(Closed) RSVPs early to determine Guest list?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
13095 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

All you can really do is try to guess using your own head who is likely to RSVP yes versus no (but you can’t treat this as fact because people will surprise you).  You really cannot ask people to RSVP until about 8 weeks out at the earliest (and I’d say that is pushing it).

If you can’t afford your whole guest list as it stands, you either need to cut some people or decrease the budget on other things so that you can afford more people.  You really can’t ask for RSVPs early in order to determine your budget.

Post # 4
122 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

You could call and let them know of your engagment if they don’t already. You might be able to get an idea of they would be able to attend. I have heard either myself or my mom has heard about out of town family that will or won’t be able to make it.

Post # 5
1250 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Here is what we did:

-Created a guest list spreadsheet with two columns – number invited, and number expected to attend. We made our best guess about who would come and who wouldn’t, based on how far they’d have to travel, etc.

-Sent out Save the Dates about 8 months before the wedding. We got some “unofficial” RSVPs after that (for example, facebook messages saying “hey, got your STD, I’d love to come but my cousin’s wedding is that day!) We adjusted our spreadsheet accordingly.

-More informal RSVPs came in over time – we also tried to ask family members/friends informally what their plans were.

-We sent out our invitations a little earlier than the norm, and requested RSVPs a little over a month before the wedding. Not everyone complied and got back that early, but it was helpful to hear back that far in advance.


Hope that helps! At the end of the day, you can’t know for sure, but hopefully you can make educated guesses along the way, easing the guest list stress. Good luck!

Post # 6
1051 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

We were able to judge with what I’d say was 90% accuracy on who would & wouldn’t come ie – my KNOW my family COMES to weddings.  They’ll rearrange plans and do what it takes to BE there, so I was able to safely count on 63 FOR SURE.  Fiance was able to ballpark which of his relatives were off the same camp, then we factored in our bridal party and spouses.

Because we are getting married in out homtown, we banked on a lot of our current town friends NOT coming.  To ensure time incase we need to rearrange things etc, we had out RSVP date as May 8 for a July 3 wedding.  It worked for us BUT I can tell you – we got a LOT of very vocal complaints over the early deadline (and I’m sure EVEN MORE behind out back).  One month would have prolly been more acceptable, but we really wanted to make sure our 177 invited were going to be the 120 we anticipated.

Post # 7
3997 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Honestly, what we did was see how many people we’d have to invite.  And we budgeted for that number.  And we picked a site/date based on what we could afford if that many guests were in attendance.  Obviously not all of them were going to show up, but if you plan for the max, the worst that can happen is you have extra money when all is said and done.  There wouldn’t of been anyway to really determine how many people would be showing up, since things can change within 10 + months. 

Post # 8
837 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

My opinion is that you pick your venue based on the number of people you WANT to invite.  If you want to invite 100 people then pick a venue that will accommodate that.  You probably won’t have 100% attendance but you should always plan on it.  You definitely can’t send out invitations now – a year in advance – and save the dates go out at the sixth month mark, so I guess the only thing you can do is ask people…  But I still say pick a venue that works for your number of guests you actually want to invite.  And remember, a lot of people won’t know a year in advance if they can attend.

Post # 9
38 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

We have a target attendance max of 100.  Very early on, we made a list of everyone we thought we would want to invite (everyone!), which surpassed the 100 of course. We moved to a separate column on the spreadsheet those we haven’t seen in a long time or those we felt weren’t our “must invites.” That narrowed the list down to 118. According to all I’ve read, we can expect 50 to 70% to show up but we didn’t feel quite comfortable with that, so we sent out invitations that would total 120 (possible 85% yes). As we receive declines, we will immediately send another invitation to someone off of the second list. Our invitations were mailed this morning – 10 weeks prior to wedding date because our wedding is on a holiday weekend. As of now, I have about 15 to 20 additional guests I would like to invite, but I was unwilling to sacrifice our venue and desire for a more intimate affair to do so.  100 is number and our fingers are crossed not to have 80 or 120!

Post # 10
35 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

I can totally sympathize.  We were very much facing this same dilemma.  Another site I frequent said that a lot of them received informal feedback after they sent out their save-the-dates. 

But we didn’t do save-the-dates so we’ve just had to ballpark it, using our best judgment, plus informal conversations that our family has had with the various guests.

Our RSVP date is 7 weeks before the wedding, and we’re sending the invites out about 14 weeks before the wedding.  Part of the reason we’re justifying this is because nearly everyone on the list will need to buy plane tickets to come down here, so the earlier the better.  But it’s also so we know which rehearsal dinner venue we can choose, how many rentals we need, how many linens to buy, etc.  

But I agree with everyone else that you should have enough money to cover 100% of your invite list.  But I’d also say it’s very unlikely that you’ll have 100% attendance, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it either.  

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