Commitment Ceremony Question…?

by DIY wedding planner on May 21, 2012

My partner and I are having a commitment ceremony on Feb. 28, 2009. We’ve decided to go formal, I have a beautiful white dress w/a black sash and she’s wearing a black and white pinstripe tux. We are having 3 bridesmaids & 3 groomsmen. Our initial head count was around 150, BUT that doesn’t mean they will all show up. My biggest fear is that maybe 50 people show up (alot of our families aren’t taking it serious because it’s a “gay” wedding). We are going to be working on a tight budget and don’t really want to overspend on much. What I’m wondering is, what’s the earliest I can send out RSVP invitations so that we can know way ahead of time how much money to alot for food, decorations (i dont want to decorate 15 rows of chairs if only 9 are filled!!!) entertainment (do I splurge on a DJ for just 50-60 guests or do we DIY it?). Any advice (unless it’s rude or uncalled for) is appreciated!!!!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Suz123 May 21, 2012 at 5:24 am

Only the wealthy decorate 15 rows of chairs.

The norm? Only the first two or three rows are decorated, the ones where seating is reserved for special family members.

Just decorate the first two or three rows. Don’t worry with decorating 15 . . . unless you are wealthy with an unlimited budget.

Invitations are generally mailed 6 to 8 weeks before the event.
RSVP response time is determined by your caterer. How long before the wedding does your caterer want the final count? Make your RSVP response date maybe two or three days before you give the caterer a final count. This gives you time to call the guests who have not responded, asking them if they plan to attend.

If on a very tight budget, consider asking a friend or relative to act as your DJ.


y2-y1 May 21, 2012 at 5:38 am

However many you invite is how many you should plan for. If you can’t afford that many – cut the list.

As far as the DJ, figure out what the most important things are to you. If you just want tunes, get an ipod. If you want someone to be a master of ceremonies, get a DJ. I’m kind of weird, but to me the most important thing is the wine, and that I had a good enough mix. Figure out your “must haves” and stick with that.

Be sure to shop seasonal sales for decorations, you would be surprised at how many 90% off items we were able to buy.

Good luck and congrats!


iloveweddings May 21, 2012 at 5:58 am


Invitations are usually mailed 8 weeks prior to the wedding. You really can’t send them much earlier than that….possibly 10 weeks, but then you need to give your guests time to respond. So, you usually don’t need a head count until 2-3 weeks prior….but if you are “ansy” you can ask that the RSVP’s be returned on 2/1/09. That is all you can do. You can probably get a feel from everyone (if they are wanting to attend or not) just by talking with them.

So….I don’t know what to tell you on booking the DJ, etc. Those things need to be booked more in advance than a February 1st RSVP date. They are usually booked many months in advance and that would not be proper to ask your guests that far in advance….and, many would change their minds by then anyway! (That happens at all weddings….you get those that RSVP’d, but they never show.)

The best advice I can give is to have a smaller ceremony and invite those who you KNOW will show and go from there with your plans!

Good luck with all your plans!


Mrs.10/18/08 May 21, 2012 at 6:56 am

First of all, Congrats!

As other answerers have said, invites usually go out no more than 8 weeks before the wedding, and have an RSVP date of two to four weeks before the wedding depending on how much time you need to get your final head count in to your venue.

My suggestion is that you do what my fiance and I did – we made a probability sheet – it’s not as complicated as it sounds, trust me! We basically took our guest list, and assigned everyone a Definite Yes, Probably Yes, Maybe, Probably No, Definite No. Then we counted them up and got a better idea of where we were at realistically. I suggest planning around the Definite Yes, Probably Yes, and about half of the Maybe’s. That way you’ll have at least somewhat of an idea for how many you should accomodate. However, make sure to leave a little bit of room in your budget incase your Probably No’s and your Definite No’s surprise you – it could happen!

As far as the DJ goes, it all depends on whether you’ve got a trustworthy friend and the ability to get a decent sound system for the MP3′s. If not, just go with the dj – they are more experienced at keeping the party going, anyway.

Good luck and best wishes!

*edit* Also, you could send out Save the Dates and *politely* ask anyone who knows they will be unable to attend to RSVP immediately – I had a family member who was getting married in Paris and did this so that she would have a better idea of how many she could expect.


Eric B May 21, 2012 at 7:24 am

Sorry to say, you normally would not send out the fomal invitations until 6 – 8 weeks before the cermemony. The RSVP date would be 2 – 4 weeks before the ceremony. Most couples have to book reception halls up to a year in advance so they only have a general idea of how many may come. Even with a yes on the RSVP card, you still may have a few ‘no shows’ the day of due to scheduling conflicts or illness. To give people a ‘heads up’ of the event in order to book hotels, people usually send out a ‘save the date’ announcement with details of hotels in the area with special rates.


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