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5 min read

How Many People Should I Invite to My Wedding?

How Many People Should I Invite to My Wedding?

If you’re here, you must be newly engaged. So before we get started, congratulations are in order! What a special time for you both一we're sure you're excited to start planning!

Of course, one of the first things you're keen to nail down is your guest list. The great thing about weddings is that the "right" number of guests is totally up to you! But… that's also the tough thing about it. Without a clear-cut answer, it's hard to decide how large your wedding should be.

There’s really no single answer to the question “how many people should I invite to my wedding?” but that doesn’t mean you have to make a random guess. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to consider so you can figure out the best answer to your question. 

How many guests should I invite to our wedding?

Deciding how many guests to invite to your wedding is a big decision but your number now doesnt need to be your final number

 

Wedding size and guest list FAQs

What's the average wedding size? What's considered a small wedding? A big wedding? How do I decide who to invite to my wedding? What variables should I consider? Find answers below!

What’s an average wedding size?

As we mentioned, there really isn't a "one size fits all" when it comes to a wedding guest list. One person may find a 150-person guest list quite intimate, while others may find it overwhelmingly big. It all depends on factors like the size of your families and friend groups, your culture and religion, and even your vision for your big day.

But you asked, and we shall answer! Typically, a guestlist of 75 to 150 people is considered an "average" wedding size.

However, average guest counts fluctuate too. Did you know that about ten more guests are invited to weddings this year than last year? That brings the national average to just over 100 wedding guests.

What’s considered a small wedding? 

A small, or intimate wedding, is typically under 75 guests. At first glance, this may not seem "small" to some of you—but guest lists grow quite quickly! If you're allowing plus-ones or children, your guest list could instantly double, so this is something to consider.

Sometimes people will choose to have a small ceremony and then a larger reception. This is an option you may want to explore as well. 

What’s considered a big wedding? 

A big wedding has over 150 guests. If you have big families and a lot of friends —and allow plus-ones—you can easily reach over 150 guests. Hey, that’s okay. When else can you get all of your favorite people together in a room?!

With that said, it can be tricky to find elegant venues that accommodate hundreds of guests. It’s best to start your search early, so you can secure your top pick.

At Wedgewood Weddings, we have venues that cater for 75 - 400+, so you can always find a location that suits your guest list needs.

 

Wedding Guests at Palm Valley by Wedgewood Weddings

 

What variables should I consider when creating a guest list?

Of course, there's the practical side of creating a guest list. You'll need to make sure your wedding lines up with your budget, venue, and vision. 

Typically, 50% of your wedding budget will go toward your venue, catering and alcohol, and other rental costs. With a larger guest list, these costs will, of course, rise. So it’s important to sit down with your partner and discuss what matters most to you two.

If you want to “wow” your guests with the décor and entertainment services, we recommend crunching the numbers based on your guest list. When it comes to wedding planning, knowledge is power!

How do I decide who to invite to my wedding?

Oof, now this question is hard to answer. We'd love to say, "all the people you want to be there!" But you may also feel pressured to allow plus-ones, children, extended family, and Mom's bestie from Pilates class. 

Our advice? Prioritize those that matter to you and your fiancé first. Before consulting anyone else, sit down together and create a list of your favorite people. 

If you have space (according to your venue and budget) to allow for extra guests, then it's a good idea to put some rules in place. Here are our suggestions: 

  • For plus-ones: We've got good news—you're not obligated to offer every guest a plus-one. But with that said, if they're in a serious relationship, they'd probably appreciate the extended invite. (You'd want to bring your love to a wedding, too, right?)

    Traditionally, the custom is to add a plus-one for any couple that lives together or who have been together for at least 3-5 years. If they met last weekend, you’re not obligated to extend an invite.
  • For parents' requests: Parental guest lists often depend on whether your parents are financially contributing to your wedding. If they are then you would usually give them more leeway. 

Wedding Guests - Galway Downs by Wedgewood Weddings (2)

Being surrounded by family and friends is wonderful but your eyes will be on each other


A fair way to accommodate your parents' extra guests is to give each of them a certain number of invites. They'll be happy they can bring along some of their closest people and you'll feel good knowing the guest list is under control. 

  • For extended family: This can be tricky for those with big extended families. To avoid hurting people's feelings, you'll need to decide where the cut-off is—and stick to it. For example, if you want to invite one second cousin, you should invite all your second cousins.

You can also decide on the extended family guest list by deciding on a geographic area or by last-seen date. If you meet regularly or you attended their wedding then it’s a yes. If they’re a plane ride away and you last met when you were in diapers, it can be a no.

  • For children: It's entirely up to you if you want children at your wedding. Adults-only celebrations are very common—just make sure to add this note to your invite. 

How many guests can I expect to show up? 

Typically 75-85% of local guests attend weddings. But you can expect less attendance from out-of-town guests or if you're planning a destination wedding. 

Some couples will plan for this and increase their guest list by about 10% - 20%. Others create a secondary list of folks to invite once they see the RSVPs coming in. This is why it's a good idea to send out save-the-date cards early on to get a sense of the number of A-list attendees. 

What’s next on the to-do list? We can help!

By now, you should have a better idea of how many people you should invite to your wedding. Now it's time for the fun stuff: choosing a wedding venue.

Wedgewood Weddings & Events venues are located across California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Nevada, and New England. You’ll find elegant ceremony and reception venues that can accommodate over 200 guests—which are a rarity at times! Alternatively, you can adapt a larger venue to create an intimate setting so your party of 75 feels like they have space to relax.

 

Wedding Guests - Galway Downs by Wedgewood Weddings (1)

Large or small, your wedding guest list will be just right

 

Want to skip the guesswork, number crunching, and planning? Enlist our team of experts to help! Choose from our wedding packages that suit different budgets and requirements or customize a package and design your own wedding. Reach out to us today so we can start planning and make sure your wedding day is just how you want it!

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