I was at a networking event recently, sharing stories about recent weddings with a colleague. She said that a bride asked her, "How many people should I invite to end up with 150 people at my wedding?" What an interesting - and impossible to answer - question!
When determining your guest list, you should assume that everyone invited will come. That means that you should budget for each person, have seating for each person, and truly want each person there.
But, it's still a question we get a lot. So what percentage will most likely attend? There are a lot of factors involved.
- If most of your guests are traveling to your wedding, the cost or distance of the trip may limit some.
- The number of people invited also plays a role. If you invite 50 people, they are most likely your closest friends and family, and a majority will come. If you invite 300 people, some of which may be your parents co-workers and your 5th grade best friend who you haven't seen in years, the "no" percentage may be higher.
- Is your wedding around a holiday? This can either increase or decrease your attendance. If it's spring break time and a majority of your guests live in Minnesota, they may welcome a trip to sunny Florida. If it's the week between Christmas and New Year's, a bigger portion may have other family commitments.
If I had to give a number, I'd estimate between 10 and 20 percent will RSVP "no" for the average wedding. But remember, assume they will all come, and then the money left over can be used for your honeymoon!