Working out just how many invites you need for your big day can cause a bit of a headache. Here are a few tidbits of advice I have picked up in my years working in the wedding industry.
How many invites do we need to order?
What I would say first, is to work out how many households you will need to send an invitation to. Remember to include your VIPs in this, as even if you have already spoken to your Best man, your Bridesmaids, parents etc it is still nice to include them on the invite list, especially if you are having your stationery custom made.
As a rough guide, it usually works out around 2/3rds of the actual number of people you are inviting, unless there are a lot of families on the list. For a guest list of 80 I would usually find somewhere between 45 and 60 is enough.
It’s an easy miscalculation to make, thinking if you have 80 guests, that you will need 80 invites. Or if you have 80 daytime guests and 130 evening guests you need that many for each part of the day.
When you work out how many you need for the evening invites, it can vary a bit more.
For example, if you have 80 wedding guests and another 50 in the evening, you will usually need more for the extra guests – but remember you have already invited the daytime guests so you only need to send to the extra 50. Usually round 30 invitations would cover this. It does depend on how many include a plus 1, or perhaps children have only been invited to the evening celebrations, as can sometimes be the case. The best idea is to have a chat with your stationer too, if they are worth their salt they should be able to guide you. I never give ‘set’ answers as each couple and wedding can be so different to each other. Before you book your wedding stationer, read this helpful blog post.
Do we really need to order ‘spare’ invites?
I would be inclined to say yes. It might seem like a potential waste of a few valuable pounds in your budget, but in all my years as a stationer, I always find those who don’t include them to begin with return to me after a few weeks asking could we possibly have a few more please?
I try to be as accommodating as possible in these requests, however as the diary gets busy, it can take longer sometimes to slot these few extra in where other brides have already booked the space which is not really how I like to work.
As well as the time factor, spare invites can work out more expensive, last minute orders for a smaller quantity can be costly for both the stationery designer and the happy couple so do bear that in mind.
As a rough guide, I usually say add on 10 percent of your order, so if you need 45 invites, request 50, or round up any strange numbers so if you needed 37 ask for 40. You can have these left with a blank space to fill them in yourself later if necessary, there is always the option of having one for a keepsake, and it will feel so much better if you realise a little later that you (possibly, it does happen) missed someone off the list.
They are not then left waiting for an invite when everyone else has already received theirs, as an example. Or if your RSVPs are returned and you find you can squeeze a couple more people in during the day, because you really don’t want them to miss out, then you can use it for that. Try not to think of the spares as a waste of money, or a way for us busy stationers to make extra on the order, it really is about keeping things simple for everyone, less back and forth getting things sorted and one less stress!
I’ve only just started planning my wedding to Bruce, (click here to find out what happened when he proposed) we have quite some time to work with before the date we are looking for, and I am already working out how many invites I will need. The sooner you can get an idea of these things the sooner you can work out things like how many stamps you will need, that sort of thing. It all adds to the cost but can help you budget a bit better too. It’s all part of the fun and if you know what you are looking at from the beginning it will make for a much more enjoyable part of the journey for you – you want to enjoy this as much as possible – I know I do.
As always if you need help figuring any of this out, then do please drop me a line, I would love to hear how your wedding plans are going and help if I can in any way.