Unexpectedly Intriguing!
February 14, 2020
Wedding Party - Alasdair Elmes - Unsplash

Happy Valentine's Day! By all accounts, today is the second most popular day of the year for couples to become engaged after Christmas Day, where if you find yourself among the large numbers of those who recently have become engaged, you have begun a journey where you will soon be planning your wedding.

With the average cost of a wedding falling between $20,000 and $30,000 in most states, a wedding and reception can be very expensive. Since how expensive your wedding will actually be is tied to how many guests might attend, it will be key to sort that number out early in your planning, since it will affect almost every other aspect of your big day.

You could simply use the count of invitations you will send out, taking care to include any children or plus-one's your invited guests might have, but that number will almost certainly be too high. If you use that total body count to plan around, you'll end up with a lot of wedding waste, paying too much for both facilities and food you'll never enjoy.

We can help you get more bang for your wedding buck! Our latest tool is based on Offbeat Bride's Catherine Clark's magic wedding math, in which she describes how to estimate guest list numbers using a simple equation. Just enter the indicated information about your wedding and invited guests in the following tool, and it will give you a reasonable number to use in planning your wedding as you select everything from where the ceremony takes place to how big a venue you need to book for the reception and even to how much wedding cake you'll be serving for dessert. If you're accessing this tool on a site that republishes our RSS news feed, please click through to our site to access a working version of the tool!

Wedding Guest Numbers
Input Data Values
Number of Local Guests
Number of Out-of-Town Guests
Are you having a destination wedding where nearly all guests must travel?

Wedding Guest Planning Numbers
Calculated Results Values
Lower Estimate of Invited Guests Who Will Actually Attend
Upper Estimate of Invited Guests Who Will Actually Attend

Catherine Clark provides the following insights about each category of guests:

Your local guest numbers

Local guests are far more likely to come to your wedding. We'd suggest thinking 80-85%. If you have a hard maximum due to venue restrictions, you may want to err on the side of 85-90% just to be safe. Don't forget to count plus-ones and children, if they're invited.

Your out-of-town guests guest numbers

If out-of-towners aren't coming in internationally, you'll mostly be focusing on how close they are to you and if they've got the means to come, financially. If money isn't a big issue, account for about 70-75%.

For our tool's results, we've indicated a range that covers these ranges of values, where using the upper estimate will give you some safety margin in your planning, so you won't get caught short. As you get closer to your wedding date, you can then fine tune your planning as the number of RSVPs you receive will replace our tool's estimates.

One last thing. Congratulations!

Image credit: unsplash-logoAlasdair Elmes

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About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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