Destination Weddings Discussions

how do you get an idea of how many people will attend DW?

We are trying to figure out how many people we think might be able to go to our destination wedding but it's hard to get a firm number for far out (we will be getting married in 2015).  We need to get a pretty good idea because it will impact where we decide to have the ceremony and reception as some venues can only accommodate a smaller number of people.

How have you ladies gone about getting a ball park number for your guest list a year out?


Re: how do you get an idea of how many people will attend DW?

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    msuprincess04msuprincess04 member
    5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper First Comment
    edited May 2014
    It's best to plan like you would plan any other wedding. Plan a venue and a budget based on 100% attendance. 

    *edited for clarity
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
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    Yes,I am also planning a dw for 2015 and would count on 100 percent of guests attending. Do you know where yet? I have 3 countries in mind but am stumped on which one to go to.....
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    We are planning on maui. We nw for sure we won't get 100% attendance but I guess that's the only way to do it. Thanks for your replies! :)
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    You need to work out what your priorities are. Is it the number of invites or is it a particular location? And plan accordingly.

    We wanted an intimate wedding so I was scouting for location that would be appropriate for a small amount of people. Once locked in, FH and I sat down and made a list, we each had a conversation with the invitees to see if a DW was something they were able to fit in at that time of year. And boom, we knew exactly who to expect, even before sending out the save the dates.
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    You really need to plan for 100% attendance when starting planning.  For my DW wedding, we invited about 80 people, hoping for 40-50 max, knowing that many people wouldn't come. But, our venue could easily accommodate all 80 if needed or adjust for a smaller group. 

    About 10 months out, we sent STD's. By that time, we (or our parents) had already talked to many people about the plans and we knew where most people stood on attending. So, at that time we had a pretty good idea, thinking it would be under 50 guests. That really is your best option for determining who may or may not come... just talk to people. 

    Then with our STD's we included a "preliminary RSVP" with options of 1) yes, we are coming; 2) sorry we can't make it; or 3) we hope to come but aren't sure yet.  We only received about 1/2 of them back (and thought it would be rude to push for responses for a preliminary count or expect definite answers a year in advance).  But, most of the ones we received were the people we really weren't sure about anyway.  So, after that we knew our guest count was actually closer to 30, with only a few still unsure.  After final invites & RSVP, we have 28 people coming.


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    What I did is split the guest list into 3 groups (0-10% chance of coming, 40-50% chance of coming, and 90-100% chance of coming) and added up the total!

    A lot of guides say expect 40-50% to attend, but as other posters have noted, you need to be able to accommodate 100%!
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    Thanks Ladies!
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    I read that if you have a local wedding, usually 20% of the people cannot attend. However, for a destination wedding it's usually 30-40%. I personally invited about 100 people, and 60 are attending.

    Usually you kind of know though who would absolutely attend and who would absolutely NOT attend...the rest are maybes.
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    This has been difficult, but what I did was look into the cost for my guests, which I incorporated into my wedding website.  I looked up flights (from my hometown) to the destination on different airlines, as well as looking up different hotel options and the cost, rental cars, etc.  This way they can see the cost up front and this did help a few people determine they would not be able to afford the trip.  Good Luck!
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    Aloha FutureMrsHashimoto,

    You will be surprised at how many guests actually do attend a Maui wedding. Yes, it is far, but many like to plan vacations around this beautiful island. I agree with nicoann and plan for 100% attendance. It is much easier to reduce guest counts during the planning process then trying to add on guests at the last minute. As a wedding planner on Maui, we expect your max count and know this may fluctuate a bit. Please let us know if you need any help finding venues for your upcoming wedding in Maui, Hawaii. Mahalo!

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    If possible, get a wedding planner/consultant. I knew what town I wanted in Mexico and got a wedding planner. She told me that in her experience 70% of those invited from the US (and less from further away) tend to come.
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    We sent out save the date using evite. It has the option for your guests to tentatively RSVP
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