Post # 1
Fiance and I both wanted small. We both have large families. We don’t have the money for large. We agreed on a guest list of about 60. We decided to get married ‘away’ to try to limit the guestlist some. I also wanted to do it on a Sunday or Thursday to try to limit further.
Ok, so we thought decline rate might be a little high since guests are mostly located a 10 hour drive away for one city and 17 hours for another. The people from 3 hours away we know are likely to drive in. Most of our guests live in one of these 3 cities. However, I WARNED him not to automatically assume tons of people won’t come.
We agreed to invite about 90-100 figuring that would get us around 60. Then it went to 115. Okay. Now, I’m doing invitations and Fiance adds 11 invites which total 25 people. I add 2 invites; 3 people. So now we’re at 143 people (which is really 149 including Fiance, me, and our (his 2, my 2) kids).
He really believes we’ll still have around 50-60 people. I am scared sh*tless that we’re going to have a ton of people that a) we have no space for and b) we CANNOT afford to pay for. I offered an A list/B list alternative which he doesn’t like. I don’t know what to do. I tried explaining it but he really, really thinks that only 17 of his 70 will show. Man thinking!?!? bleh.
So, we run through (twice) and come up with:
Expected “yes’s” – 50
Maybe’s – 53
Expected “no’s” – 40
I once read a formula thing…but I’m not sure. Something like, expect 85% of your “yes’s”, 50% of “maybe’s” and 10% of “no’s”. Does that make sense? Does anyone have insight?
Post # 3
I’m sorry to say but I think there is a high chance you will have over 100 people reply yes, especially if the engagement is even mildly long. I would strongly suggest looking at cutting your costs elsewhere if the guest list is unavoidable. A lunch reception? An off the beaten path venue? LOTS of DIY?
In my experience, when I tried to cut the budget I did not skim at all the little things but rather went at the big ones with an axe. I’m talking dress, venue, flowers, and food; rings and honeymoon can sometimes apply here too. We’re having a 80 person wedding for under $5000. It’s definitely possible.
Post # 4
I have never heard of that formula before. If a lot of people have to travel for the wedding, you might be able to expect that they could decline. But you might end up getting more than you think also. We invited 100 and only had about 30-40 attendees.
Post # 5
Take it from somebody who had about 40 “definite nos” turn out to be “absolutelys.” Try your hardest not to overdo the guest list based on assumptions that people won’t come. You don’t want to feel a rush of panic and despair every time you open an rsvp envelope and find out someone else is coming. It’s a hell of a way to spend the few weeks before your wedding.
Post # 6
it looks like your date is coming up fairly soon. Did you send out STDs? for the folks who are farther away, they would proably have to get a hotel, take off work etc, and if you didnt send out a STD then they MIGHT end up being a no…. but yeah….
with that many i would think it would put you closer to 100 at the least…unless you are super super sure that most of those folks arent coming.
100 is still small. I am waiting on my RSVPs to start coming in – we are shooting for NO MORE THAN 120 (thats huge for me, but small in our family standards since we have a big family) and we sent out about 153…. heres to hoping people cant get that weekend off…. but not TOO many…. *sigh*
Post # 7
We had so many people who we were sure would never come- people who would have to fly, rent a car, spend money they didn’t have, and were in declining heath- say that not only were they coming, but they wanted to tack on uninvited extras too :-/
Luckily (though sadly!) we had some people who we thought were sure to attend, not be able to. But my word of advice- cut back now if you don’t have the space! We invited 110 and got 75…
Post # 8
Engagement was really short. Proposal in April…Wedding in October. Total budget of around $5K.
Already paid for:
Stationary (STD’s, Invites, Programs)
Most of the decorations
@MissAsB – did a lot of your guests have to travel as well????
Post # 9
@Ms_Charisma: We invited 120 people, knowing that the trek to get to our venue would deter a lot of them. Well, we have our final count in, and it’s 55. Imagine! We really lucked out, and I think you will also. The distance helps a lot.
Post # 10
I would think the Thursday would deter more people. I’ve learned formulas are unreliable (friend called me in hysterics the week before her wedding once – took me about ten minutes to figure out they were 10 over!) Cut now – or, if your Fiance is so adamant, then he needs to make and pay for contingency plans and if he is not willing to do that, sorry!
Post # 11
Aw man, I need rsvp stats like yours leoposting!! Sheesh.
Another question…we listed a rsvp date of 8/15 (we have to give initial numbers 30 days out). I did so figuring there’d be stragglers and we’d have a good count by 9/1 (when we need it). Good idea??
I *know* fitzly! Its so not an instance where I want to think “told ya so” but…
Post # 12
Oh wow, I hope it works out! I have no insight really. Or at least any positive insight. I know that several of the people we thought wouldn’t come, did in fact come. And, there are always a few no shows (jerks). I know, how helpful is that? I really think he needs to come to terms with having to cut down the list!
Post # 13
What was your final acceptance/decline rate Jennifer??
Ooooooh. The no shows will really tick me off. I don’t care if you can’t make it…well, for some people, I do…but at least have the decency to actually decline.
Post # 14
We’re going for bigger than you are and we invited 252 and have 140 coming. And 90%+ of our guests are Out of Town. You’ll be surprised how many people (especially family) will decide to travel for your wedding.
Post # 15
Oh, men! God love ’em but they just don’t get it. They assume everything will work out the way they want it to. There was that great line in “Walk the Line” where Johnny Cash says “I just assumed things would work themselves out” and June says, “Things do not work themselves out. Other people work them out FOR YOU and you think they’ve worked themselves out.”
My experience: I was SOOOOO stressed out waiting (HOPING) for noes because our venue simply could not hold more than 50. The actual number was actually supposed to be 45, but the guy said they could squeeze in 50 if they had to. I didn’t even invite much more than 50, but I was still totally freaking until my final numbers were in (it was close, but we squeaked in).
It might be OK, but I would really hesitate sending out that many invites if you want to/have to keep it to 60. I truly think you will go completely demented waiting for the noes. What people say about coming or not coming before you send the invitations means NOTHING, trust me on this. I would really try to convince your fiance of the value of the B-list, unless he is prepared to arrange for and pay for more guests. Run some numbers if you have to. Like, say to him, “If you’re wrong, this is what it will cost … are you comfortable with that?”
Post # 16
The B list didn’t go over…Cutting the guest list didn’t either.
We’re getting married early – noon – not religious, not overly custom-y, so a short ceremony followed immediately by the reception. Used “refreshments to follow” wording.
So, if we get close to our original number we’ll serve more of a meal & possibly heavy hors d’ouerves. If we get more than anticipated, it’ll be more like “refreshments”…a light snack.