Today's tip concerns the guestlist/RSVPs.
Here's a really great tip: No matter what you do, how hard you plan, how many wedding blogs/books/magazines you read, nothing's an exact science and you can't plan for the unplannable. Yeah, that's what I call a nontip. Just a heads up really. Lol. Yes, this can encompass many things involved in the planning process, but more specifically I'm talking about trying to guesstimate how many people will be at your wedding.
For example, "they" say you should expect 30% of the amount of people you invite will not be there. So when estimating size for a venue, costs for catering, amount of alcohol to purchase, how many favors you'll need, how many place settings you'll need, etc., you should take 30% of your total invited amount and just expect them not to be there. I mean, it is a good estimate, but nothing's really going to be exact. Shoot, it might not even be close! In my case, I had a whopping 57% not come! Yeah, that's a lot. I originally invited 160 people, and had 86 coming within the final week... then 5 dropped out in the week before... then 5 dropped out the DAY before. Then 6 people just didn't show. That's right, just.didn't.show. To quote Stephanie Tanner, "How rude!" It's a good thing we didn't pay per plate. It's also a good thing I love to freeze leftovers, although that doesn't help the extra plates and glasses I had to rent. Tip: Please make sure to let people know within a decent amount of time that you can't come. I could've cut down my catering and rental costs by a lot if I knew how many people would drop out at the last minute.
Oh right, then there were 4 people I made HANDMADE invites for and NEVER heard from. Like what the hell? Again - how rude! Tip: If you can't make it to someone's wedding, TELL THEM! Trust me, if they're upset that you can't come it'll be MUCH less upset (or pissed off!) than they'll be if you just don't respond. You'll never truly understand the importance of RSVPs, or how much it will piss you off when someone doesn't RSVP, until you plan a wedding. So if you're not married yet, trust me on this one.
This will also really gnaw at you when you start to realize that you could have invited those people you initially left off the guestlist because it was getting out of hand. If I would have known that certain people wouldn't have the courtesy to even RSVP (or RSVP and then not show up), then I wouldn't have invited them in the first place. Oh, btw, did I mention it was initially 14 people, but I had to basically stalk THEM for MY wedding, and out of those 14 I never got a response from 4, yeah.
Oops. This kind of turned into a rant. Sorry! But maybe it's a rant that will prepare another bride that such things could happen... and therefore still a tip. :)