I'm trying to figure out my total wedding budget, and I know that the only way to really cut back is to trim the guest list. However, I've also heard that you can factor in at least 10, if not 20 percent of guests as no-shows. Should I go ahead then and budget for the cost of how many people I think will actually show up, instead of the cost of my entire wedding guest list?
In a word: no. This is a case where you should definitely err on the side of caution. While it's true that chances are slim every last guest you invite will be able to make it to your wedding, it's definite that it will be a huge headache for you to scrounge up more dough if more guests than you expected say that they'll be able to make it. The solution? Cut down your guest list to a size your money can manage, and until every last RSVP card has come in (and every last phone call to track down those errant replies has gone out), assume that they're all going to be there. Then if your final headcount is lower than you expected, great -- you'll be able to pass that number on to your caterer, rental company, and so on, and the money is still yours.
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