(Closed) Guest list: how many actually show up?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
2712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Well you should plan as though everyone will show up, but I think on average, 15% of the people you invite will RSVP “NO.” 

Post # 4
Member
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Are you doing RSVPs?

Post # 6
Member
2854 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@mcj040916:  Ah, ok. So yeah, like @RunsWithBears said, I think you can probably expect 15-20% to RSVP no. That percentage is usually higher for Out of Town guests. There are calculators out there that can help you estimate. I’m planning to call and chase down non-RSVPers. They’ll have plenty of time, there’s no reason for no-answers.

As for no-shows… I feel your pain on this. And I’m not sure. I’ve been to a wedding where my date and I were the only ones who showed in a table for 10 (awkward… and that place was not cheap). I know my mom told me she had 12 family no-shows at her own wedding. 

But I’m not sure there’s any way around that risk, especially if you’re not regularly in touch with all of your guest list. 🙁

Post # 7
Member
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

For all intents and purposes–plan for everyone you invite to show up.  Set the RSVP deadline for 2 weeks ahead of when you really need the numbers.  Then spend that 2 weeks calling all of those loafers who don’t reply.  Doing it any other way is going to be a mess.

Post # 8
Member
1474 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

It totally varies – some people have an incredible high percentage of RSVPs, whereas others have a much higher decline rate. There’s a lot of factors to consider (travel involved for guests invited, business of your wedding weekend, etc.), and I think you should bank on most/all of them RSVP-ing yes because they all could!

We invited about 115 and had about 90 people. We could accommodate all 115, but we weren’t surirpsed when about 25 had to decline – a lot would have had to travel quite a bit to attend the wedding.

Post # 10
Member
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@mcj040916:  That’s why there are usually final headcount days–so when you rent chairs–you have a deadline to change that order.  You reserve the max amount and then a few weeks before, you give them a final headcount number so that they don’t bring 250 chairs for 200 guests.  Caterers also do this.  

Post # 11
Member
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I didn’t have anyone RSVP no and then show up anyways, and no extra guests either much to my relief. But we did have 4 no shows – all at the same table and it was a table of 8, because DH’s cousin RSVPed with her kids and then didn’t bring them. $240 out the door, only two people sitting at that one table, and though I didn’t keep much track of gifts it definitely only added more agravvation that they gave us $20. I was freaking annoyed.

Post # 12
Member
966 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We invited 150 people to the wedding and I think we had 132 attend.  One friend’s wife was sick and could not attend…that was the only “no-show”.

Post # 13
Member
184 posts
Blushing bee

@mcj040916:  

The rule of thumb in catering for weddings and showers, etc.—expect half of what you invite and not more than 75%.

For my daughter’s wedding in June, we had a head count of about 725 of invited guests, including those we knew were invited out of courtesy but would probably not attend.

We had about 450 actually attend.   

I stressed long and hard about how many to plan for.  It is not customary to do RSVPs here, unless it is a seated dinner and limited space.

My number of preparation had always been 400–a little more than half, but don’t go crazy.   Worked out perfectly!

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