money·3 min read

How Many People Should You Invite to Your Wedding?

accessibility, couple crating wedding guest list
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
Jun 29, 2022

Whether you’re planning a large, lavish wedding or a small, intimate one, you can’t get around creating a guest list when it comes to your big day. And it’s a big part of your wedding budget, too. (Unless you elope, that is.)

How many people should I invite to my wedding? 

That depends on your budget. And your location, location, location. Couples, on average, invite about105 guests to their wedding, according to a 2021 survey conducted by The Knot. So 105 is a good ballpark, but don't expect every single person to make it to your ceremony. More like 70-85%. 

Do I have to include plus-ones?

If you’re sticking to tradition, all the married, engaged, and “serious relationship” guests should be allowed to bring their other halves. But experts say it’s becoming more common for couples to extend plus-ones to their single friends, too. Hint: weddings are more fun when your guests have a plus-one with them.

Do I have to invite kids to my wedding?

Some feel like kids add to the magic while others worry about them adding to the headcount and budget. Kids aren’t a must, but you should decide early in the planning process if you want them to attend. Because this can become a *cough* passionate convo. Think: Do you only want kids in your immediate family to attend? Or would you rather shave it down to only the flower girl and ring bearer? There’s no wrong answer, but experts say it’s a good idea to stay away from “ceremony only” invitations when it comes to the little ones. Because watching other kids head off to the big party (aka reception) isn’t a nice feeling.

What if I want to invite more people than my budget allows?

Decisions, decisions. If your guest list is more than your wallet can handle, consider cutting expenses in other areas. Like an alternative wedding venue. Because the more traditional your venue is, the more you’ll pay. And if you haven’t selected your colors yet, you can shave hefty floral costs down by choosing local, in-season flowers. And negotiate with your vendors to see where you can save.

Anything else to know before I finalize my guest list?

Be prepared for people to ask if they can bring a guest, even if you don’t give them a plus-one. And for relatives or other people to try and tell you who you should or should not invite. When it happens, experts say you should stay firm. Try something like, “We would love to have you bring a guest, but our ceremony is very intimate.”

theSkimm

The average wedding guest list includes 105 people. But that’s not a hard and fast rule. Start with your budget and your location to get the guest list right for your wedding. 


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