Unexpected Wedding Guests: How Common Are They Really?

Is everyone in this photo on the guest list?

So, unexpected wedding guests. Word on the street is that there are more of them than people thing. And I’m not talking about professional wedding crashers who are just looking for a good time. I mean friends and relatives who RSVP’ed no but decided to come anyway, invitees who never bothered to send back the stamped reply postcard, and wedding guests who arrived at the reception with one, two, or more people in tow. As far as I know, there was no one at our wedding who wasn’t supposed to be there, but since ours was a backyard family affair, I didn’t pay all that much attention once the day got rolling.

If unexpected wedding guests are more common than I assumed, are people taking them into consideration when giving wedding vendors those precious final headcounts? Is it better to pay for a few more chairs, entrees, and slices of wedding cake than to have one to few of any of these things? It’s a question I have trouble wrapping my brain around because I’d never in a million years attend a wedding to which I had not RSVPed or switch my entree choice at the last moment or *gasp* bring a few cronies with me to the reception so everyone could get boozed up on the cheap. But I know not everyone is as polite as I am, hence the poll. I want to know how you’re handling the possibility of unexpected wedding guests and, I suppose, whether you’re anticipating any!

Image: djprybyl

5 Responses to “Unexpected Wedding Guests: How Common Are They Really?”

  1. The Jananator May 4, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    I would like to hope that unexpected wedding guests aren’t that common, but I bet that unexpected RSVPers are. Like you get back the RSVP for Me. and Mrs. Smith with +1 written in or “and family” written in or even someone else’s name, like they’re bringing a friend.

  2. casablanca May 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    I didn’t have any extras show up to our wedding, but we did have one couple RSVP for 3. It wasn’t a huge deal to talk to them about it.

  3. Katie May 4, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    We only had one person who didn’t RSVP at all (though I did have to chase up a notoriously disorganised friend via Facebook). Mum kept suggesting that I should add him to the count ‘just in case’ which I angrily refused to do (if he can’t bother to respond, why should I feed him?). However, as we got married on a week day, we had quite a few people leave early for various reasons, plus my brother and his partner who didn’t come because she was 8 months pregnant (they do live interstate, but I do feel that he could have come, at least), so we could have accommodated him had he shown up.

  4. Lisa in Berlin May 5, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    About half of my fiance’s 10 siblings have either not replied at all or vaguely suggested that they wont know until a day before the wedding whether they can come. And one of my own friends decided that her “plus 1″ would be whatever platonic friend she can talk into coming with her. Sigh…

  5. Anonymous M June 3, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    I did have just about the whole best man’s extended family show up for the ceremony (which I was semi fine with), but I put the foot down at them coming to reception because it would have been 11 extra people (he was the only one actually invited). Thankfully, they understood. Though the best man didn’t quite (you mean my whole family isn’t invited to the reception? we got the question about 5 days before our wedding).