The Numbers Are In: The Ladyfingers RSVP Breakdown

Our final, final deadline was last Saturday, and we spent a couple of days beyond that tracking down some stragglers (like, oh, our Reverend and his wife). Like many before me, I feel compelled to share our breakdown and how we feel about it.

I love charts, so I spent way too much time this morning composing a few.

First, our out-of-town/in-town guest count.

We invited 73 people to the wedding – 39 from out of town, and 34 from in-town. Mr. Ladyfingers’ family is all up in New York, and his whole wedding party is scattered around the country.

However, sadly, more of our out-of-town guests had to decline than in-town guests. We ended up with 23 out-of-town guests and 29 in-town. As we had anticipated, most of our out-of-town guests with children couldn’t make it due to our no-children policy. It wasn’t that we dislike children, but if everybody brought their kid, with an under-80-person guest list, that would have been 1/4 of our list. Given those adults we definitely wanted on the list, this wasn’t feasible. That meant losing two of my cousins (and their subsequent families) and three of his friends he grew up with (and their families).

We have two “assumed” in-town guests at this point. One is for my single bridesmaid’s potential +1. The other is for Mr. Ladyfinger’s friend’s girlfriend… since this friend apparently doesn’t believe in RSVPs, and all he’s told us is he’ll “probably” bring her, it’s  track-down time in these last couple of days before our final count needs to be in.

And we had two out-of-town guests – an old, dear friend of mine and her husband – who never RSVP’ed one way or the other. Last I talked to her, a couple of weeks ago, she said they still weren’t sure they’d be coming from St. Louis. We haven’t heard back, so we’re just assuming “no.”

Other fun facts:

  • Of the initial 73 we invited, four “no’s” came from unused +1s.
  • We lost 10 guests due to our “no child” policy.
  • Then there’s us, who I kept forgetting to count
  • And two vendors, who get meals but no apps, but need to be included in the final count

That brings our grand total of “final” guests, including us and our vendors, to 56: 75% of our initial list, or slightly greater than the “industry standard” of a 20% decline rate.

I had a low point last week where I was mocking up a seating chart and noticed there were many more Mr. Ladyfinger folds than Miss Ladyfinger folks – only six of my family members, versus his 12. Twenty-one of his friends, versus 13 of mine. Then, it was pointed out to me that this is no numbers game, and that really, many of his friends ARE my friends, and vice versa. And family? Well, by the time dinner rolls around, won’t we ALL be family?

I also had a brief moment where I wondered if we *should* have opened up our list beyond that 80 that our venue could hold. Clearly, we wouldn’t have gone over capacity. I could have said yes to my dad’s two random friends. Mr. Ladyfingers could have said yes to his dad’s two set of cousins that Mr. Ladyfingers had never even met. I could have invited a handful of acquaintances I’m not close with, but who might be hurt and confused that they weren’t invited.

And then, Mr. Ladyfingers asked me if I was sad that we weren’t having a bigger wedding. And you know what? Absolutely, no. I am not. We’ll have 52 of our nearest and dearest with us in that room that day. At least one of us will know every single person there. We’ll be able to say hi to most of them, probably all, and hang out with many. We’ll be able to experience the night rather than being carried through it in a haze of introductions and logistics.

And had we gone for a bigger wedding, something in a venue that held more than 80, perhaps 50 or 200? I don’t think I would have been able to do many of the little touches that weren’t a big pain with 80 people. I wouldn’t have been able to hand-address our invitations, or splurge on cute rehearsal dinner invitations. I wouldn’t have been able to hand-make and package our favors. I wouldn’t have been able to make programs, or hand-stamp and write out our escort cards.

No, I’m glad we’re having the wedding we’re having. And with 10 days to go… I’m glad we’re having a wedding, period.

How ab0ut you? Was your RSVP count revealing in any way? Did the final number make you regretful that you’d done it a certain way – whether it was a low count that made you regret not opening things up, or a high count that made you regret bending to the requests of those around you? And were there things you were able to do because of a smaller wedding – or things you could not do because of a larger wedding?


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