Guest Post by Sarah Burton the owner of Simply Love Studio Wedding Resource Center:
In my first meetings with couples, the first thing we always talk about is their guest count. A wedding guest count determines so many things including your food, cake, tables, chairs, linens, flowers and more. Really having a good idea of how many you think will actually come will help vendors along the way be able to give you a better estimate and you’ll be able to budget more correctly.
When meeting with a caterer if you tell them you are looking at 150 – 200 guests you could have a several thousand-dollar difference, versus if you tell them 150 – 160 guests it’ll be a little less dramatic.
There are lots of rules and formulas out there for determining a guest count, but what I’ve found that has worked best for my couples is to make two lists.
1.) Everyone you HAVE to invite to the wedding. There will always be people your parents want you to invite, family living on the other side of the world or whatever the situation may be, but they are guests you HAVE to send an invitation to, but you know they will not come.
2.) Everyone you THINK will come. This is easier than you may think. There will be guests you know that will come to your wedding no matter what. However, about 15 – 20% of that list may actually already have plans for that day once they get your save the date, they may not have the money to travel to the wedding, they may not be able to get off work, etc. We can never know those circumstances, but I like to go with 80% of your guests that you THINK will come, will actually come.
While we are making lists, I like to go ahead and make a third list that we will reference later in the planning. That list is:
3.) Every couple/family that will need a hotel room. If you have more than 10 couples/families on this list that you think will book a hotel room when they come to your wedding then we will want to talk about getting you a hotel room block so that your guests can save some money!
No method is going to be full proof for determining your guest list. Not even when you get your RSVP’s back. Something can always come up on the day of your wedding that can prevent your guest from coming, but at the wedding we’re sure you’ll enjoy everyone that is in attendance and it’ll all be worth it!
We would like to introduce you to Sarah Burton the owner of Simply Love Studio in Lexington, Kentucky. The studio is a wedding resource center, that helps couples plan their weddings for free. There are no catches, no gimmicks. The studio is fully funded by wedding vendors, who get to use the studio as a meeting space and display their work. Simply Love Studio is a great resource to help you start thinking about and planning all of the details of your wedding. Sarah is also involved with the creation and production of Bridal Bliss Magazine. She is a fantastic and knowledgeable resource. You can schedule an appointment or learn more about Simply Love Studio on their website: http://www.simplylovestudio.com