When is the final guest count due?

Your final guest count is the exact number of guests who RSVP’d yes to your wedding and will attend the ceremony and reception (don’t forget to include you and your partner too!).

Your final guest count not only impacts your total wedding costs, but it also impacts several wedding details. You should share your final guest count with any vendor who is providing services or products based on the number of guests attending your event.

5 wedding professionals to share your final guest count include:

  • Wedding Planner 
  • Venue Coordinator
  • Catering Manager
  • Florist
  • Printer/Calligrapher

Venues and vendors will likely need your final guest count no later than 14 days before your wedding date. In some cases, it may be 30 days out, but 14 is more common.

Unfortunately you may have stragglers who don’t RSVP by the due date even with a follow up and you may also have guests who cancel at the last minute due to unforeseen reasons. Because of this, the closer to the wedding date the final guest count is due the better because it will be the most accurate. 

Here is a quick timeline to keep in mind to ensure you give your final guest count on time:

  • 3 Months Before Your Wedding Date: Send your wedding invitations.
  • 2 Months Before Your Wedding Date: RSVPs due. Give your guests one full month to RSVP from the time you send your invites. Keep in mind, guests do not need more than a month to RSVP. If you give too much time, they will likely forget to send it in. You’ll likely have to chase down a few guests who haven’t responded on time. Take a week or two to chase down those guests.
  • 6 Weeks Before Your Wedding Date: Finalize your details (table arrangements, meal counts, centerpiece totals, paper items such as programs, table numbers, menu cards, seating chart/escort cards/place cards). You will have about a month to this since the final guest count is due the last two weeks before the wedding. 
  • 2 Weeks Before Your Wedding Date: Final guest count due. 

You may be wondering, what do I do if my guest count changes after the final due date? It’s stressful and irritating when this happens but the reality is emergencies come up which results in a guest cancelling last minute and other times a guest unexpectedly brings a plus one. Communicate the changes ASAP to the vendors it will impact the most, which is the wedding planner, venue and caterer.

Although you will unfortunately not get any money back on cancellations and have to pay for additional guests, communicating the changes as they happen will make for seating, meals, etc. to be accurate and smooth on the day of. 

Friday, June 30, 2023

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