Post # 1
We are planning on sending out our Save-The-Date Cards soon and that led to requesting everyone’s lists. Let’s just say there’s some drama on the numbers (guess I’m glad we are doing this now and not right before the invites go out!)
Ideally we want to pay for a reception for 175 people. Our venue has a food and bev minimim that equals to about 170 people. We are trying to figure out how many should be on the invite list. My parents have generously offered to pay for a lot of that reception and my Fiance and I are covering the other wedding expenses so a few extra heads will be a bit hard to swallow.
To give you a little background our wedding is in October and the vast majority of our guests are local – probably only about 15 (plus guests) out of state. We do have a few elderly people or family members that we haven’t seen in awhile.
Right now our initial list is 215 which I think is way too high. I thought more around 200 but is that still too high? Any guestimate of how many we should invite? Did you have a “B” list? Thanks!
P.S. for some reason I can’t post this to Invitations so I had to put it in Etiquette..
Post # 3
I am sorry I have no useful advice, but on that note though, I am in the same exact boat! I want about 175 and have around 220 people which I think is too high, so I’m curious about that magic number as well! 🙂
Post # 4
I’ve seen a lot of guidelines that say somewhere between 10% and 15% say no. I think 200 will probably be okay, but remember, if you’re sending out Save-The-Date Cards to 200, chances are you’ll have a handful of people you’ll want to invite in October because you have 8 months to grow closer to them. I’d aim for maybe 190?
Post # 5
I wish I could help I’m in the same boat. My ideal number would be more like 150 but our guest list is already around 250, and like HappyJax most of our guests are in town and those that are out of town are family so they’ll definitely come.
Post # 6
Oh and we invited 185 (including 10 relatives I KNEW would not travel), had 140 attend. I’d say about 80% of our guests were locals. And we did not do a B list.
Post # 7
My Grandma told me to plan for 2/3 of local guests and 1/3 – 1/2 of out-of-towners. I’m not sure where she got these numbers from, but she did plan the weddings of 5 daughters… But, our “local” guests include a lot of extended family members–people who might not come even if they’re in town that weekend and not busy, you know?
My coworker is having a much smaller wedding than ours, and she’s estimating that 95% of their locals will be there. I guess because they’re keeping their guest list to just their closest friends and family, they feel that it’s more likely that they’ll almost all be there. I think that makes sense.
For us, we just went through our initial master guest list and tried to guess whether each particular guest would come and how many would be in their party (e.g., “can we really see this person coming?” “these people would never miss our wedding, and they always bring their four kids to everything, so they’ll definitely be there as a party of 6,” etc.). In the end, I feel like we came up with a pretty realistic list–if some people can’t make it that we thought would come, I am sure there will be some others that we didn’t think would show that will actually attend.
Post # 8
They always say that about 20-30% won’t come. But, don’t bank of certain people not showing because those are always the onces that surprise you when the RSVP comes and they’re attending. I’m sure you’ll be fine if you have 185 on the list. You may need to do a B list, keeping all of the ‘absolutely must be invited’ people on that list and going to the alternates if several of those guests can’t attend. Is that something you’d be able to do? Or are all the people on the list mandetory? That’s basically our plan. We only want 130 to come to our wedding and we have 200 people on our list, yikes. Luckily, 2/3’s are out of towners… and a lot of obligatory invites (who should know better than to come! lol).
Post # 9
I was told to invite no more than what your venue and budget would hold. So if you can afford 175 guests, then only invite 175 guest. That way if less show up, you will have a little room in your budget to save, not spend or whatever.
Our venue will hold 250, our guest list right now is at 330, so I am sadly going to cut my list to 250. Our budget can work with 250, so we are sticking with that number, knowing some might not show, but knowing that we can at least afford the number of guests we invited. My luck we invite 330 and all attend. So I am just going to stick w/ the 250 number.
Post # 10
There is no magic number or percentage. Be prepared for 100% of your guest list to attend. It has happened to lots of other people where they only anticipate 2/3-3/4 to attend and thus only order food for that many, have that many tables/chairs, etc and they are in a pickle because more people attend than they expected. You won’t know anything for certain until people start rsvping and folks whom you think won’t attend due to travel, etc will surprise you and you have to be completely prepared for that instead of making assumptions based on bogus percentages.
Post # 11
Thanks for all the input ladies! I would just hate to only invite 175 and then have a bunch not show up and I’m still paying to feed 170. I hate f&b minimums!
Post # 12
@jennifer espos – We could probably do a B list – keeping our mandatory list closer to 175. We could send the invites out early in hopes we get RSVPs early in order to invite more people if we get a lot of no’s
Post # 13
We’re inviting 165 (about half OOT), hoping for 140, and would be maxed out at 150. We have about 15 more people on the B list, too— and I would love to invite some of them.
Our semi-solution for right now is sending out invites fairly early (three months out), and having an early response date (one month out). I figure if we get enough “no” responses early in the game, we’ll be able to invite at least a few without it being super obvious that they were B listers.
Post # 14
here’s our strategy–i have a really obsessively color-coded guestlist. we’ve shaded people in gray that are on our “maybe” list, and shaded people in red who we doubt will come. i know it’s risky to assume someone won’t come, but we found going through it guest by guest helped us prioritize and get a sense of the “magic number” for our people…we’re pretty sure there are at least 30 people who will say no (like great-aunts who don’t travel anymore and family friends who have already said they can’t come because they will be overseas), which is ~15% of our list. we’re getting ready to send out save the dates soon too, and are debating whether we send them out to everyone or what…
Post # 15
I think 200 sounds pretty safe. We’re invited about 185-190 and hoping for 140-150.
Post # 16
Only send STD’s to people who HAVE to get an invitation then. Like family members and very close lifetime friends. NO coworkers, or distant relatives (if you are allowed to cut them out).
Personally, I am at 204 right now and would be most comfortable with 180. But there are two graduations in our families which knocks out 9 people automatically and a ton of very distant relatives who my sister invited to her wedding and they didn’t even respond to the invitation. So I can pretty much count on about 20-30 people saying no. We also now have so many pregnant guests from Out of Town, that will surely cut the list down a bit. People will surprise you though, so just be prepared.