RVSP number for caterer?

posted 2 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
3116 posts
Sugar bee

Have you asked your caterer if they have a formula they like to use?  

I’m also worried about the fact I’m positive we’ll have a few guests flake out the day of the wedding and decide not to show up. I’ve asked our caterer if there is a way uneaten meals can be donated to a local soup kitchen, or at least if her staff would like to package them up and take them home, so the food isn’t wasted.  Doesn’t help with the financial angle, though. 

And yikes, 50 no-shows? How many guests were you expecting?

Post # 4
14158 posts
Honey Beekeeper

That’s unbelievable that so many people no showed your first wedding. There’s no excuse. Children invited to a birthday party know better. I highly doubt anything close to that will happen this time.

Commonly, caterers will allow you to undercount your final guaranteed number by a handful, and will add back last minute if everyone shows up with no penalty. But if you guarantee for all your RSVPs and have no shows, then you are obligated to pay for them all. Check with your venue. 

Post # 5
4905 posts
Honey bee

Why do you associate with such rude people in the first place?

Will no shows happen?  Sure.  Someone gets sick last minute or has a family emergency or car trouble or just plain forgot.  But I’ve never thrown an event with more than a 1% no-show rate (usually much much less than 1% and in many cases zero no shows).  People generally don’t say yes if they aren’t really intending to attend.

You should expect that people who say yes are going to show up.  Otherwise why are you bothering to gather rsvp information in the first place?  Caterers usually only budget in about an extra 5-10% accounting for things like dropped plates, or unexpected guests (like someone who said no and suddenly their plans changed).  They are generally pretty good at estimates and not creating waste if you keep them apprised.

Post # 6
2009 posts
Buzzing bee

We had 2 no shows on the day of the wedding. We had 2 people drop out before the wedding and right after I submitted final numbers (🙄) 3 days before the wedding. That was it. We had 180 people. 

I would account for everyone showing up as if they do, you don’t want to be short food. I’d always rather have too much than too little. 

Post # 7
4412 posts
Honey bee

50 no shows?!?  That’s ridiculous!

That is definitely not the norm and I doubt caterers can accommodate that amount of no shows.  Sorry that you dealt with such rude people!

Post # 8
10046 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I think this is one instance where you just have to bite the bullet and pay for the full amount of people.

50 no shows is definitely excessive and not the norm.

I think we had like…6 maybe?

Post # 9
7997 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I had zero no-shows, my sister had more people than RSVP’d show up! Talk to you caterer and explain your concerns. I believe you really do have to be prepared that everyone who said they would attend will attend. 

Post # 10
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

I only had two people no-show at my first wedding (120 people total). I’d give the caterer the real number, just to be safe.

Post # 11
1521 posts
Bumble bee

Wow, 50 no shows is a lot. Do you know why that happened? Was your rsvp date super early? We actually had MORE ppl show up than rsvpd. It was annoying given that several had clearly rsvpd no.

Post # 12
57 posts
Worker bee

View original reply
snpmarin :  I doubt your caterer will allow you to undercut your numbers.  Most caterers do the exact opposite and make a few extras of each meal since so many people forget what they RSVP for (even if you, the host, know and have it noted on their placecard, guests change their mind and the ask the server to bring the chicken instead of the fish they RSVPed for).

Hopefully you’re not inviting the same guests from your first wedding, because having 50 no shows is extremely high and indicative of a larger issue.

Post # 13
1383 posts
Bumble bee

I think we had maybe 5 no shows. Not 50 that’s crazy!

Post # 14
232 posts
Helper bee

We didn’t have any no shows or anyone flake out after rsvping. Everyone said we would but everyone showed up day of.

Post # 15
2498 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

50 no shows? that’s crazy. I think we had like 2 no shows….and we ended up having 1 person show up that we never got an RSVP from.

That said, we gave our caterer the correct # of RSVP’s. It’s not your caterer’s fault if people no show, and you should be prepared for everyone who RSVP’d yes to show up. 

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