Question: If we are doing a destination wedding in Napa, how many people should we invite if our goal is about 125 guests?
Kaella’s Advice: For a traditional wedding, one can expect about 80-85% of those invited to attend the wedding. However, by traditional we assume a good number of your guests are local. As a wedding planner in San Francisco and Napa/Sonoma Counties, I see a lot of destination weddings and this estimate can typically decreases dramatically to 60-70%. According to that estimate, you would invite about 190 guests to reach your goal of 125 attendees.
That said, there are several factors to consider. For one, how far do your guests need to travel? If a wedding in Napa means your guests are traveling across the country, then you will most likely have more who RSVP “No” than if your guests are coming from Arizona or Southern California. Secondly, who are you inviting? If a majority of them are in your close circle (i.e. family, best friends, etc), it’s safe to say they are more likely to attend. Whereas, the opposite could be more likely with acquaintances or work colleagues. Lastly, how is the economy? Can your guests afford the travel? Taking these types of factors into consideration will give you a good idea of your final guest count estimate. Of course, I recommend leaving room for some guests to surprise you.
About Kaella: Kaella Wilson is the founder of Kaella Lynn Events, a wedding planning and design boutique based in San Francisco. She believes the difference is in the details. Whether you’re planning a grand event or an intimate celebration, Kaella combines artistic design with meticulous planning and management to produce a memorable event that represents your style. Follow her on twitter @Kaellalynn
*This question was sent to us via our Bride Q+A service. If you’re recently engaged and have a question about wedding planning or etiquette, ask us and we’ll have your question answered quickly by a wedding expert!*
[Image Source: Glass Jar Photography]
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