(Closed) guest list or venue first?

posted 6 years ago in Logistics
Post # 2
618 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

View original reply
WannaBee2BridalBee:  We did a rough “first round” guest list first so that we could easily weed out smaller venues and help us get a budget in order for food, bar, etc. I’m so glad we did this. We knew what we needed for both capacity and budget and it saved so much time. There was also no falling in love with a venue and then being disappointed because we couldn’t afford it or fit everyone into it. 

I can see why others would pick a venue first and tailor the guest list to fit your venue. It all depends on what is more important to you and your fiance. A venue that you absolutely love or inviting more of your loved ones? We were lucky because we got both 🙂

Post # 3
7579 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

You need to get a rough idea of the guest list first, since many venues are capacity-controlled.

Post # 4
860 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

We picked a guest list first. However it was easy for us because we were both on board with choosing the fewest number of people possible. Once we nailed down that it was going to be 70-90 people once all was said and done we chose our venue based on what we wanted and cost.

maybe explain to your fiancé how much it’s going to cost to host everyone and their next door neighbor? At $50-$200 a head depending on what youre doing he might change his mind

Post # 5
1838 posts
Buzzing bee

I think you need to have a rough idea of your guestlist before you pick your venue, so that you know how many people you need to accomodate (without having too large a space and not enough guests to fill it).

Have a list of definites and then a list of maybes and then go looking at venues that accomodate more than your number of definites but less than your total number (including maybes). Once you find your venue then you can write up your actual guest list. 

Post # 6
9251 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Guest list and budget first. It is no use going to visit a venue that won’t fit your guest list or that is above your pp budget.

Post # 7
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

We did our guest list first and decided on a venue based on that number. We knew some guests wouldn’t be there, mainly due to traveling, but at least we had a venue to accommodate any surprise guests! 

Post # 8
244 posts
Helper bee

we made an absolute must list- like no matter what the wedding these people are absolutely invited. that set the bare minimum for venue space. then we added whoever we wanted, anyone we’d invite if we had the budget/space. (not crazy out of hand.. we already knew we didn’t want one of those weddings where you don’t know a lot of your guests personally.) that set the absolute max. i also made my realistic list, the key additions to the first list without going over the top which is what we’re shooting for in a venue.

when we see smaller venues we know, ok we’d have the small wedding/guest list here, when there’s more room we know where along the continuum we’d get to go. we also like having a max list because it sucks paying for space a venue you don’t need, or getting stuck with minimum guest lists/spending amount at venues. it’s good for us to know what our max could possibly be.

Post # 9
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

As others have said, I would definitely figure out a budget first, then draft your guest list, then decide on a venue. A budget is pretty essential so you don’t fall in love with a venue you can’t afford and you also don’t want a venue that will be too big or too small for the # of guests you plan to invite.

Post # 10
47412 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We did a budget first.

After that we started a spreadsheet with our must-have guests, nice- to-have guests, and only if there’s room guests.

After we had the three possible guest list totals, we were able to be objective when we looked at venues.

If the venue was too small for the must-have list, it was out.

If it was large enough for the must-have, or the must-have and nice-to-have, we then looked at the per person cost to use that venue (including venue cost and in house catering). If that cost was within budget, it stayed on the list.

We were then able to narrow down our choice using other factors like staff that we liked, travel, decor, etc

Post # 11
1430 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Guest list first, then venue. You don’t want to end up falling in love with a gorgeous venue only to realize it can’t fit the number of guests you want to invite.

Post # 12
2421 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

View original reply
WannaBee2BridalBee:  You need to have a guest list number first because if you choose a venue first than you might not have enough space to accomondate all your guest and than you would either need to choose a new venue or decrease your guestlist.

Make it easy on yourself and just do the guest list FIRST.

Post # 13
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Make 2 guest list, one with everyone on it and a smaller intimate list. Then look at venues, this way if you fall in love with a small venue you know you can do it, and if you like the larger venue you know you have the number to fill it. Once you see the pricing and venues you can both decide waht you both feel comfortable with 

Post # 14
543 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

We researched venues, and picked the one with the right date available. Then we initially had 130 people, and have cut back to 80 as the Chapel is a MAXIMUM 100. We have cut out the kids and some people we really didn’t need. Also, I know its a “Special Day” Etc, however cutting all those people has saved us almost $5000. Thats our whole honeymoon paid for!


Post # 15
85 posts
Worker bee

Guest list, that will help you know what type of venue to choose

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