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!
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: Alasdair Elmes
Previously on Political Calculations
- What Are the Chances Your Marriage Will Last?
- Should You Get Married?
- Men: Are You Old Enough to Propose Yet?
- Are You Whipped?
- Picking the Right Date for Valentine's Day
- The Indisputable Inter-Age Rule for Dating
- Should You Become Intimate With a Co-Worker?
- Men: What's Your Sex Appeal?
- Will Your Favorite Celebrity Couple Stay Together?
- Math Formula Explains Geek's Dating Drought
- Assortative Mating and Math on "The Bachelor"
- The Maths Of Love