(Closed) What % over my desired number am I supposed to invite?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
572 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

There is no hard, fast rule for this!

I would not invite more than you can hold, your budget will allow.  You will find yourself in a pickle real fast!

Send invites to those you want to invite and announcements to others who didn’t make the list. 


Post # 4
5823 posts
Bee Keeper

I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to invite more than your venue can hold.  If you have people who didn’t “make the cut” you should just have an A List and a B List.  If anyone from the A List RSVPs no, then you can send out a B List invite.

Post # 6
185 posts
Blushing bee

I’ve heard 80% as an average rule of thumb.  However, it depends on so many things – how many out of town guests, their willingness to travel, etc.  What I did was take our guest list and see how many people I thought would come.  Maybe make 3 groups… coming for sure, probably coming and no way they are coming.  Another issue is +1s… do you have a lot of them?  I feel like those could go either way.  Most of my friends are already married, but my Fiance has a lot of single friends… and whether or not they bring a guest will be another xfactor.  It is tough to estimate, but I think only about 50% of my guest list will come, but Fiance thinks 90% of his will come (more are local, etc.).  I know this is not really helping, but it depends on so many factors!

ETA:  We are inviting 180 (90 each side) and expecting around 125 (but this is becuase I know only about half my list will attend).  But, if worse comes to worse, we can afford and our venue can hold more.  So that helps with the nerves a little:)

Post # 8
1701 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Most caterers, etc. will tell you to expect about 80% to show.  I haven’t sent out invites yet, but based on verbal responses, I could be in trouble.  I wouldn’t go to far beyond what your capacity is and b-list where possible.  I may be sorry I didn’t take my own advice!

Post # 9
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

i wouldn’t invite more than your venue can hold unless some people on the list you know for SURE won’t attend. If it were me I would just stress about everyone attending and getting kicked out of my venue for capacity or something

Post # 10
2703 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

we didn’t plan on it, but we ended up inviting 250 (our venue max is 220)… luckily we’re looking good right now at 183 yes’s… with only 20 or so that we are waiting on…

i def wouldnt suggest inviting what we did… we just got lucky… and it was a pain to have to make up different menus and etc… after we finalized our invite number.

Post # 11
204 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I also would go by the 80% rule, although in my own personal experience, we had approx. 75% acceptance rate.

Also, I had a friend that only had ONE person decline out of all 300 of her invited guests. So she was really glad she only invited as many people as the venue could hold. Just something to think about!

Post # 12
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree it’s risky. But we only had slightly more than a 50% acceptance rate, so I totally could have invited more people. Ours was so low b/c we sent out a lot of ‘obligation’ invites to distant family and friends who obviously didn’t even respond to teh invitation.

Post # 13
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think 15% is safe. Is anyone allowed to bring a +1. We allowed all of our guests to bring a guests and everyone thanked up but decided not to. If you count the plus ones we had 25% decline and if you only count the guests themselves we wera at 15%. Sometimes you can even go through your guests list and sort of see who is a courtesy invite. Also, I really don’t believe ina  list A and list B. I would definetely not go and be very hurt if I ever found out I was on a list B.

Post # 13
695 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’ve also heard that you should expect an 80% acceptance rate. That said, we’ll probably only invite a few people over what our venue can hold because I have tons of local family who will probably all be able to come. I am planning to use an A/B list so that I can invite some extra friends and more distant family if our closest family/friends decline. I feel guilty about it, but it’s the only safe way to go if we don’t want to go over.

Post # 14
4485 posts
Honey bee

You would be amazed at the number of brides who have said that they had 100% turnout when everyone was telling them to only expect 2/3 to show up. Always work with the assumption that every guest invited will be attending. Otherwise you set yourself up for disaster with not having enough seating, etc.

If you only want 100 guests and that is your venue capacity, only invite 100 people.

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