It's always a special occasion when you get married, and it can be exciting to think about how your wedding will look — especially if you're the one planning it! There are many things to consider when you're planning a wedding, but one of the most important is who to invite. Creating your guestlist can be challenging and deciding who makes the cut can sometimes be a difficult decision.
The amount of guests you invite to your wedding is entirely up to you and your partner — that number depends on your budget, your venue’s capacity limits and how large a gathering you would prefer. Some people choose small, intimate weddings with fewer than 50 guests while others prefer larger weddings with 150 or more.
In this article, we'll help you figure out how many people should be invited to your wedding so you can ensure your big day is as perfect as possible.
Select Your Venue First
The venue you select will determine the number of guests you can invite, so it's important to book the venue before planning your guest list. The venue's size, location and amenities all impact how many people can attend your wedding. If you haven’t yet selected a venue, roughly estimate the amount of guests you plan on inviting as it will help you select an appropriately sized venue.
Consider The Size Of Your Venue
The size and capacity of your venue will determine the maximum number of guests you can invite. Wedding venues will always have a limit on how many guests couples can invite so before you start organizing your guestlist, find out how many guests your venue can accommodate. If you’re getting married at a large church or ballroom, chances are you’ll be able to invite more people than if you were tying the knot in a small backyard.
Be Mindful Of Your Budget
Knowing what your wedding budget is will help you decide who to invite. Venues typically charge per head so sticking to a budget will help you determine the number of guests you can afford to invite. If you think you might struggle to afford to invite everyone you had in mind, consider cutting down on the guest list and having a small wedding instead of overextending yourself financially.
Below is an approximation of the number of guests you can invite based on three budgets:
If you have a budget of $10,000-$15,000, you could invite approximately 50-75 guests.
If you have a budget of $15,000-$20,000, you could invite approximately 75-100 guests.
If you have a budget of $20,000-$30,000, you could invite approximately 100-150 guests.
Ceremony vs. Reception Guest List
It’s not uncommon for couples to have two different guest lists for their ceremony and reception. Couples will often invite an extended group of people to their ceremony and have only their most important guests at the reception. There is a general community acceptance that guests may be invited to a wedding ceremony without necessarily being invited to the reception. If you are having your ceremony and reception at different locations, this may make it easier to create two separate guest lists as all guests will be departing the ceremony regardless.
Only Invite People You Feel Comfortable Inviting
As you are thinking about who to invite, remember that your wedding day is all about you and your partner. It's a special time for the two of you to spend with those who mean the most to you. There’s no need to invite everyone in your phone book - think about the number of people you would feel most comfortable celebrating your special day with. At the end of the day, there are no rules on who you should or shouldn’t invite so make sure you and your partner invite the people that are most important to you both.
Who Should I Invite To My Wedding?
In order to figure out how many people to invite to your wedding, you need to know who you're inviting. Below are the most common groups of people couples consider when creating their guestlist:
Family & Extended Family
Family is typically the group of people couple’s add to their guestlist first. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, uncles and aunties, sons and daughters etc. Couples will sometimes decide not to invite children and instead, prefer their wedding to be an adults-only celebration.
Friends & Friends’ Partners
Close friends and their partners are generally considered next when crafting a wedding guestlist. This could include long-term friends from high school, friends from a previous job, friends you met online etc.
If you have a particularly close relationship with a family friend, feel free to consider inviting them to your big day. Perhaps you have a particularly close relationship with the son or daughter of your parents’ friends etc.
If you have space on your guestlist, consider inviting any coworkers you are particularly close with. It could be a good chance to show them how important they are to you outside of your workplace.
Whether they live in the same apartment or the house next door, neighbours are another group of people couples consider inviting to their wedding. Perhaps you live in a small community and have known your neighbours for many years.
When it comes to the number of people you should invite to your wedding, there’s no right or wrong answer. The most important thing is that you are comfortable with the number of guests you invite and that you know you will appreciate them being there. With all these things in mind, we hope this guide has given you some food for thought on how many guests to invite and who those guests should be.