There are many couples that really believe everyone that they invite will show up to their wedding. When I tell them it will probably be about 80% of their invites, they say, you don't know my family. True, but as a wedding venue owner, I have been safe to use 80% will attend and there has never been a wedding that everyone invited attended here at The Barn at Lacey Farms.
While there is no exact prediction of how many of your invites will attend your wedding, there are over 2 million weddings per year that give us a really good idea. Industry wide the average is between 75% to 85% will attend however there are factors such as when you send save the date and invitations, close family vs friends and co-workers, time of year, weather and distance traveled that can affect your numbers.
Most industry experts agree that sending save the dates and invitations out at the proper times help increase the numbers that attend. Save the Dates are informal invites that go to your guest list to give them a heads up you're having a wedding on your date. These need to go out 6 to 8 months before your wedding. This will give the guest that will travel by air plenty of time to make arrangements.
The formal invitations should be sent 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding and these should request an RSVP. The number of RSVPs you receive does not mean they all will attend and then there are those that never RSVP for anything that may show up. In general we have found that 10-20% of the RSVPs do not show up.
Travel is a big factor in the number of guests that will attend. Guests traveling more than an hour and half will probably be in the 50-60% attendance and this will also be affected by family vs friends. The industry seems to suggest about 35% of those flying will attend.
You can help make it easier on those traveling by arranging a block of rooms available at a nearby hotel and a transportation service to venue and from venue to hotel. We have a party bus vendor that serves this need as part of our wedding vendor list. We also have a Guest Resources page to help our guests with lodging, restaurants and attractions.
So here is an example of 100 local guests and 50 guests traveling 1 1/2 hours.
100 x 0.85 = 85 and 50 x 0.60 = 30. So your total guest out of 150 invitations would be approximately 115.
Until next time, Happy Planning!