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

Ordering food, 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.

Wedding guest calculator

Debi Buckley, a Certified Wedding Planner for Southern California Wedding Resources, 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 mucky. 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.

wedding favors
Make your wedding fun and memorable with unforgettable custom favors for your guests!

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 and flu outbreaks can greatly impact your numbers.

Wedding Accessories
Personalized wedding accessories from Totally Promotional that can compliment any wedding!

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

Totally Promotional 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 drinkware, can coolers, lip balm and banners!

Happy wedding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *