Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Friday, April 15, 2011

Guestimating Your Wedding Guest List?

Filed under: Guest Authors,Guest List,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Melissa Stark Baldwin, Guest Author

A guest estimate is vital in choosing an event space that is comfortable for your wedding and can be very – if not extremely – confusing for any bride. Not to worry! With a little bit of effort, organization, and guess work, you should be able to come to a workable conclusion for a guest count to aide you in choosing a spectacular venue that is the perfect size for your wedding.

The first step is to list everyone that you intend to invite to your wedding, and then separate that list into local guests and out of town guests. Of your closer friends and family, you can assume that 85% to 90% will attend. Out-of-town guests are a whole other estimate; about 50% to 55% of them should be anticipated to attend. If your guests live more than a few hours drive from your Albany, Saratoga Springs, or Adirondack wedding venue, they will likely fall into the out-of-town category.

The secret to getting this kind of turn out is to send out your invites well in advance (about 8 weeks) and to use save the dates if you can (about 6 months prior). If these numbers confuse you, don’t worry about it, here’s a quick breakdown:

weddingguestsYour Guest List: 175 guests
In-Town Guests: 125
Out-of-Town Guests: 50

In-Town Guest List:
125 guests x 85% expected turn out ratio = 107 guests (always round up 1 for decimals)

Out-of-Town Guest List:
50 guests x 50% expected turn out ratio = 25 guests

Your low estimated guest turnout is: 132

If you like you can also use the higher percentages to estimate a higher count, and average the two together to provide yourself with a median. This can be useful if you have a lot of out-of-town relatives that you know like to travel.

Your Guest List: 175 guests
In-Town Guests: 125
Out-of-Town Guests: 50

In-Town Guest List:
125 guests x 90% expected turn out ratio = 113 guests (always round up 1 for decimals)

Out-of-Town Guest List:
50 guests x 55% expected turn out ratio = 28 guests

Your high estimated guest turnout is: 141

Average Guest Count:
132 smaller estimate + 141 larger estimate= 273
273 ÷ 2 = 137

Your total average guest count is: 137

Of course, these numbers will always vary by event and guest type. However, these numbers can be well worth your time if you want to pick the right size of venue. It is also a great way to get a head start on address collection for your invitation list. It’s never too early to hire a wedding planner! Getting a wedding planner involved early on is key to getting your guest list and your wedding plans organized so that both of you can really enjoy your big day!


Copyright © 2011 – Melissa Stark Baldwin. Reprinted with permission. Melissa Stark Baldwin, Allied Member ASID and Consultant with ABC is Owner of Weddings by the Mis’ess, an event design and wedding coordination company in Clifton Park, New York. Her Weddings by the Mis’ess blog is a compilation of wedding trend and design tips meant to assist couples throughout their planning processes. By covering a variety of topics, Melissa provides inspirational ideas to couples for consideration while establishing their wedding needs. The blog provides an insight into the services, creativity, and value that Melissa provides to all of her clients. Visit Melissa’s Website and Blog.

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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