Wedding Invitations & Paper

Number of Guests

Does anyone know if there is a standard number of how many people you can expect will not come? For example, on average are 20% of the poeple invited not able to attend.

Re: Number of Guests

  • 10-20% is often thrown around as an average but it totally depends on your group.  Some girls have 30% decline (particularly DWs or lots of OOT guests) and some girls have almost 0% decline.

    You should budget for, and have enough seats (both ceremony and reception) in case you get 100% response.

  • Like others said, you plan, book, and budget everything for 100% attendance.

    Some people you think or "know" won't come will come.  Others may surprise you and not come. 

    Budget for 100% and then if people don't show up, that's surprise extra money after all is said and done.
  • Welcome!  Absolutey budget and plan for 100%. 
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  • How large is your guest list? Generally, smaller wedding list=much lower decline rate, because you are only inviting people who are very close to you. Like the others said, budget and plan for 100%, but if you are just interested for your own purposes, I've heard the 30% rule quite a bit.
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  • Budget and plan for 100%.

    I had almost a 50% decline rate, but we also invited everyone to bring a guest and obviously not all our single friends wanted to do so. We also had a lot of OOT guests. It depends on a lot of things, none of which can be predicted.
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  • I agree plan for 100% but I think it depends on your family and friends.
    I know all of my family is OOT so I went through and figured out who would actually come (based on distance and circumstance). I errored on guessing they would make it if I wasn't unsure. I was able to guesstimate pretty well. Then I thought 100% of my in town guests (friends and FI family) would come. That meant only 70-80 of our total 130 would be coming. My venue can hold all 130 (they say they can get up to 180 but that would be ridiculous in my opinion) but I know that will never happen so I also planned for a place that would be more suited to 70-80 people.
    Also, when I signed my catering contract I had a minimum number of guests. Normally, its a minimum of 75 but I negotiated to have it be lowered to 70 people -- so sometimes its good to keep that in mind when ever you sign something go low!
    So I think its just something you need to go through your guest list and think about.
  • Thanks everyone! You have been a great help. We are just starting to put together our guest list and look for a reception venue. We have a pretty decent mix of in-town and out-of-town guests so I think I'm going to plan for 100% attendance but also try and lower the food minimum to account for all of the people we think we will not come.
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