• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Etiquette

How many wedding invitation regrets to expect

We are trying to determine how many guests we can expect to attend if we send 200 invitations with various number of guests per invitation.  Is there a rule of thumb to go by?
«1

Re: How many wedding invitation regrets to expect

  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We are trying to determine how many guests we can expect to attend if we send 200 invitations with various number of guests per invitation.  Is there a rule of thumb to go by?
    You should expect and be ready to host exactly as many people as you invite.



  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer

    We are trying to determine how many guests we can expect to attend if we send 200 invitations with various number of guests per invitation.  Is there a rule of thumb to go by?

    Plan for 100% attendance.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image

    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

    [Deleted User]
  • You need to be prepared to host 100% attendance and this includes if a single person gets a SO before the invites go out. There needs to be enough space, food, drink, and seats for every one.
    image
    [Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Plan for everyone you invite to accept their invitations.
    [Deleted User]
  • I had a similar question. In my case, I have the funds and space to fit more than what we're inviting, but we want to keep it small. 

    I know that there are many variables--weddings with a lot of out of towners invited would probably have a greater percentage of declines, etc. But maybe people could share their decline rate? I'm just curious. 
  • JCbride2015JCbride2015 Dirty Jerz member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    nhs226 said:
    I had a similar question. In my case, I have the funds and space to fit more than what we're inviting, but we want to keep it small. 

    I know that there are many variables--weddings with a lot of out of towners invited would probably have a greater percentage of declines, etc. But maybe people could share their decline rate? I'm just curious. 
    Honestly, other people's decline rates will probably mean nothing to you.  Many Knotties have had 100% attendance, others closer to 50%.  It varies so dramatically with your crowd, how far people have to travel, the weather, if it's a holiday weekend, etc. etc. that other people's experiences might be nothing like your own.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image

    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

    Blue_Birdclimbingwife[Deleted User]mrssursely
  • nhs226 said:
    I had a similar question. In my case, I have the funds and space to fit more than what we're inviting, but we want to keep it small. 

    I know that there are many variables--weddings with a lot of out of towners invited would probably have a greater percentage of declines, etc. But maybe people could share their decline rate? I'm just curious. 
    Honestly, other people's decline rates will probably mean nothing to you.  Many Knotties have had 100% attendance, others closer to 50%.  It varies so dramatically with your crowd, how far people have to travel, the weather, if it's a holiday weekend, etc. etc. that other people's experiences might be nothing like your own.

    This.  I seem to recall a post not too long ago about someone who was told a general decline rate and planned on that, especially because they had a lot of out-of-towners.  And then they were hosed and caught without enough chairs or room because they ended up with 100% attendance.  If you search the boards, you'll find lots of posts with people surprised by 100% attendance (for some it was pleasant because they budgeted for it, for some it was a horror story because they invited over capacity thinking they would get declines and it would turn out ok in the end).

    Just get the notion of "decline rates" out of your head now and plan for everyone who is invited to attend.

  • Expect 100% attendance.

    The is no "rule". I've heard 10% and 20%- who even comes up with that?

    Depends on the season, your crowd (people who love to travel vs. those who don't, close vs. extended family), distance and well, life. We invited 112 and had 72 come. Declines mostly due to travel (our friends who live OOT- like us- either couldn't get enough time away or cost of travel, family who live out of country, a few who were only 2 hours away but older and not in the best health not wanting to travel so far). 
  • nhs226 said:
    I had a similar question. In my case, I have the funds and space to fit more than what we're inviting, but we want to keep it small. 

    I know that there are many variables--weddings with a lot of out of towners invited would probably have a greater percentage of declines, etc. But maybe people could share their decline rate? I'm just curious. 
    Honestly, other people's decline rates will probably mean nothing to you.  Many Knotties have had 100% attendance, others closer to 50%.  It varies so dramatically with your crowd, how far people have to travel, the weather, if it's a holiday weekend, etc. etc. that other people's experiences might be nothing like your own.
    This, but I'll share.  

    We invited and were prepared to host 120 people. 
    20 guests lived overseas. We did not expect them to attend, and they did not attend.
    Of the 100 in country guests, 78 RSVP'd yes. We had 3 no shows - one called out of town for work at the last minute and 2 had a sudden death in the family the day before the wedding.

    My BM had all local guests at her wedding and had 80% acceptance.
    My MOH had 99% acceptance, including all her guests that lived overseas attending.

    There is no way to predict your decline rate so it is best to plan for 100% attendance.

    Anniversary
    [Deleted User]
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    nhs226 said:
    I had a similar question. In my case, I have the funds and space to fit more than what we're inviting, but we want to keep it small. 

    I know that there are many variables--weddings with a lot of out of towners invited would probably have a greater percentage of declines, etc. But maybe people could share their decline rate? I'm just curious. 
    We had a DW in Vegas. We invited 42 people, and 42 people accepted. None of them were from the area. Our guests flew in from OR, GA, MI, IL, and CA.

  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2014
    Here's what you do:

    When you create your guest list, make sure you add another person to all of your single guests. This is just in case they start dating someone before invitations go out. You don't want to have a final guest list of, say, 100 and then have to add four people because four people started dating someone.

    Once you get ready to send invitations, if those guests haven't started dating someone, you have three options - add people into those spots (yay inviting more people!), give those single guests a +1 (a nice gesture if those guests are traveling alone), or don't fill the spots and use the extra money for your honeymoon.

    If you DO get declines, don't invite people from a "B" list. This is rude. You can put that money toward your honeymoon or ask your venue about upgrading the bar package, adding an appetizer, changing from chicken to steak, things like that.

    [Deleted User]SP29esstee33
  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    nhs226 said:
    I had a similar question. In my case, I have the funds and space to fit more than what we're inviting, but we want to keep it small. 

    I know that there are many variables--weddings with a lot of out of towners invited would probably have a greater percentage of declines, etc. But maybe people could share their decline rate? I'm just curious. 
    We had a DW in Vegas. We invited 42 people, and 42 people accepted. None of them were from the area. Our guests flew in from OR, GA, MI, IL, and CA.
    Yup, you can be surprised by who accepts/declines.  We had a decline from someone who lives about an hour's drive from our venue.  On the other hand, we had people come in from Fiji and England.  You can just never tell.

    (For what it's worth I think we invited 80 and had 75 attend.)
    Anniversary

    image
  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We had a 43% decline rate (including some in-town people, not just out of towners). You should always plan for 100% attendance but obviously it's different for everyone. If you can't afford to host everyone listed on those 200 invitations then it's time to start making some cuts to the guest list if you haven't already sent them STDs.



  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    nhs226 said:
    I had a similar question. In my case, I have the funds and space to fit more than what we're inviting, but we want to keep it small. 

    I know that there are many variables--weddings with a lot of out of towners invited would probably have a greater percentage of declines, etc. But maybe people could share their decline rate? I'm just curious. 
    I had 30% of the people I invited decline. But this included plus ones (so phantom guests). I planned for about 157 people and had 110 show up (including my husband and I). I had 3 no shows, all for emergency situations. 

    My wedding was on a Saturday night in June (so normal wedding time). 

    The reason everyone says to plan for 100% is so there are no surprises. There are so many panicked brides that say I thought 20% would decline and now everyone is coming, what do I do?And we all say the same thing. You should have planned for 100% attendance.

    Now, I know some places have minimums for amount of people (which I think is dumb). Usually you can negotiate so the price is the same, but you get more apps, or upgrade the bar or something. If this is the case for your venue, I can see trying to get an idea. There are so many variables, time of day, day of the week, month of the year, number of people you invite, that giving a % doesn't mean much.
    image
    image

    image


  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Plan for 100% attendance.  Do not invite over your capacity or beyond what you can host.  If you do you may be very sorry.  And is stressing about whether or not the next RSVP you receive back is accepting the invitation and putting you over capacity really worth it? (Spoiler alert: My friend did this.  It's not worth it). 


    image
    whovianstark
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    We had 100% of our guests accept the invitation. We ended up having 2 people no show the day of the wedding, but that was it. You can't really expect anyone to decline if you invite them. You are telling them you would like them to be there so that is what you should mean, not here's an invite but I'm really hoping you won't actually come.
    image
  • This whole post is what I needed to read! My mom keeps trying to add people to my guest list (I am the one paying) so people don't feel "left out". "You have to invite this person but don't worry they won't show up"... Umm what if they all do? Yes, I could afford it but I would prefer not to. :)
    This is my FMIL exactly. I keep trying to come up with scenarios that make it seem real to her.

    "I know you don't think they will, but they might look at the invite and say "Oh it's been awhile since we've been to the east coast, lets make a trip of it." Or something like that. That works ... for awhile. I finally resorted to saying "You can't speak for other peoples' schedules. They have to decide if they're coming or not." But the first line works better.

    Achievement Unlocked: Survived Your Wedding! 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    the 'average" is like 20%.   But that is only an average.  You would be pretty silly to count on a certain amount of declines, as some people get none.

    In my case it was like 15%.  We invited 174 people and it was 100% OOT for everyone.   

     I have 2 cousins who never attend anything local. Never.   I would have put money down they would decline my OOT wedding.   Actually one of them I would have put money down they wouldn't even bother to RSVP no and we would have to track her RSVP down.     Well, she did RSVP, one of the first ones actually, with a yes.

    You just never know.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    Knottie81eecbba45ff511c
  • You shouldn't "expect" any regrets. While I'm guessing it's somewhat rare to have 100% attendance, you need to assume that everyone you invite will be there and plan accordingly. That means not inviting more people than your venue can safely and comfortably hold and not inviting more people than you (or whoever is paying) can afford to host properly.
    image
  • Good point on the venue max. When the venue tells you X room can hold Y guests, I would try to stay below that- the venues version of Y guests usually equates to full tables, and tables set up on the dance floor that will later need to be moved for people to dance. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    SP29 said:
    Good point on the venue max. When the venue tells you X room can hold Y guests, I would try to stay below that- the venues version of Y guests usually equates to full tables, and tables set up on the dance floor that will later need to be moved for people to dance. 
    Not only that, but any vendors, small children guests, etc. must be included in the "X room can hold Y guests."  You need to keep your guest list to the number that equals "Total guests + Vendors."
    SP29
  • WeeshWeesh NY member
    250 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    We had 140 on our list, and a final count of 90.  Our wedding was on Friday July 4th this year, so we did have some declines due to holiday plans, but 40 of the people on our list were from overseas and we didn't know if they would be able to make it.  We were pleasantly surprised that 6 were able to make it!  You would be surprised at how many people have people come to their wedding that they weren't expecting. 

    Also to echo PP's, don't forget to include vendors but also don't forget to include yourselves.  For the longest time, I had a guest number down that didn't include us!  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    fwtx5815
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited January 2015
    My list was at 97 with "phantom guests" built in-- plus-ones for single guests that maybe ended up dating someone by wedding time. We had 69 come, so our total was 71 including us. We needed 80 to meet our venue minimum spend, so we had top shelf bar, the nicest quality food offered, extra dessert and late night pizza.

    Our out-of-town friends came. Some family that lived an hour away did not come (much to my MIL's consternation).  

    My friend is planning a wedding and has evidently sent STDs for 50 more guests than her venue allegedly holds. Apparently said venue gave her a bigger limit upon initial consultation, so she's playing the "what if" game. Apparently they're planning to put dinner tables on the dance floor and will move the tables after dinner. I'm keeping my mouth shut and putting Dr. Sholls in my high heels. 

    ETA: This is why folks must finalize a guest list before booking a venue, which is often not the way things go down. Get a venue to fit the guest list, not a guest list to fit the venue. As I said and others have said, if you end up under budget, you can add extra nice stuff for the guests who do come. 
    ________________________________


    poodledoodleooo
  • kaitlynmichellekaitlynmichelle British Columbia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    I only had 12 guests, but we had 100% attendance. Almost higher since we nearly had two guests decide to invite themselves and "surprise" us.

    No matter how many guests you invite, anticipate them all being there. Don't invite more than your venue can handle, hoping that there will be declines.
    image Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • I think you have to know your own crowd to determine how many regrets you will get. We invited 140 people and budgeted for such, but I had a strong feeling some wouldn't make it. For instance, I have a friend who lives out of state and will be about to give birth around the time of the wedding, so I was not surprised when she said she couldn't make it. Out of the 140 we have 81 confirmed guests. I thought it would be closer to 115 so you never know.
  • I haven't received all of my RSVPs yet - they are due Wednesday! I have to say I've been really surprised by some of the responses. I never expected that my college friends who live across the country would come or that my fiance's grandparents that live in town would decide not to - but that is what happened, so there ya go. You can make a prediction, but you have to be prepared to properly host every. single. person. you invite.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards