(Closed) space for 280. guest list of 370!!!?

posted 10 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
596 posts
Busy bee

i would not count on 90 people to RSVP no.  the decline rate really varies depending on what day of the week and time of year the wedding will be, how many guests are from Out of Town, how close you are with your extended family, how financially comfortable your Out of Town guests are that they can make a trip out for your wedding, etc.  

i think it’s very risky to plan for a 25% decline rate.  what would you do if everyone rsvp’ed yes?  it seems like your only options are to find a bigger venue or cut your guestlist.  also, some people may perceive it to be a bit gift grabby, if you are counting on 90 people to decline. 

Post # 5
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

with 250 invitees being local, you should assume a high attendance rate – to be safe you should assume 10% decline.  which means 225 show up and you only have room for 60 of your fiance’s 120.  Honestly you need a better plan than hoping 90 don’t show up – invite less people or find a new venue.

Post # 8
248 posts
Helper bee

It sounds like you still need to invite less people or find a venue that holds at least the number of people you are inviting. Why would you want to send invites and hope some people decline? If they are not that important for you to really want them at your wedding, then I’m wondering why they are all on your guest list at all?? If they ARE important to you, then why in the world wouldn’t you want a venue that would hold all who hopefully will come and not have to stick some out on the lawn??

Your postings make me think your choice of venue is more important to you than finding a place that comfortably holds all the guests on your list…but maybe I’m just missing something.

Post # 9
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

You have got to cut people from both your lists, but it sounds like you have the most to cute. You can’t expect to stay with your number if you’ve inviting 250 for a space that fits 280. Is the venue or are your guests more important to y’all? You are going to be packed in at 280 I assume, because max numbers are almost always tight.

Post # 10
133 posts
Blushing bee

Since you have no idea how many Dallas people will really attend a Friday night wedding or how many Nashville people will be able to pay for airfare/hotel in this economy, about doing "A" and "B" lists?

Here’s an example of how this might work… 

The A list goes out March 25 with an RSVP date 5 weeks in advance (April 25). These invites go to your fiance’s top 100 Nashville residents, your top 100 Dallas residents and 50 joint friends. These are the 250 guests that you are closest to and who are most likely to attend. By mid-April or so, you should have a good idea of what the acceptance rate is for your nearest and dearest.

Then, the B list invitations go out starting April 25, until May 1 or so (because you know there are going to be some straggling RSVPers on your A list). If everyone on the A list accepted, you have 30 additional spaces. Since these folks are less close, you can assume maybe a 15% decline rate on the B list to be conservative.

If 100% of the A list people accept (250), then you can place up to 35 additional people on your B list (est ~30 will accept).

If 90% of the A list people accept (225), then you can place up to 64 additional people on your B list (est ~55 will accept)

If 80% of the A list people accept (200), then you can place up to 95 additional people on your B list (est ~80 will accept)

I hope this makes sense, but I think this is the best way to do it given how many unknowns there are and the importance of meeting your target number.

Post # 13
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

why not just have two waves of invites?  see how many rsvp no, then send the 2nd batch.

Post # 14
133 posts
Blushing bee

These numbers are just an illustration of how to use the "A" and "B" lists. It seems that you and your fiance and your families have separate social groups and that you wanted to keep the guest list fairly even between the two "sides".

 For the people who HAVE to show up i.e. you, your siblings, your parents, your bridal party, you could put them on any list that seems appropriate. But if you’re trying to keep the "sides" fairly even, I’d put your parents/ siblings on your list and his parents/ siblings on his list. The bridal party members could go on the joint list if they know both of you well or on your list or his list if they only know one of you.

Rereading this, it sounds like I came up with something super-complicated and anal, but it seems like a priority for you all to keep the sides fairly even. If it’s too much, you could drop the different "sides" thing and just do an "A" and "B" list.

Post # 15
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

If you really want to divide up the briday party, it seems obvious that the bridesmaids and their families go on your list, while the groomsmen and their families go on his list.  However, I don’t know that you need to make the lists that way.  We didn’t make his-and-her lists.  We made an initial list of the people who absolutely had to be there (our immediate families, godparents, the pastor and his wife, a few of our very closest and oldest friends).  Then we made a list of the people that we should invite (aunts and uncles, the cousins we are closest to, and good friends including good friends of the family).  Then we made a list of everyone that it would be nice to have there (our parents’ friends that we really don’t know very well, a few of the people we work with, cousins that we don’t see much, more casual friends).  That way, even though our lists were quite uneven as far as the numbers went (my family is much larger, he has quite a few more local friends, since he has lived here longer) we made sure that the most important people were invited.

I’m assuming that your list is longer at least in part because you’re inviting friends of your parents, extended family, and friends that you probably wouldn’t invite if you had to ask them to travel (or who wouldn’t come if they had to travel).  The local list can get out of hand easily if you let it.  However, the local list is a good place to start with your "B List" because those people can decide much closer to the wedding whether or not they are going to attend – they don’t have to buy plane tickets, or make hotel reservations.  If some of them get their invitations a few weeks later than the folks from out of town, it shouldn’t make a big difference to them.

I’m not sure how much difference having the wedding the weekend after the holiday will make.  We had ours the weekend after the 4th of July, and had fewer people decline than we had thought.  Your wedding being on Friday night might make it harder for people to travel, but our family and close friends who had to travel all showed up on Wednesday or Thursday for our Saturday wedding, so you can’t really assume that will make a difference. 

Post # 16
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I think suzanno is right!  You really need to combine your lists together and cut from there.  I agree that parents’ friends could be on the "B list" if they are people who probably wouldn’t travel if your wedding was Out of Town.  You are either going to have to settle with cutting back as much as possible or finding a new venue.  It seems like a new venue is out of the question, right?  If so, then stick with the A and B lists.  Maybe you could have a BBQ/picnic type thing for uninvited local family friends after your wedding?  A friend of my family did this and it was very nice to be able to congratulate the bride and groom in a more casual setting.

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