It is dangerous. But you really have to look at your guest list and circumstances – I think it’s silly to say you can never over-invite.
We’re inviting some former coworkers that live in California where he is in full-time grad school. They are NOT COMING. But we really like them and wanted them to feel included, but there’s no way they are coming.
We gave everyone an and guest – including 85 year old grandmothers who will not be bringing someone, from their own mouths. My aunt, who is sharing a room with my grandmother (and hence won’t be bringing a guest), got an and guest. I’m inviting someone who lives a 6 hour plane ride away who lives in a nursing home out of respect – and gave her an and guest. Not coming. So you need to do some projections.
Our venue is a minimum of 2 hours away from everyone on the list, 2.5 – 3.5 for the majority. For a decent part of the guest list, the travel & lodging would be a financial challenge. For that reason, we know for sure there is a larger than normal contingency that won’t be coming. Plus, we extended our guest list out into more casual acquaintances/professional colleagues, not just close friends & family.
We’re inviting 250 and expecting about 150 to come. My venue, in my perfect setup, seats about 160. We can easily seat up to 200 although we’d need to possibly switch to banquet tables and make a few other changes. Worst case scenario, we COULD seat all 250, we’d just have to do ceremony and reception in the same area rather than split how we have it now, or allow for a room flip (not happening).
It is “risky” to invite extra people but you really have to know your guest list. We did the estimates about 6 different ways and consistently came out between 135 – 170, so I feel fine. And I am a very conservative person when it comes to being cautious. It just makes sense with the types of people we invited, the distance (and it’s not in a “destination” city that people would extend into a vacation, and it’s not easy to fly into as it is a small town), and that we gave everyone an and guest.
Only you can really look at your guest list. Are you inviting 70 that live within an hour of the wedding and only inviting people you’re close with and not giving tons of and-guests? Yeah, may be risky.