October 23, 2015      Melanie Gold

Getting married can be an overwhelming, so details sometimes get overlooked.   After assisting numerous brides and grooms to be, I have seen what can easily get overlooked.

Knowing the number of guests that are coming to your wedding is crucial.  Only by knowing exactly how many people are coming to your wedding can you truly get an idea of costs and plan your event. Caterers, cakes and the venue will all charge you by person in some way, so keeping that guest count trimmed will also trim your expenses.

A caterer and a baker will a need an accurate number of guests to make the right amount of food.  Even if you are self-catering, you will still need to know the quantity of food and beverages necessary to feed your guests.

Venues including food will do a per person rate.  Venues excluding food may do a package based on number of guests and even a venue that is a flat room rental, most of the time charges for tables and chairs and linens; therefore, you will need to know how many people to order the right amount of tables, chairs, linens..ect. 

  Here are some ways to ensure an accurate guest count.

1.        When inviting guests, remember if you are sending out 50 invitations with a plus one that you are actually inviting 100 people. 

2.       Make sure that there is an RSVP with your invitations and a deadline for that RSVP. Including an envelope with a stamp and return address makes it easy for people to respond. However, people usually do things at the last minute and responding to your wedding invitation will probably not be outside that rule, so make the deadline for RSVP a week earlier than you actually need.  Remember you have to have time to do the seating chart and give your caterer, venue and others a final guest count.

3.       Have a list of invited guests and keep track of who has responded yes to your invitation.

4.       Once your deadline has passed contact anyone who has not responded to check if they are coming and make any last minute arrangements.

5.       Once you have a final guest count, you can provide the count to the venue, caterers, get the right size cake and make your seating chart.

6.       Caterers usually add ten percent extra to the per guest count to ensure enough food, so if you are self-catering, you may think of that number.  As a self-caterer, you do not want to have too much food, because that will require packing it up and left overs at the end of the evening.  Wedding Receptions are the most fun when there is the least amount of work to do by you or any of your family or friends.   Additionally, even if you are self-catering, I suggest that you get servers, bartender and/or a bus person.  For a small amount of money, everyone can just relax.