How many guests to invite to your wedding
Updated: Jan 13
"There's nothing that makes you more insane than family. Or more happy. Or more exasperated. Or more… secure." - Jim Butcher
Weddings are full of love and excitement, that’s why is always so fun to share the special occasion with so many friends and family. But while it would be awesome to invite everyone you know to your special day, sometimes it’s not always possible.
Smaller weddings typically consist of 100 guests or fewer. Somewhere around the 200-guest mark makes up the medium-sized wedding and a hundred to 200 more guests than that is considered a larger wedding.
Whether you want to invite all your friends and family, along with those of your fiancé(e), or keep the ceremony on the down-low between you and some of your closest loved ones, choosing the size of your wedding comes with a lot of factors.
Some of the main factors that determine how many people you can invite include your budget, time and, of course, venue. While some of these factors can be completely independent from each other, most of the time they go hand-in-hand.
Here’s what to know before sending out those fancy wedding invitations.
Whether you’re eloping and inviting only close loved ones or doing the whole enchilada with an elaborately decorated banquet hall, creating your perfect wedding takes some kind of planning. And planning takes time.
It’s this time that allows you to think about how many people can make your wedding and how you can best accommodate them. Though there isn’t a set formula that tells you how long you need to plan for a specific number of guests, smaller weddings typically require less time to put together.
But keep in mind that less time to plan doesn’t necessarily mean less effort or creativity!
If you want to get married a month or less out from when you or your fiancé(e) popped the question, it’s typically harder to find planners, florists, cinematographers who can work after such short notice. However, it’s not impossible.
Knowing exactly what you want in your wedding can help expedite the process. Read our guide on how to start planning your wedding below:
Often times, a short preparation period poses a challenge to such vendors, especially if you plan to have more than 100 guests. For weddings that are planned in a such span, it’s typically recommended to invite closest friends, family and others you know well.
As your wedding guest list gets longer, the more time you have to spend planning. In addition to finding a venue that can fit all of your guests and caterers who can accommodate different diets, you have to allow your guests ample time to prepare for your big day, but more on that later.
While it’s always nice to dream about having an extravagant dream wedding in some romantic part of the world without having to pay big bucks, it’s always best to stay realistic with your budget when planning your big day.
Oftentimes, your wedding budget determines how all-out you can go for your guests. However, your monetary resources shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your big day with those you love. All it takes is creativity, resourcefulness and patience.
Naturally, if you’ve set aside more money for this big day, it’s possible to pamper scores, if not hundreds, of guests. You can fit your guests in a large, elegant venue while also providing them with a whole catered three-course meal.
If you’re more on the saving side, you can either opt to give a select handful of loved ones for the whole dressed up experience, or you can also go for a more casual ceremony and reception. Though entertaining a smaller crowd than most grand weddings, the casual take on a wedding guarantees a more intimate setting with your loved ones.
If you and your spouse-to be aren’t too keen on spending a fortune, it’s probably not the most feasible to bring hundreds of friends and family out to a luxury destination like Hawaii or Europe. Large destination weddings mean paying for family to come out, finding a place for them to stay and figuring out transportation if they don’t have access to cars.
However, if it’s in your resources to bring your family out to your dream tropical beach wedding or to France for an ornate church ceremony in the City of Love, then go for it!
Choosing a location that’s more central to where you and your loved ones live will help cut costs. Doing so will have you worrying less about paying for cross-country our out-of-country flights or finding hotels and transportation.
When it comes to selecting a venue for both your ceremony and banquet, it’s best to make sure your guests are comfortable. You don’t want to book a venue that requires your guests to cramp together, but you also don’t want one that will make your special day feel empty.
Luckily there are a number of venue types that can accommodate different sizes of weddings, think beaches, churches and temples , gardens and other outdoor spaces. Other types of venues such as grand banquet halls in hotels and spaces created specific parties are better for larger weddings.
Check out these different venues for inspiration and guidance:
Before booking your wedding venue, it’s always best to visit different kind of spaces. By visiting your venues, you’ll learn what the max occupancy is, what a dance floor might look like for hundreds of guests and whether it will comfortably fit your guest list.
Lastly, the style of your wedding can often determine the size of your wedding guest list. In the past we at CineStory films have seen a wide range of sizes and styles of weddings. But most of the time we notice that the smaller, more casual weddings go for the rustic and modern look.
Though it is more than possible to have more than 200 guests for a rustic and modern wedding, most of the time, such weddings aren’t about about decking out banquet halls with the typical flower walls and floral centerpieces.
Instead smaller weddings can mean more simplistic decorations, leaving room for more attention towards the happy couple. Going the simplistic or minimalist route for your wedding can also mean saving money, which means you can invite even more loved ones.
Again, these kinds of smaller weddings can take less time to plan, but they can help create a more intimate atmosphere.
The classic, or traditional weddings, on the other hand, often cater to larger groups. These kinds of weddings are typically held in banquet halls which can host hundreds of guests. But impressing tons of guests with such an elaborate wedding style will require more planning.
Making the guest list, whether it’s for 50 people or 500, can be stressful. But it helps to think in the perspective of a loved one who will either take a 15 minute drive, or a 15 hour flight to see you get married to the person of your dreams.
Of course, regardless of how many people will attend your wedding ceremony and banquet, your wedding is something you’ll cherish for years to come. But fond memories depend on the loved ones you have around you.
We are CineStory Films, a Wedding Videography and Wedding Photography company based in Los Angeles. Having Videographers and Photographers on our team, allows us to achieve great results consistently. Our approach is to get to know our couples on a personal level. Connecting with our clients allows us to tell their stories in a symbolic and unique way. The passion and experience we have, combined with our efficiency and professionalism, enables us to create timeless images and videos.