The number of guests you expect for your reception will determine so many important aspects of  your reception:

*What venue you choose.  Your venue will need to comfortably hold your guests and still have room for dancing, mingling, etc.

*What will the total cost of the food be for your reception.  Fewer guests = lower total food costs.

*Is there adequate parking available, or will we need to hire a valet service?

*How many guest tables, therefore, how many centerpieces will you need?

Beware of any advice about percentages of invited guests that will attend your reception.  There is no magic formula to determine how many guests will attend.  Are the majority of  your guests local?  Did you and your partner both grow up in the area, or are family members living far away?  Do you both have large families and lots of friends?

After  years planning receptions for hundreds of bridal couples, I always cringe when I read an article advising to only plan for a percentage of invited guests to attend!  Percentages do not work!

The most reasonable way to get a realistic number of guests is to carefully go through your guest list, counting how many guests are included in each invitation, then eliminate those that  you know will not be able to attend because of distance, age, or other circumstances.  The remaining guest list should be considered your count until you begin to receive your response cards.

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