There are no rules when it comes to how many wedding guests to invite. However, your final wedding guest count will depend on several things - namely, your budget, the destination, the venue, and the wedding size. These help you determine how many guests you should invite for the BIG day.
Planning your wedding day can be a bit stressful as you have to make some direct decisions.
One of the biggest decisions is: how many people should I invite to my wedding?
Should I only invite those closest to me?
Should I invite my cousin once removed?
All my coworkers?
My parents' friends?
How many wedding guests to invite?!?
Before you fall under pressure, we're going to give you some useful information. This will help you settle on the final wedding guest count.
Plus, we'll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about wedding guests.
So let's get straight to it.
How Many Wedding Guests to Invite?
The first thing you should know is that there are no rules.
It's totally up to the bride and groom to decide how many guests are at a wedding. (It's also up to them to pick those guests.)
For all the bride and groom responsibilities, check out this article.
That said, several factors will determine the final headcount.
These factors are:
- Your budget
- A destination wedding
- The wedding venue
- Your wedding style
Let's take a close look at each one.
Your wedding budget has a big say in how many people are invited. I mean, you're the ones paying for the guests to be there, after all.
So it's only sensible to keep the guest list short if you're on a tight budget. On the other hand, a flexible budget can mean more invitations sent out. (Just remember that the more you invite, the more expensive it will be.)
Now, you might be wondering, "how much does one guest cost?"
The truth is, the cost varies depending on the location, the venue, the catering, taxes, etc...
But one thing you can do is to make a very rough estimate as to the cost per guest. Then, make a list of all the people you want to invite (this isn't the final list so write down anyone you can think of).
Count the people you wrote down and add it up to your cost per guest. If the price goes way over the budget, eliminate some names (again, no need to worry about who you remove or keep yet).
Do this until you get the number of people that fit the budget you set. This will give you a good idea of how many wedding guests to invite and still stay on (budget) track.
Check out this video talking all about wedding budgets:
A Destination Wedding
Are you planning a destination wedding?
If so, you might want to limit your invitations. And here's why...
For one, destination weddings cost a lot more. What with paying for airfare for the whole wedding party, accommodation, etc. on top of the guest expenses.
Another reason is that a lot of people probably won't be able to make it.
We tell you, you'll feel disappointed if you expect a big crowd and only a few turn up. To avoid that, it's best to keep the list short.
You might be wondering, "What percentage of invited guests attend a destination wedding?"
There is a wedding guest calculator that creates a wedding guest count formula. E.g only 55% of invited guests attend a destination wedding. The numbers go up to 85% if all invited guests are close family/friends.
Now, of course, that's not to say you shouldn't invite big numbers to destination weddings. If you want to, go ahead (I mean, hey, who's stopping you?). Just keep in mind the wedding guest count formula.
The Wedding Venue
Your wedding venue is another factor to determine how many people you should invite to your wedding.
If the venue is small, you certainly don't want to overcrowd it. In the same way, you might want to fill up the empty spaces of a big venue.
Looking for exact numbers? Ask the venue director how many guests at a wedding are usually accommodated.
Once you get the numbers, you have a good idea of the total number of people that'll fit the venue. From there, you can start naming your guests to witness the special day.
Your Wedding Style
Finally, there's your wedding style.
No doubt, you and your partner have been planning this day for a long time. And, you've probably already talked about what kind of wedding you want.
If you decide on an intimate wedding, you'll want just your closest family and friends there.
If you decide on a big, fancy wedding, go ahead and invite your uncles, aunts, cousins, coworkers, high school and college friends, etc...
This should be the number one priority. All the other factors we mentioned should fall under your wedding style. I mean, it’s both YOUR special day.
How many people should I invite to my wedding?
As many (or little) as you want!
Frequently Asked Questions
As promised, we're going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about wedding guests.
Who to Invite to Your Wedding?
The bottom line is that you and your partner can invite whomever you want! (Maybe give your parents several people to invite, too. Especially if they helped with the funds.)
However, if you're unsure who to send an invitation to, we'll give you some suggestions.
- Closest friends
- Your closest uncles, aunts, and cousins
- Distant relatives
- Your wider circle of friends
- Old friends
- Children of guests
This will give you an idea of who should be on your list from the most important to least.
Feeling the pressure of leaving someone out? Check out this article to help you cut down your list.
How Many Wedding Guests to Expect?
So, you've sent out invitations to everyone you want to witness your wedding.
How many wedding guests should you expect to come?
Let the wedding guest calculator give you a rough estimate.
For all the local guests, you can expect around 85% to attend. Guests that are coming from elsewhere are usually 55%. That number goes up, however, if these out-of-town guests are close family/friends.
For more ways to estimate your guests, read this article.
How Many Guests is Considered a Small Wedding?
If you want a small wedding, how many guests should there be to consider it "small"?
Well, anywhere from 10 to 50 guests is considered a small wedding. 50 to 150 is in the medium range, while anything over 150 is already a big wedding.
How many people should I invite to my wedding?
There are 4 factors to answer that:
- Your budget. Estimate the cost per guest and see how many you can afford to invite.
- A destination wedding. If you don't want to spend more or be disappointed, limit your guest list for destination weddings.
- The wedding venue. Ask how many people can be accommodated and try to follow those numbers closely.
- Your wedding style. Plan with your partner if you want it to be an intimate wedding or a fancy one. This is the top priority.
All in all, how many people you end up inviting should be what you and your partner want from your wedding day.
If you have a question we haven't answered, comment below and we'll get to you.