Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Guest Chart Madness!

So, anyone remember my post about the google documents form I used to collect addresses? If not, click here!

Mr Pug and I never really set in stone a guest list. We tried to via excel a few times but always would randomly remember someone we forgot, and then forget to add them to the list. Emailing out our address collection form link made it easy- "Oh we forgot cousin Larry, send him the link!" But then I was left with a massive BLOB of an excel sheet- just a list of names, addresses, and info in the order they were filled out. OCD FREAKOUT!

I decided to organize and REALLY make a list this time. I took our guests' names and significant others' name columns from the address form collection sheet, and made a new document. I then split them up into categories. I am really visual, so categorizing them in front of me like this helped me realize who I might be forgetting.

Yea, I completely made up the names for this sample one! Anyway, the categories helped me see who "went together" and I realized there were a few addresses I needed to get. Whoever's address I was missing, I added their name in red. As I get their information, I will make them black again.

I also put estimate numbers in each category. The lower number is likely the number of people we will invite- we are roughly going with the engaged/living together rule for plus one's- but along with the "dating for a year" part we are adding and/or "we have met the plus one." So the lower number of the ranges in parentheses is likely our invite number. The higher number is if everyone who is unattached had a plus one. We'll likely be a little lenient with our plus one's- aunts and uncles who are unattached will get a plus one, and we will talk to friends about what they plan/want to do, as I'm sure some from out of town will not want to bring their significant other if the rest of the group are going solo.

Ok, back to the chart! I added up the low numbers from the ranges and then the high number from the ranges, to get a total range of invitees. I scaled down our list to make the example above- our real guest range is 194 on the low end, 245 on the high end. That means if everyone is allowed a date, we'd be at 245!!! HECK no, that isn't even feasible. But for some of our friends, their significant others become our good friends, so I know we'll have a few plus one's we can't currently plan for. The average of these numbers is 219.5 (we'll say 220.) Apparently 30% of the guests you invite won't show. Since we're both pretty much the first ones in our families to get married, we've had a lot of excitement, so I will move that to 20% for now- which means of the 220 average, we'd have 176 attendees. Taking 20% off our range, it becomes 155-196. Keeping that in mind helps me recover from the stroke 245 gave me.

Another thing that helps calm me down is knowing that each person doesn't get an individual invite (we are putting the invitees on the outside envelope label, not doing inside envelopes like some people do.) Right now we only would need 104 actual invitations (and the same goes for Save The Dates) which saves us on postage and printing costs! YAY!

What woes have you encountered while working on your guest list? How are you limiting plus one's? And, in your experience, is the 30% rule true?


  1. oh my goodness - where were you when I was doing this back in May?! That list is FABULOUS!

    I worked on this alone for the most part and realized about half way through I wasn't counting correctly - I kept using 120, 120, 120, but that was just invitations being sent out NOT total guests. Oops!

    Also, for all single people we included 'and Guest'. I thought we'd have a big party with new faces, the more the merrier. And well so far no one has added a guest! I was bit surprised, but oh well. I'll have to review our list tonight and check out if we stuck to the 30% rule!

    We're a bit off since all of our family is out of state - many aunts, uncles and cousins won't be coming out for our Monday affair!

  2. Great job! We're using Wedding Wire for our guest list and it's been wonderful.

  3. My advice to you is to NOT COUNT ANY EXTRA'S! Also, if anyone is on the fence by your due date, count them as a no. Someone else will not show up and they can take their place (if that makes sense). People will drop out last-minute wayy after you give your final numbers both for good reasons and for horrible, selfish reasons but either way they won't come and you are still paying for their food and drinks. =/ Don't count extras!!!

    As for the "plus one" I gave everyone the chance to bring a date if they wanted as most of our friends are married, but the ones that were single actually opted to just fly solo anyways which was kinda nice.