The Exact Number of Wedding Programs to Order or Print


So you're wondering, how many programs do I need to print for my guests? You're hoping to print the perfect amount so you won't be left with extras, but also want to make sure you don't run out.


Well, no worries! The way to figure this number out is to take a few different factors into consideration: estimated RSVPs, time of year, the number of couples/males attending, and where the programs will be located.



1. How many people will be attending?

If you're planning to order your programs before you've received your official headcount, you will first need to figure out the max amount of people you would need a program for. From here, we will then consider other factors that can help reduce this number.


On average, you can generally account for at least 17-20% of people declining your invitation. RSVPify analyzed thousands of their users' guest list data and found that the average wedding has 83% percent of guests indicating they will attend and 17% percent of invitees declining.


Keep in mind this data does not apply if you are having a destination wedding, especially if the destination is significantly far from the majority of your guests. You can expect a much higher decline rate if so.


Next, consider the weather.


2. Will guests want to use them as fans?

For me, my wedding was the first week of August, midday and it was BURNING up outside. I felt so bad for my guests! (But it was actually supposed to storm, so I was thankful nonetheless!) Anyways, my guests definitely appreciated the extra airflow that the program could provide.

Because I did originally plan for them to be used as fans, I printed about 95% of the total RSVP list so that everyone could have this option — not 100% simply because there will always be a few guests who won't show up, regardless of them RSVPing and swearing they wouldn't miss it for the world (life happens, people get sick, etc.) — or because they simply just don't want to hold a program.


Keep in mind, your programs don't necessarily have to have the added stick to be used as a fan, as long as the program is thick enough on its own! I recommend having them printed on the thickest paper option if you prefer the classic program look without the stick.


However, if heat won't be a problem for you, then consider these other factors that could potentially reduce the number of programs you will need:


3. How many couples will be attending? How many single men?

A lot of couples will generally only grab one program, so if you have a lot of couples attending, this will automatically decrease the number of programs you will need. You can then also take into account the number of single men who will be attending. Men generally don't tend to grab programs unless an usher is specifically handing it to them. Which leads to the next question:


4. Will you have ushers handing the programs out?

If you plan to have ushers, or a wedding coordinator handing programs out, then a good rule of thumb would be to plan for every individual and every couple to have a program of their own. But if you're leaving them out for guests to grab as they wish, then you can assume most men won't grab one (unless again, it's super hot outside). But if you want to be on the safe side, provide at least 25% of the programs for the single males.


For Example...

To recap, let's use an example. Let's say you are inviting 150 guests. You can safely estimate around 17% of your invitees will not attend, leaving you with 125 probable guests (rounding numbers to the nearest whole number). Let's then say 35 couples will be attending, 30 single females, and 25 single males.


You should then plan to have enough for 35(couples)+30(females)+6(25% males)=71


Since most printing companies require your orders to be completed in tens, just print 70 programs!


And girl, if you do happen to run out, DO NOT STRESS! It's not a big deal. Though programs are a beautiful touch, they are not required. So no matter how many you choose to print, relax! You're getting freakin married!! Of all the things that could go "wrong", running out of programs should be the least of your worries!


But while we're speaking of stress, I've got a gift for you that should help you avoid some of the day-of stress that could take place! Click below to grab your FREE wedding day timeline template that you can send to your entire bridal party!

HOPE ALL OF THIS INFORMATION HELPS! :)

Hi, I'm Hannah! I'm the writer & designer behind Rosewood & Olive! I create wedding templates, custom pencil portraits, and write about all things wedding related! Thanks for stopping by!

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