Post # 1
My fiance proposed at a local botanical garden, which also has a breath-taking chapel and several reception halls. We live less than 1 mile away. Sounds like the perfect place for our wedding, right?
Well, the chapel only fits 130 people. We are estimating having 225 invites, and 160 guests (after cutting down the list a LOT!). There’s already been a lot of fighting about who will be invited– 2 years out! My fiance has a lot of friends and a big family, and my mother wants to invite her friends/co-workers.
We’ve toured other venues, and we’ve mentioned them to our family. The botanical gardens is everyone’s favorite, and friends/family are not excited about any of the other options.
My Questions: (1) I’ve heard that anywhere between 40%-90% of “yes” RSVPs is normal. What’s your estimate? (2) Should we book our ideal venue, and worry about the guests later? (3) Has anyone regreted chosing a too-small venue?
Post # 3
If you invite more than you have room for you are really setting yourself up for lots of stress.
Could you split your list into A list and B list invites?
Send out the A list early, when those responses come in, you can start sending out B list invites for those who say no.
Post # 4
The “industry standard” is that 20% of guests will decline. But that’s just a guide, and you certainly can’t count on it. It may be more, but it may also be less.
If it’s your dream venue, I’d suggest making the guest list work to fit the venue, if you’re sure that venue is more important than the guest list.
Post # 5
Typically I would say that your guest list will determine your venue. So, if you have 225 invites, this place is out.
However, if you think you can cut the guest list that much and still have your most important friends and family there, then do that. I would not suggest inviting more than 130 people hoping people will say no. They may not, and you’ll be stuck.
Post # 6
I voted dream venue! That’s what I did.. the location I have always wanted to get married at couldn’t accomodate what I was origionally was going to invite so I cut my list, for every reply I get that cannot come I’ll invite more. I would rather have my dream place then have more people. As long as it can hold all your family and close friends then you’re good to go, so far anyone that I cannot invite understands since I have a smaller venue.
Post # 7
I agree with KatNYC, I’d divide guests into an A list and B list and go for the dream venue.
Post # 8
I say cut down the list!!! Tell your mom no co-workers.. best friends MAYBE. Invite family and important see everyday type of friends first!
Post # 9
I cut from 200 to 160 to 102. I realized that we had people on there that we really did not need on there. After I cut the list the first time I couldn’t even remember who I had cut. You know what that means….. they shouldn’t have been on there to begin with. Also, Fiance and I decided that we would only invite friends who both of us have met. In other words, he has a friend from college whom I have never had the pleasure of meeting, therefore, he is off the list!
Post # 10
@delirium.megans We will have to invite more than the venue will fit because so we know that 90% of my out of town family and won’t come. On top of that, I am in graduate school. So, many of the “local” invites might also be out of town for the summer.
@ella86: Good to hear it’s possible! I wish my fiance would agree to that compromise!
Good news: The office staff told us that the chapel seats 135 comfortably (online it only says 130). Our bridal party will be 12 people, 15 including us and the minister. So, the venue fits 150! It should be perfect!
Thank you all for your input. It made me realize how attached I am to this venue!
Post # 11
I’m glad it worked out.
A & B lists worked well for us and I had to fight to keep my mom from inviteing 30 friends as well, but it was worth it to keep the numbers down. When you look out at everyone, the last thing you want is to see a bunch of strangers.