Post # 1
I know there isn’t an exact answer here, but what kind of percentage from your guest list can you expect to come.
We are getting married June 23 (I expect some will be on vacations so this will cut back).
We have about 320 people on our list. 30ish are co-workers (I don’t think all will come but it is a small workplace so it is invite everyone or invite nobody). Then we have approx 20 of those that are anywhere from 0-4 years old.
I’m getting nervous about numbers. The venue can hold our whole guest list, but I really wanted somewhere near 200. We have already cut the guest list back a ton, and cannot find anywhere else to cut it, so that is not an option.
So .. what percentage of your guest list can you expect to come?
Post # 3
You’re right- it does vary significantly… but you have to plan & budget for 100% attendance.
Obviously, cutting the list is the number one way to cut costs, but you could also have your wedding at a non-meal time & have drinks and light appetizers or even cake and punch.
I would suggest cutting the list even more, but if that is really not possible at all, then look at some other ways to keep costs down while still having everyone there. GL!
Post # 4
Man, this is the problem we had as we both come from huge familes:
Well, from the numbers that I’ve seen, it’s about 15% but that number will probably be bigger for those coming from out-of-town. Do you need to have the 0-4 year olds? We cut all those people out (minus the 5 neices and nephews all of whom are in the wedding, and the 3 babies that will be a few months old at the time).
I’ve found that every parent I’ve talked to doesn’t really want to bring their kid anyway. They want to have a great time and not have to worry about chasing after a toddler the whole night. But, this being said, I know every family is different.
Also, our cousins are only plus one if we they are over 21 for his side, and married, engaged or seriously dating for mine. But again, I’m not sure if you’ve done this already or if this is even an option with your family.
Good luck on the list!
Post # 5
So we had a surprising amount of acceptances, our final acceptance rate is just about 78%. We are still chasing down 4 guests for an answer, so if all 4 of them come we will be over 80% accepting. Ack!
Here’s our situation: We invited 185 people, almost all local (I think there were less than 20 Out of Town guests invited, and most of them are coming too). Also, almost 80 of the guests are my Mr’s family and they have a strong tradition of going to great lengths to attend family weddings, so it’s not surprising that they had a very high acceptance rate.
The wedding is in the daytime (brunch) and we invited everyone’s children, so no one needs to get a sitter (some are opting to, but don’t need to). We also personally contacted almost the entire guest list to “save the date” when we got engaged, we had a short engagement but personally telling people the date and that they would be invited made them actually, you know, save the date.
On the flip side I had a friend get married last year who invited 160 people and had 90 at her wedding. So I guess you never really know!
(edited for spelling/grammar)
Post # 6
Thank you all!
I guess a little more background would have helped – we are getting married at 7:00 in the evening (I know this will cut out some older people and some people with little ones).
Children are too important to me to be left out. I teach little kids and I think my favorite part of a wedding is when the ring bearer or flowergirl abandons his/her job. Those imperfections are what makes a wedding perfect in my eyes .. haha. At any given family event I’m going to be running around playing with the little ones, not chit chatting with the adults
We can budget for everyone to come, I just didn’t want to go outside of what my family has already graciously given me.
My family and my fiance’s family say they don’t think we will have over 225, but I am just second guessing everything.
This guest list has probably been the worst part of planning. We just both come from very close knit families.
Post # 7
@bestwishes: I agree that kids are one of the best parts of a wedding! I adore having them. Does your venue/caterer charge for small children? Ours doesn’t, kids 6 and under eat for no cost so they don’t actually add anything to the budget, we just have to make sure there’s enough seats for them.
I stressed about the guest list a lot because there actually wasn’t enough room at the venue if everyone came! (stupid, I know, but we underestimated our guest list when we booked the venue). It has turned out okay, but if I had to do it over I wouldn’t have invited less people, I would have gotten a bigger space (and actually invited more people! There were probably 20 we didn’t invite because of the space issue).
You are doing the ceremony/reception late enough that you could do appetizers & cocktails instead of a full dinner, to save the budget. One of my favorite weddings ever was a cokctail reception, so I highly encourage it.
Post # 8
The “industry standard” says 20% will decline. While that’s a guide and not a hard and fast rule, it could be a starting point for you.
We invited almost 300 and had an almost 30% “no” rate. We ended up extending some casual invites because we were actually below what we’d wanted to be in terms of size.
You’re a summer bride like I was; a lot of our guests couldn’t come due to vacations.
Post # 9
P.S. I agree that it’s not unreasonable to think that 225 would come. It could end up surprising you, but that seems a pretty conservative guess. My understanding is that larger weddings have a higher attrition rate.
Post # 10
We only had about a 66% acceptance rate, but we also had a LOT of guests from out of town, out of state, or out of country.