bc a lot will probably decline, but with already having anxiety in general I don’t think that will be a good idea. 


Try to trim the list down more if you don’t want to cut expenses else where. Do not trust on the declines.



Post # 19
643 posts
Busy bee

Add me to the list of people who’ve had only a handful of declines. Most of my guests are out of town, almost all have RSVP’d and only 4 can’t make it. 

Post # 20
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

We invited 200 and had about 170 attend. If it stresses you out that much, simply don’t invite over your budget. I know that it’s hard, but sometimes that’s the easiest way to reduce the stress on you (and the budget!).

Post # 21
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

View original reply
freckles071611:  I agree.  The thing with the average percent decline rate is it’s exactly what it sounds like: an average.  That means there’s strong chance you could have less declines than you anticipated.  

I know it’s stressful to cut the guest list, but I imagine it would be even more stressful if all of those people said yes and then you had to accomodate them and spend all that money.

Post # 22
23 posts

I would definitely cut more!  Imagine if 100% of invitees showed up.  Where would they sit?  What would they eat?  Eeeek!!!

How have you divided the guest list?  It might be worth your while to sit down with your Fiance and decide how many mutual guests there are, and then tell your FMIL/FFIL and your parents how many guests they get.

If the number is 25 (random #) you tell Future Mother-In-Law you have 25 seats at the wedding for guests.  You may invite whoever you like.  When you have decided on your 25 guests, please forward me full names with mailing address so that I can mail them out no later than *choose a cut off date*.  We can’t wait to celebrate with everyone! 

End. Of.  She could invite the bloody postman if she felt like it, as long as she knows that by inviting the postman, Aunty Sally on her father’s side can’t be guest 26.  She has 25, and 25 only.

Good luck bee!!

Post # 23
4038 posts
Honey bee

My daughter married on the Sunday night, of a 3-day, summer, holiday weekend. The evening was also age 21 and up. She only had a 10% decline rate.


Post # 24
2076 posts
Buzzing bee

View original reply
northshorebride:  Do not do an A and B list for invites.  It is very rude.  You are basically telling your B listers that you only want them there because the people you really wanted couldn’t make it.  How would you like to be invited to something only because someone else declined?

Post # 25
1410 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
northshorebride:  Agree with Freckles, don’t send A list and B list invites- it’s rude. It’s also rude to expect a ‘Yes’ by June 1st – 3 months before your wedding, typically invites are sent 8-10 weeks out, with RSVPs due 4-5 weeks out. Requiring them 3 months out is rude and will raise red flags.

Invite the number you are able to host, and hopefully they will all be able to attend!

Post # 26
325 posts
Helper bee

I personally don’t see the bad in doing an A and B list. How would the B list folk even know that’s where they stood?

I am in a very similar situation… We are aiming for 120 but fiancées parents keor adding people to the list. We went over the guest list countless times to figure out what to do because we simply cannot afford to have many more guests. Started by making an absolute essential list of people to invite that we couldn’t picture the day without (around 100) then made a “B” list of people we would like to invite. We then added people off the B list to also extend invites To reach about 140-150 to invite. We also have a lot of people traveling so we are expecting a higher decline rate as well. 

From there we can fill in the blanks and extend additional invilets when people decline. It’s not ideal, but when you have a limit and budget you have to do what you have to do. 

Post # 27
453 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I feel like I could have written this post last year lol

 I can’t say what’s right for you but most of the people we pushed my mother in law to eliminate that didn’t get eliminated ended up not coming anyway and people we expected to come didn’t and a few people we didn’t expect to come did come but like two. It all worked out in the end and I wish I didn’t stress about it as much as I did. We had a lot of blow out fights about guest list stuff. We invited 189 and ended up with less than 130. We actually ended up opening up the guest list at the end to some long term boyfriends of friends that we wanted to invite but cut originally. This might be an option for you if you want to kind of have a “b” list but not be rude. we were close with these people and upfront about them being able to bring a plus one if we had enought declines and they were fine with it. Also our wedding was in NYC so it was kind of far for most of our Long Island guests which I think made for more declines since some people don’t like to travel to the city. If I had to make a judgement call I would say you should be safe but it might be a good idea to go through the list and see who you really think will and will not come

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