The big day is coming, and it can be disheartening to see invitees RSVPing “no.” But do not fret; this is not the end of the world. Your wedding will be just as magnificent, no matter how many people attend.
First, it is necessary to be mentally prepared that there will be those that RSVP “no.” Statistics show, according to TheKnot, that “it’s safe to plan for roughly 15 percent of people to decline the invitation (and more like 20–30 percent for a destination wedding).” Along with this, InsideWeddings similarly calculated that “generally the average attendance rate of a wedding is considered to be 70-80%, though it drops to 50-60% for destination celebrations.”
Before Sending Invitations
When putting together your guest list, create two. First, create an “A List” of your closest friends and family, then create a “B List” of guests that you would love to invite, but don’t have the room for yet. Order extra invitations, and as invitees from your “A List” of initial guests start RSVPing “no,” begin sending invitations to your “B List.” Along with this, follow up with those you invited. Not receiving an RSVP doesn’t necessarily mean that the guest is not coming, it’s always best to check in with the non-responders.
Send out your “A-List” invitations earlier than usual; therefore, when you discover additional room, your “B-List” invitees have enough time to schedule. I’ve personally been invited to two weddings as a “B List” guest, and I was grateful for the invite and enjoyed the wedding no matter what list I was on.
Still Low Attendance?
After sending out invitations to your “B-List,” if your still experiencing low attendance, here are a few options:
Splurge on Upgrades: With less money being spent on guests, you have the option to upgrade something else. Additional flowers, better food or deserts, open bar, or nicer wedding favors. Or, better yet, use the extra funds on your honeymoon, or an additional vacation!
Table Arrangements: If the reception space appears empty with lower attendance, arrange the tables to create a larger dance floor.
Additional Entertainment: With fewer guests, splurge on a professional performer. Or look into entertainment options such as corn hole, long dart, etc.
Don’t Let It Hinder Your Happiness.
In the end, if your wedding does receive low attendance, don’t let it take away your joy! ‘Forgive and Forget.’ Those that couldn’t attend know they missed out, and it will create tension if you berate them about not attending. Schedules happen, and guests may not be able to attend, and there is nothing you can do about that. Instead, you may find that with a more intimate group of guests, you have a more personable event. Embrace the guests you have and enjoy your special day.