(Closed) US Destination – what percentage will come?

posted 6 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
5544 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

I think you need to be prepared to have everyone you invite show up. It may be unlikely but Houston is only two hours away from Austin and so the friends may surprise you and make the trip. 

Post # 4
2555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

No, it isn’t reasonable. Why is the list so big? I would try really hard to cut some people

Post # 6
5001 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

That’s a pretty high percentage. Our guest list has about 40% Out of Town guests and we invited 155 to get 120. I think you need to ask your mom to cut down her list a bit and really look over yours, I’m sure you can get it down to 220 (that’s what I would do if I wanted 180). Do you have a lot of +1’s? Kids? 

Post # 7
4495 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I think it is possible for a lot of your guests to come. We are kind of in the same boat – located in PA and ALL of FI’s family is in the midwest, our close friends are in Austin (we went to college there), and my relatives are all over the place. We are getting married in York, Pa, where we live and so far everyone is RSVPing yes and planning to come. I’ve had only one decline.

I think giving proper notice is key to getting everyone to come. We sent invites out last month for our October wedding!! This might sound awful, but maybe if you send certain invites out later those people would be less inclined to travel? Haha, gosh that sounds terrible but I think it might work…

Austin will be gorgeous for a wedding!!! Jealous!

Post # 8
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Okay, others will tell you that you shouldn’t invite more than you can accommodate, and you DO need to have a backup plan in case everyone accepts, but the reality is that the chances are SO remote – you really have to go through your guest list line by line and do a realistic estimate of who you think will come. You’re the only people who can guess on something like that.

So, here’s my story. We have family in one end of the state, friends in the other end of the state (6 hours away), we live in the middle of the state, and then we picked a 4th neutral city as our wedding location. It is about a 3 – 4 hour drive for about 60% of our guest list, and then the other 40% is a lot of out of state people, anywhere from 3 hours to 30 hours drive.

So 100% of our guests are from out of town.

I invited 255. 50 of those were +1’s. I did the math 100 ways to Sunday and KEPT landing at between 140 – 160 coming. There were just certain people I KNEW weren’t coming – my great aunt who is in a nursing home halfway across the country, and she certainly wasn’t bringing a +1. But she counted in my overall guest list. That sort of thing.

We ended up at 120 accepting, so even a little lower than I planned. I was pretty correct on my guesses, I just counted a few too many people as bringing +1’s.

Here’s how it shook out:

His guests (mostly all in-state between 2 – 4 hours): 70% yes, 30% no

My guests (much more split, about 40% in state, 60% out of state): 50% yes, 50% no

I hope that helps. I DID have a crazy backup plan in case everyone accepted (doing the ceremony with people seated at the reception tables), but it is just ridiculous to build your main plan around that if you have a huge amount of people that are out of town. Only you know your guest list and their likelihood to travel. People who have a large percent of their guest lists in town really can’t relate to this situation, in my opinion, and don’t give realistic advice.  

It also depends on the location – is it a destination that is easy to get to and/or somewhere people would want to vacation? If yes, your accept rate will be higher. Ours is a smaller midwest town that requires flying into a major city and then a couple hour drive, or doing a small connecting flight. So it isn’t particularly easy to get to, and it isn’t somewhere people would turn into a vacation, I know that lowered our acceptance rate. How expensive the area is can factor into it as well.

Most of our No RSVPs came right before the RSVP deadline or after it – acceptance was much higher in the beginning than later on in the RSVP process. Up until about 3 days before the RSVP deadline, I still thought we’d be coming in over the 140 number. And, people change their RSVPs as the event gets closer, so I caution you on having people RSVP too early – DO let them know the date early (a very detailed save the date), but I wouldn’t make the RSVP date more than 5 – 6 weeks in advance.

Post # 9
2555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I would definitely start cutting your mom’s friends. They did what they did out of goodness in their hearts and not to get a wedding invitation. I’m sure they won’t be offended, and if anybody asks you can just say that because you guys have so manyf riends and such a big family, you’re trying to keep numbers down.

Post # 10
268 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

My fiance and I both live in PA, as do most of our family and friends. We are having a Destination Wedding in Orlando: invited 193 (some courtesy invites) and 115 are attending.

That’s about 59% acceptance. I was shocked… I assumed we’d have 80 people max! 

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