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How to Decide How Many Guests to Invite to Your Wedding


wedding guests at an outdoor venue

How to Decide Your Guest List

When it comes to planning a wedding, one of the most challenging decisions you'll make is deciding how many guests to invite. You want to share your special day with everyone you care about, but you also need to be mindful of your budget and venue capacity. Here are some tips to help you make the tough decisions and create a guest list that reflects your priorities and makes your wedding day unforgettable.


1. Start with Your Budget and Venue Capacity

Before you start making your guest list, it's crucial to have a realistic idea of your budget and venue capacity. Your budget will determine how many guests you can afford to invite, while your venue capacity will dictate how many people you can physically fit in the space.


When creating your budget, consider how much you can realistically afford to spend on each guest, and prioritize your spending accordingly. This may mean that you also need to start getting quotes from caterers to make sure you have a good idea of how much per person food is going to cost.


2. Create a Preliminary Guest List

Once you have a rough idea of your budget and venue capacity, create a preliminary guest list. This list should include everyone you would like to invite to your wedding, including family, friends, and coworkers. Don't worry about the length of the list at this stage; you'll be making cuts later on.


3. Prioritize Your Must-Have Guests

Your must-have guests are the people you can't imagine getting married without. They might include your parents, siblings, and closest friends. Prioritize them on your list. Start by allocating spots for them and any other close family and friends who you know you want to invite. This will give you a better idea of how much space you have left for other guests.


A good way to do this is making a google sheet. Once you write all the names down in one column use the column to the right of the names to number 1, for must-have guests. That way you can filter through them to know how many you can add to the list.


4. Consider Your Relationships

When deciding who to invite to your wedding, consider your relationships with each person on your list. Are they close friends or distant acquaintances? Have you spoken to them recently? I personally thought about if I had talked to that person in the last year. Do you see them often? These factors can help you determine whether or not to invite someone to your wedding. If you haven't spoken to someone in a long time, or you don't feel particularly close to them, it might be best to leave them off the list.


5. Be Mindful of Your Partner's Wishes

Your wedding is about both you and your partner, so be sure to consider their wishes when making your guest list. They may have close family members or friends that you may have overlooked. Be open to their suggestions and make sure you're both on the same page when it comes to who you want to invite.


6. Be Prepared to Make Tough Decisions

At the end of the day, you may not be able to invite everyone you would like to your wedding. Be prepared to make tough decisions and be honest with yourself and your guests. It's better to have a smaller, more intimate wedding than to invite too many people and be overwhelmed. If you're having trouble making cuts, consider having a separate celebration with those you couldn't invite.


Remember that your wedding is about you and your partner, so don't feel pressured to invite anyone who doesn't fit into your vision for your special day. By following these tips, you can create a guest list that reflects your priorities and makes your wedding day unforgettable.

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