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Etiquette

How many wedding invitation regrets to expect

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Re: How many wedding invitation regrets to expect

  • 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.
    So, curiosity question in situations like this. Did you tell, for example, the cake maker, "we are expecting 115 but have invited 140 and will let you know the final count by (whatever deadline is)", or did you just say, we need a 140 person cake?

    I'm just curious. It seems to me it always makes sense to literally be able to host all the people you invite, but I always wonder what people mean by that in practicality. Certainly you should have the $ to host, and the chairs and fire code approved space, but does that mean you tell every vendor to plan for the higher number and then, woops, cut that number by 60 actually? Or did you give your best estimate and then adjust up or down? 

    I am admittedly not phrasing this well, I'm not advocating failing to plan for full attendance but asking about being realistic with the vendors I guess. 
    image
  • By the time we met with the cake baker we knew it was going to be closer to 100. I want to say it was the same amount of tiers for 80 as it was for 110 or something like that so it didn't make a difference. They don't make the cake until the day before so I don't think it would be a problem to adjust up or down. When we met with the florist the first time we thought it would be closer to 120. We told her last week what the actual count was so she knew how many centerpieces to make. The ballroom we are having the reception in holds 300 people so I wasn't worried about space. The venue wanted a final headcount two weeks in advance so that wasn't a problem either. The hardest part was budgeting and buying favors for such a large swing. I didn't want to order 30 extra favors. We couldn't plan on any little "extras" until about a week ago (our wedding is in two weeks) when we had our semi-final count though.


  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    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.
    So, curiosity question in situations like this. Did you tell, for example, the cake maker, "we are expecting 115 but have invited 140 and will let you know the final count by (whatever deadline is)", or did you just say, we need a 140 person cake?

    I'm just curious. It seems to me it always makes sense to literally be able to host all the people you invite, but I always wonder what people mean by that in practicality. Certainly you should have the $ to host, and the chairs and fire code approved space, but does that mean you tell every vendor to plan for the higher number and then, woops, cut that number by 60 actually? Or did you give your best estimate and then adjust up or down? 

    I am admittedly not phrasing this well, I'm not advocating failing to plan for full attendance but asking about being realistic with the vendors I guess. 
    Our vendor (and every place I've ever worked) asked how many were  being inviting at the time we booked.   

    Then 2 weeks out they asked how many had responded and how many said yes (called soft numbers).    They take the number invited minus the amount respond then added the number of yeses to get the max amount of people there would be at the event. 

     3 days out we gave final numbers (hard numbers).   The final numbers is what is guaranteed.  So if people no showed or cancelled at the last minute we still had to pay.  However,  most banquet chefs make about 5-10% more in food just in case more people show up.   If more show you have to pay for those people. 






    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. 
  • edited January 2015
    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.
    So, curiosity question in situations like this. Did you tell, for example, the cake maker, "we are expecting 115 but have invited 140 and will let you know the final count by (whatever deadline is)", or did you just say, we need a 140 person cake?

    I'm just curious. It seems to me it always makes sense to literally be able to host all the people you invite, but I always wonder what people mean by that in practicality. Certainly you should have the $ to host, and the chairs and fire code approved space, but does that mean you tell every vendor to plan for the higher number and then, woops, cut that number by 60 actually? Or did you give your best estimate and then adjust up or down? 

    I am admittedly not phrasing this well, I'm not advocating failing to plan for full attendance but asking about being realistic with the vendors I guess. 

    Our baker actually planned for about a 20% decline rate and quoted us on that. Our tiered cake will only feed 80 folks, but he always creates a back-up cake (a non-displayed sheet cake, basically, that is the same cake as the tiered one) which will feed the rest of our guests. So if we have more than 20% declines, we'll just get a smaller backup cake. If we get a less than 20% declines we will get larger back-up cake. 80 would feed a little less than 50% of our invited guests (including kids). Price could obviously go up or down depending on RSVPs, but bonus cake is much cheaper to add on than to make a larger tiered cake.

    Edited for clarity :)
  • sjf2715 said:
    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.
    So, curiosity question in situations like this. Did you tell, for example, the cake maker, "we are expecting 115 but have invited 140 and will let you know the final count by (whatever deadline is)", or did you just say, we need a 140 person cake?

    I'm just curious. It seems to me it always makes sense to literally be able to host all the people you invite, but I always wonder what people mean by that in practicality. Certainly you should have the $ to host, and the chairs and fire code approved space, but does that mean you tell every vendor to plan for the higher number and then, woops, cut that number by 60 actually? Or did you give your best estimate and then adjust up or down? 

    I am admittedly not phrasing this well, I'm not advocating failing to plan for full attendance but asking about being realistic with the vendors I guess. 

    Our baker actually planned for about a 20% decline rate and quoted us on that. Our tiered cake will only feed 80 folks, but he always creates a back-up cake (a non-displayed sheet cake, basically, that is the same cake as the tiered one) which will feed the rest of our guests. So if we have more than 20% declines, we'll just get a smaller backup cake. If we get a larger set of declines we will get larger back-up cake. 80 would feed a little less than 50% of our invited guests (including kids). Price could obviously go up or down depending on RSVPs, but bonus cake is much cheaper to add on than to make a larger tiered cake.
    Interesting, they have kind of a default decline rate they assume. 

    We are doing a small cake and mini cupcakes, that way we can actually get five options on flavor and the minis are only $1 a pop and doubling as favors. It will also be pretty easy to add or take away minis based on decline, we got quoted for 180 minis (1.5 per person) and the cake itself. It's interesting because the two-tier cake will feed 50 people and because it is decorated and pretty it will cost far far more per serving than the minis. So I have been curious about how people figure this. It definitely makes sense to have some unpretty cutting cake in the back. 
    image
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