(Closed) What to Do? I picked a bad RSVP by date!

posted 4 years ago in Guests
Post # 2
4227 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

All you can really do is bust out the phonebook and start calling around. If you honestly and calmly explain your error people wont get upset having to make the decison a little early 🙂

Post # 3
3327 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Right now you only need soft #s.

# of invites you sent minus the # of NOs you got back.

Then you’ll get your firm numbers later.


eta – I’d not bother calling people, the RSVP deadline is still 2weeks away. Just let the venue know that these are soft numbers to give them an idea, but you will confirm with them the exact number closer to the date.

Post # 4
1167 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I would call your venue and have them verify if they actually need a hard number a month out.  Usually, venues need hard numbers a week or less out.  They need a good estimate a few weeks out, but nothing hard or confirmed until about a week out usually. 

Post # 5
355 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

View original reply
octoberbride929 :  estimate 200. it’s a lot easier for your venue to just not set up as many tables and chairs day-of than it is for them to try to get last minute rentals. give them the max number you might have to make sure all of your bases are covered.

Post # 6
1009 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: The Retreat at Bradley\'s Pond

How many people have you invited… you say you’re anticipating 200 but did you invite 220? THere are calculators online that suggest the larger the party the larger % that don’t come (that sounds hateful but hear me out). 

We invited 120 and had about 95 show up- 80% retention. But like you said- it’s quick to have that mostly be immediate family, bridal party and dates. Almost 40 of our 95 guests were invited to the rehearsal.

Some will say that with parties of 175 and higher you can anticipate 60-75% show up from your list. Even less if it’s destination. 

Just check your contract if they are wanting soft numbers and when you owe them hard numbers and what you will be charged for and clarify with the person planning that you’re working with. 

Otherwise, you don’t want to really start calling your guests and put them in an awkard spot if they’re still determining travel plans. 

Post # 8
1009 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: The Retreat at Bradley\'s Pond

I guess look at those families and where they are at and you’re closeness with them? We had friends who had 1 parent and 1 adult come, when the other parent/child stayed home sick (invited 4). You never really know how people will combo it up. I think if the guys weren’t so close they may not have made the huge trip from Va to Fl with a kid. 

Plus, people will bail the week or two before for other reasons (work/health/etc). Don’t get annoyed just keeping moving forward. Life happens! 

Best advice is plan for this and whatever your hard number is that you plan to give your caterer/venue 2 weeks out (or week)… cut out a % of people. We did and just about nailed it. Otherwise if you don’t plan you could spend hundreds in food for guests that won’t show up. 

I don’t say any of this negatively like you (or any of us aren’t popular enough for our guests)… I say it to help financially plan and logistically anticipate for plan B. You’ve got it- the end of the tunnel is around the corner! 🙂


Post # 9
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

It will be easier for you to reduce the numbers of tables and chairs then to add them. Probably the venue doesn’t actually need 1 month to correct the order. On Tuesday assume everyone you haven’t heard a decline from is coming, and give your venue that number. On your actual RSVP date call the venue with the lower number and just apologize to the venue. The worst that could happen is they will charge you a small fee for canceling chairs. More likely they will say “ok no problem!” 

Post # 10
1155 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

We are also 10/28/16, and our venue doesn’t need hard numbers til 10 days out. I agree with PP, maybe call them and see if you can give more of a soft number now, and just get right on calling those who haven’t turned their cards in by 10/7 and maybe you can get them a more definite number on 10/10 or 10/14? That’s still 14+ days out, should be plenty of time. 

Post # 11
586 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

View original reply
octoberbride929 :  I know the 300 includes children, but is there a specific reason to think 1/3 of your guests will decline? We only had about a 5% decline rate (we really seriously thought it would be closer to 20%). Ours included people who told us they couldn’t come verbally, but then RSVP’d yes later.

I agree with the previous poster(s), I would first call the venue and see if 1 month out is a hard date for them. Our caterer originally told us they needed our numbers 1 month out, but once we got closer to the date they told us they really only needed it 2 weeks out. If they really do need it 1 month out, I agree with the other poster that said you should assume every one who has not RSVP’d is a “yes” and go from there. 

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