If only a crystal ball could tell you how many wedding guests will attend your big day. Right?

Ordering food, customized wedding favors and event programs all hinge on a guest count. So how do you get that magic number? Asking your guests to RSVP can help, but some won’t return those postcards or give reliable replies.

Lots of factors can impede a reliable wedding guest count. Relatives and friends sometimes change their minds at the last minute due to illness or family issues.

How about using some math and science to predict attendance? We’ve created a wedding guest calculator that takes your guest information and figures it for you! We don’t guarantee it will give you the exact number of guests attending your wedding, but it’s designed to give you a good estimate.

Wedding guest calculator

Do your own math

Guest estimating or “guesting” takes time if you want an accurate number.

Debi Buckley, a certified wedding planner, called her method of estimating attendance a “science.”

“However, it is never an exact science,” she said. “A general overall percentage between 75-85 percent of wedding guests usually attend.”

Debi Buckley Wedding Guest Calculator

The breakdown: 85 percent of local guests, 55 percent of out-of-town guests, and 35 percent of destination wedding guests will show up, Buckley said.

But then it gets murky. Intimate (smaller) weddings get near-perfect attendance but bigger ones get less, she said.

“If you have a wedding with over 200 invited guests, you may only have 75 percent in attendance,” Buckley explained.

If you have the time and tenacity, she advises factoring in the bride and groom’s relationship with each person on the wedding guest list for a more accurate estimate. And no matter how many people you think will arrive, she suggests preparing a budget for 100 percent attendance.

Factors to consider

Bentley Davis of Colloquy Music said the general formulas used to estimate guests, particularly couples, aren’t very reliable.

Bentley Davis Colloquy Music cropped

“While the formulas work for a typical couple, there really is no such thing as a typical couple,” said Davis, whose daughter recently was wed.

Attendance can be light if there are a lot of out-of-town guests, she said. On the flip side, if most guests are local, expect a crowd, Davis added.

Unfortunately, there are other factors that could mess up your guest count. Things like nasty weather can greatly impact your numbers.

you me and the sea custom can coolers

Tally favors for wedding guests

Kim Forrest, Editor and Trends Expert at WeddingWire, said the average attendance for weddings is 85 percent of invitees but predicting the number of favors for guests can be a little trickier.

Kim Forrest Wedding Guest List Expert

“While it depends on your favor, the rule of thumb is to order enough for one per person or one per household/couple,” Forrest said.

She noted that guests are more apt to take home favors that are edible such as candy, cookies or personalized M&Ms. Looking for ideas? We can help in this department!

More is better

wedding favors flatlay

Totally Wedding Koozies believes it’s best to plan for a big turnout. Running out of food, chairs or party favors is NOT how you want your guests to remember your special day.

To spruce up your wedding — no matter how big or small — order personalized wedding favors and accessories such as custom drinkware, can coolers, lip balm and personalized banners!

Before you go … wedding trivia!

Here are some wedding statistics you might find interesting:

Q: What is the average engagement time?
A: 12-18 months

Q: What is the average number of wedding guests?
A: 167

Q: What is the average bridal party size?
A: Five bridesmaids and five groomsmen

Q: What is the average amount spent on a wedding?
A: $32,641

Q: What is the average number of weddings each year in the U.S.?
A: 2.4 million

Happy Wedding!

wedding favors


Written by our experts for you!


  1. I like your recommendation to provide more party favors than what you plan on coming. My fiance and I are planning our wedding and we are trying to figure out what party favors and treats we should provide. We may consider buying bulk wedding popcorn or something like that.

    • Hi James! Thanks for visiting our blog page. As you know, there are a lot of choices when it comes to wedding favors and treats. It’s always nice to have leftover favors if they are something that can be used after the wedding. A few of our most popular items are can coolers, also known as koozies. Couples love to keep them on hand for future parties, backyard BBQs, etc. They bring back the memories of your wedding … and are quite useful at keeping drinks cold! Other hot and very affordable wedding favors are sunglasses, lip balm and frosted cups (which your guests could use for drinks or popcorn!). Give us a call if you have any questions. Best wishes on your wedding planning!

      Shelley Grieshop
      Totally Promotional

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