Sunday, April 20, 2014

Barn Breakdown

It’s that time folks! The Barn guest list break down. Who the heck do we have coming to this shin-dig? 

Well let me first start by saying we didn't want to have such a tight budget that we couldn't invite who we wanted. Our guests were one of the most important parts of our wedding, so we made sure to accommodate for a large group. At the present moment we have 368 people on the guest list! I know, just let that process for a moment,

Photo via: Memecrunch

 Now that you have absorbed the gravity of how huge the Barn wedding it is, I am here to tell you that number is highly inflated. Every person who wasn't already part of a couple was granted a +1 and we counted every child as a person as technically they will be seated in a chair. I wanted to know what my number was when it came down to worst case scenario. I do most of my planning for worst case scenario and wedding planning was no different. It’s the same thing when you do work on your house **, there is always something that comes up, so I was making sure we had a cushion.   
So, if I take away the 11 babies (so many babies!), I have 357 people left. If I go further and take off the 37 children who will most likely be ordering off the kids menu I am left with, 320 adults. Now if I remove the 26 courtesy plus ones, I am left with 294 (I know some people feel very strongly about plus ones but our guests are important and we wanted them to have a good time and be comfortable, so if bringing a date does that, the more the merrier).
I could take that even further and remove the handful of people I know or guess won’t be coming and I would be left with 238. We have our wedding planned and budgeted for around 250. There are all kinds of equations and formulas that can give you an estimate but you know your guest list the best. You should be able to calculate an approximate number. Mr. Farmer and I know that we could get insanely lucky and have 300 people show up and we would welcome them with open arms, however we are realistic and know that since we are getting married in Eau Claire, not everyone is going to be able to make the trip.
As long as we can get close we are A-OK with that! Just to be on the safe side, I played around with some numbers and equations from various websites and came up with these answers:
Here Comes the Bride - they suggested that about 80% of your guest list will show: 295, however they say if you are having a destination wedding that 30-40% won't show: 258
Smooth Wedding - has a formula: # of guests invited x .66 x 1.15 = Total approximate # of guests who will attend - 368 x .66 x 1.15 = 279
Weddings - states that 85% will show: 295, however for a destination wedding they say 55% is a safe estimate: 202
Being an accountant, I decided to take the average of the three and came up with: 246. Not bad at all when our estimate was 238. What did I tell you? You know your guests the best. You should know who is most likely to come and most likely who won’t show up or be able to attend. I understand there will always be a few surprises but Mr. Farmer and I have built that into our budget and have prepared ourselves mentally for it as well. 
How does your guest list break down? Did you inflate it for worst case scenario too?

**Mr. Farmer and I are also in the process of building an addition to our new house we will be moving into this fall, so we know all about "house construction surprises"

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