Backyard Bride: The Guest List

posted 3 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

When using private residential property for a venue, I’d look at simple things to determine how many people you can accommodate.

Parking.  Where will everyone park?  Will it clog up traffic flow for everyone who lives in the area?  Will Great Aunt Suzie be able to get to the ceremony site in her wheel chair?

Bathrooms.  I think the general “rule of thumb” is at least one bathroom per 50 guests.  Are the bathrooms accessible for Great Aunt Suzie’s wheelchair?

Rain plan.  Look into renting a tent, or assure ample indoor space as an inclement weather back-up plan.


Once you get those things sort of worked out, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of guest capacity you’re working with.  Only have two bathrooms?  Cool, you’ll be able to handle about 100 guests.  Rural area with a large field available for parking?  Neat-o, you can handle lots of vehicles!

It will just boil down to how many people you can logistically handle… people will understand that you just can’t invite everyone in town when there’s only one potty!

Post # 4
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I did a backyard wedding! It was a lot of work but it was totally worth it for us! We invited 230 and had about 150 that attended. 

I would sit down with your fiance and talk about priorities and preferences. Write it down. I did this with my fiance and it was a huge help. We didn’t actually use all the ideas we wrote down and we came up with new ideas. But it was really nice to go back and remind ourselves about what we thought was important when we first started planning. For us, getting to invite all our family and friends was really important, so we made that a priority.

Post # 6
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I think it’s really nice to not worry about he big show. Honestly, if you just want to get married and do it on the cheap, you could always do an easy justice of the peace! I mean, I loved my backyard wedding, but it was expensive, time consuming and gave a decent amount of stress during the planning period. So if it wasn’t really important to me to include all our friends and family in the wedding, I’d have done it just the two of us!

Post # 7
1878 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Valparaiso, IN

I had a guest list of 300 people and had to cut it down to 150. Unfortunately I have a huge family so that’s where it needed to be cut. We pretty much just stopped it at great aunts and uncles (none of my second or thrid cousins with whom I’m very close to a lot of them). But we made that choice because if I only invited some of them and not all of them it WOULD have hurt feelings. So we cut there, and also a lot of family friends weren’t invited which I was very sad about. I think in the end. the guest list was about 95% family and 5% friends.

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