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send and subtract 33%. For example: If you issue 120 invitations, expect 161 guests to attend.
In other words, typically about two thirds of your invitees will actually attend your event. However, these are just guidelines. Don’t invite people thinking that they ‘will never show’. Be prepared for surprises.
It’s not uncommon for guests to mistakenly RSVP for more guests than you invited. Most wedding guest lists end up, believe it or not, with several additional names added by the guests themselves.
How Do We Create the List?
Once you have determined how many guests to invite, divide the number in thirds:
1/3 - Guests of the bride’s parents
1/3 - Guests of the groom’s parents
1/3 - Guests of the bride and groom.
Next, prioritize each list into three sep- arate categories.
A List: Must Haves - These are the people you have to invite. That includes your family and close friends. Also on this list should be the officiant and their spouse or guest and anyone you consider so important that you can’t imagine getting married without them there to support you. Until you have your reception and ceremony venues finalized, you won’t know how big your guest list can actually be. However, it’s a good idea at this stage of the game to start count- ing family and your closest friends, and get a sense of how many essential invites you have.
Also, be sure to send invitations to your parents and the wedding party, as
a keepsake. They don’t have to reply. Wedding etiquette experts also say chil- dren over the age of 16 should receive their own invitation.
B List: Should Haves - These are the people you should invite, such as distant family members and good friends/ acquaintances. The B List guests are the ones with which most couples struggle the most. Do you really need to invite your mom’s great aunt from Kalamazoo? How about her staff from the office? A good rule of thumb: invite only people you personally know and like.
As for friends-in-law you wish you’d never met, start with this crucial connubial ground rule: You two are separate people with different tastes. You don’t have to like each other’s friends, but hey, letting them share some champagne with you on your big day is not going to hurt anyone.

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