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 CEREMONY & RECEPTIONS What’s Your Dream
Wedding?
Have you always dreamed of an intimate wedding in a small country chapel, or a big bash with all your friends and family? What does your fiancé want? You may decide it is more important to have a more expensive meal for 30 people, rather than a large
event on a smaller budget. Once you’ve determined the type of wedding you both envision, you’ll have a better idea of the appropriate guest list size. Start with your wish list of guests, but be ready to cut.
What’s the Venue?
If your dream wedding is in the small country chapel, inviting several hundred
people probably is not realistic. You’ll need to decide what is more important – the location or the number of guests. Keeping the wedding small not only cuts costs; it gives you the freedom to consider more non-traditional settings like the small country chapel, a small inn, yacht or elegant restaurant.
If your guest list just simply can’t be cut, look for a larger venue rather than trying to pack too many people into an uncomfortable space. The venue’s event coordinator can provide estimates for wedding and reception seating capacity. Be sure the facility has adequate parking for your guests as well.
Who’s Paying?
Traditionally, the bride’s parents paid for the wedding and determined the number of guests to be invited. However, many couples today pay part – or all – of their wedding tab and are more likely to deter- mine the guest list.
If your parents are paying, talk to them first about the number of guests they want and how those invitations will be divided between the bride’s parents, groom’s parents and the couple. You may find that your parents have a larger guest list in mind than the ‘small chapel’ wedding will accommodate. If they are paying the bill, try to keep their wishes in mind and nego- tiate a comfortable compromise you both can live with.
If you and your fiancé are footing the tab, it will be easier for you to determine the guest list size, but also be sensitive to parents’ wishes. In the end, a few extra guests will not make a huge difference in the bottom line and may be worth adding to avoid hurt feelings.
How Do We Estimate RSVPs?
The formula commonly used for esti- mating how many people will attend is to double the number of invitations you send and subtract 33%. For example: If you issue 120 invitations, expect 161 guests to attend. In other words, typically about two
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