Post # 1
So the major stress point for me (and I’m sure every other bride) is the guest list.
We currently have 320 on the guest list and my venue only seats 300 max (very tight). I am really hoping that we have 250-275 people attend.
Half of our guests are going to be coming from Chicago (roughly 160 people) and it’s a three hour drive. We also aren’t inviting children, so I assume that will eliminate some people. I know realistically people say 10-20% decline, but my concern is – if I send save the dates, will that drastically change the response rate?
My mom is a wedding florist and she was talking to a bride who was upset that their attending response rate was 95%. She said that she thought it was so high because they sent out save the dates.
Did you send save the dates? If so, what was the “yes, attending” response rate?
Post # 3
I’m not sending Save-The-Date Cards, but I know majority of our guests will be attending since it’s an intimate backyard wedding. How many people do you plan to invite? Is there no way to cut?
Post # 4
I would only send Save-The-Date Cards to the VIPs, and definitely do not send them to over 300 people. Remember, some people may enter into relationships in the next year, so budget for extra plus ones.
You don’t know who you’ll want to really invite come next March/April, so don’t send Save-The-Date Cards to casual friends, co-workers, etc. unless you’re willing to invite them even if your relationship changes.
Post # 5
Thanks for the input!
@Rouquine: There isn’t really any room to cut- We both have huge families and we’ve only invited close friends and family. Yes, there are family members I would like to cut, but I’ll never, ever hear the end of it.
@MidwestBride2012: That’s a good idea! Fiance’s friends and cousins are all single, but I’ve counted them with a +1 for now. While I want them to all find someone and be happy, I’m hoping that because it’ll be an out of town wedding for them, they’ll only bring serious relationships.
Post # 6
I’m interested in knowing more about this issue as well. My wedding is on a holiday weekend so I feel as though Save-The-Date Cards are necessary in my case to let guests know they don’t need to be making plans on my date if they want to come. I want 75-80 guests max.
Post # 7
yeah I was gonna suggest only send the STD to people you are dying to see. Like family and close friends…anyone else, make sure you figure out your VIP guest count then decide on who else to invite. Its easy to invite someone before you hand out invites, but almost impossible to un-invite someone after STD.
anyone else, its still okay if they didn’t get STD.
I was trying to avoid people finding out A-list or B-list (in case I had one) so I did the save the date online on my website. So whoever get access to the site will see the page as STD but don’t know when I set it up. 🙂
Post # 8
We sent Save-The-Date Cards to family and the bridal party. We didn’t want to send them to everyone because we were having some drama with our guest list and we didn’t want to complicate it more.
If I was you, I’d send them to the people you are absolutely most definitely inviting. You never know what could happen between now and when you send your formal invites out and you don’t want to cause yourself more stress!
Post # 9
Whatever you do, don’t invite more people than your space can hold. NEVER count on anything but a 100% acceptance rate. I’ve seen way too many Bees a week before their wedding with more guests than they can afford or that can fit in the space.
Post # 10
I did not send save-the-dates, and I had a holiday-weekend, semi-destination wedding (1.5 hours away from most guests, three-to-four hours away from most of the others, and quite far away from the rest), and I had about a 71 percent acceptance rate. However, that rate is based on the acceptances from BOTH my A and B lists invitations.
Post # 11
I sent out Save-The-Date Cards and we are looking at 70 – 80% acceptance rate at this point and ours are due in about two weeks. The ones that are declining have a variety of reasons, including budget (still can’t afford it after 6 months) to schedule conflicts (especially common in high season). Some fully intended on coming when the Save-The-Date Cards came out but things happen. We had friends with a small Destination Wedding (expensive resort town + high season) and they sent out invitations about 6 months prior (rather than doing STDs) and they had about 60% attending with the majority being close/immediate family.
The no children thing will help as we are doing a no-children wedding and some couples are leaving one spouse at home (the less familiar one) to watch the kids and some opted to not come altogether. The local ones tended to send one spouse whereas the non-locals tended to just decline altogether.
Not to be a buzzkill, but apparently the age of your attendees can be a factor too. We had a few bow out because of age-related illnesses/surgeries (like 65+ year old people). They fully intended on coming when Save-The-Date Cards were delivered but in the span between the Save-The-Date Cards and the invitations, things came up.
Post # 12
We sent out Save-The-Date Cards to everyone except FI’s co-workers since that can change. i.e. some got let go, etc.
Out of the 240 we invited 170 showed up. Granted 40 were from out of the country and we did not expect them to attend. As the no’s came in that gave us some wiggle room to invite people we wanted to but did not include originally i.e. childhood friend’s parents, co-workers, random distant cousin, and guests for some of the people in relationships but not serious.
Post # 13
Thanks everyone! You’ve given me some great ideas!
I think I might just go with parents (obviously), grandparents, aunt & uncles, cousins and the wedding party. That way, the A list is pretty obvious and not offensive. 🙂
And let’s face it – our friends that we want there, that are not in the wedding party already know the date.
Post # 14
We didn’t send save-the-dates and we sent our invitations in March for our wedding in May. Almost everyone showed up.
We did have a very small guest list though, with only people very close to us…we invited forty-couple people, and had about 35 show. For larger guests lists, I’m sure there will be more people that aren’t able to make it.
Post # 15
sounds like a good plan… i am interested in this too b/c i would LOVE a 70-80% acceptance rate!!
definitely dont invite/send Save-The-Date Cards to more than the venue can hold! that is a recipe for disaster, especially since as another bee pointed out, situations change over time and there may be additional guests/+1’s to be added