Advice on number of guest….

posted 2 years ago in Logistics
  • poll: A good number would be..
    150-175 : (13 votes)
    65 %
    176-190 : (2 votes)
    10 %
    191-200 : (3 votes)
    15 %
    Stick with your number : (2 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 2
    11593 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I don’t really understand.  If I told you 150 is a good number, are you going to not invite 200 of the people on your list? 

    Set a budget, ffigure out your guest list, and find a venue to fit in your budget.  In my area, the larger venues were out of my budget, so we narrowed down that way. 

    Make the list of people you truly want at your wedding.  That’s your number.  It’ll feel like a wedding if you have 20 people or 2000.

    Post # 3
    1581 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I voted 150-175, but I would actually go lower; 120 is where I’d cap it. But that’s because of me personally, and I’ve been to bigger weddings where it still felt like a wedding! I don’t think the “weddingness” of your wedding will be diminished by your guest count, as long as it’s important to you and your fiance for each guest that you’ve invited to be there. 🙂 

    Post # 3
    3280 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    Personally, every wedding I’ve been to has had over 300 people so that’s what my view of a wedding is. It’s a huge celebration with all your family and friends so guests list are huge. Ours was around 350 but most are 400-500. I think 300 was a perfect number for us because it included our family and friends. Any number that has your important people is the right number. 

    Post # 5
    5808 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

    It depends on the social norms with your friends and family. I find most people with large wedding are super stressed out. AND at the wedding, you wont get to see everyone. Think about this–if you have a receiving line or go from table to table, how much time will it take to say hi to everyone? Do you want to spend 1-3 hours just saying hi?

    Do you have a budget? Have you looked into how much it will cost to feed all those people? In my area it’s about $100pp (including tip and tax) Plus about $10/hour pp for open bar. If you have 300 people, it will be $3000 per hour just for drinks. If you have a 4 hour reception, that’s $12,000, plus another $30,000 for food. 

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  KoiKove.
    Post # 6
    716 posts
    Busy bee

    I probably attend 125-150 person weddings on average. 

    I am having an 80 person wedding myself as I only want family and close friends.  My philosophy is spend time with and spend money on the people that you most care about. 

    Personally, I think it will be very hard and very expensive to accomodate and entertain 350 people.  It will be hard for you to have meaningful interaction with anyone if you have to spread yourself so thin.

    But, as I said, for perspective, I’m the person who wanted a <100 person wedding, so the opposite extreme.

    Post # 7
    886 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    We had a fairly small wedding for our area/circle of friends.  Our guest list was 150 but only 130 rsvp’d yes however only 120 actually showed (grrrr to those 10 people who rsvp’d yes and decided to just not show up without sending a text/email or phonecall … I always think back as to what we could’ve done with the cost of those 10 plates … just aggrevates me!). Sorry needed to vent that! Moving back on topic … I felt the amount of guests we had was perfect and not at all over whelming. We were able to greet and mingle with each of our guests … yes EVERY guest. We spent the night dancing away with all of our closest friends/family. I say the more intimate the better. My brother and SIL had a large wedding 250 guests and for me personally it was just too over whelming.

    Post # 8
    1256 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    I think you should decide what kind of wedding you want first. What can you afford. Where do you want it. A lot of venues cannot manage that many. I would rather a smaller group for my dream wedding than getting married in a park with a cash bar to accommodate guests size. Figure out what matters most and then go from there. 

    Post # 9
    453 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    MilkCookies81:  Before you decide on your guest list, you need to have a budget. Then find a venue after looking around at your “possible guest count”. I know once we found the venue we loved, it had a max number of people and we had to cut our guest list even further. 

    Remember there are soooooo many details in a wedding that add up quickly so your budget should be the determining factor for a guest list. 

    Side note – DAMNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN that is a LOTTTTT of people. 

    Post # 10
    164 posts
    Blushing bee

    I agree about thinking about venue and budget first. I have a neverending family, and we both have a ton of friends, but our perfect venue and budget only allowed for ~225 guests. We now have a reasonable excuse not to invite people. I’m doing 2 waves of invitations – first for the necessary, and second for friends and extended family if there’s room because a bunch of people RSVP no.

    By the way, my guest list is also in the 300s, but many are from other countries and won’t come. If that’s also true with you (a disproportionate amount of people not being able to come) then feel free to invite more people! 

    Good luck! This is the hardest part. 🙂

    Post # 11
    1258 posts
    Bumble bee

    It really depends on A) the budget you have to work with and B) what you envision for your wedding. I have never attended a wedding before that had over 150 or so guests, so I couldn’t tell you what that is like. I feel like between 80 – 125ish is a nice number.

    When my FI and I were planning, before we even asked for input from our families, we created a list together of all the people we would want to invite. Then we put it away for a couple of days and came back to it and looked at cutting certain branches of family members or friends we haven’t hung out with in over a year, coworkers, etc. Then we asked our families for input on who they thought should receive an invitation.

    We whittled the list down and came up with a nice round number of 80 people we would invite. Of that 80 ours will be around 35 people in total that will attend. We’re having a destination wedding which is how we were able to get away with having a smaller guest list. 


    Post # 12
    883 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2015 - On a Cliff Overlooking the Bay, Florida

    Does your venue have a people cap? my Venue has a cap of 150 seated guest, they are putting a few tables our on the back lawn/patio where the ceremony will be help to accommodate my 175 guest list

    Post # 13
    1566 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    MilkCookies81:  First off, there are a lot of factors that you need to take into account.

    1. Okay the big list is 356 (everyone we would want to invite)

    2. What are your venue options?

    3. What is your budget?

    4. Does your combination of venue options and budget allow for a max of 356 guests?

    Now that you have an assessment of your options & major constraints, you need to prioritize:

    Will you be bummed if you can’t invite someone? What is the least important thing? What is the most important thing? 

    Because 356 could be the perfect wedding for you, if it’s a wedding you can afford and find a place to host it!

    356 could also be totally overwhelming and mean that you won’t have a wedding in XYZ venue with catering at such-and-such level with flowers and a band and multiple photographers, so you have less than that (somewhere between 100 & 200) and have all the details you desire.


    Post # 14
    183 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    My list is currently at 363 and only seems to grow so I understand where you are coming from!  I would never cut people off the list because it wouldn’t  feel like a wedding. Do what you Can afford and embrace the amount of people that are caring enough in your life!

    Post # 15
    6158 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    my wedding was 118, a perfect number and i tend to like attending weddings that are 150ish people or less.

    i did go to a wedding that was 350ish people and there were just too many people.  not enough room on the dance floor, too long lines for cocktails and hor-dourves.  then waiting for everyone to be served dinner, etc. just overall too much waiting

    but if you can afford it and that is what you want, go for it.


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