Getting married to the person you love is all exciting and fun, only till the hard jobs begin to kick in – making a guest list being the top one! How many people should I invite to my wedding is a quite stressful question that is somewhat more complex than just making a list of people you would want to celebrate your special day with.
While you may have some people who you ought to invite, there are others you would gladly skip, and then there are some who may or may not make it to the final list depending on an acceptable and agreed count. As such, you may approach the big number in a rather logical manner – here are some ways you can start building up your wedding guest list.
The Venue Or The Guest List – Pick Your Choice
One of the most crucial questions while deciding how many people should I invite to my wedding is – do you wish to celebrate your big day with all your loved ones? Or do you wish to get married in that dreamy renovated barn with just your close ones?
Usually, venues have a fixed capacity to accommodate guests for a sit-down dinner for weddings, and most often will dictate the number of guests you finally decide upon. Once you know what it is that your heart wishes for, then go ahead and start compiling your guest list to avoid any guilt or compromises.
A First Cut List With Just Your Partner
One of the first steps on deciding how many people should I invite to my wedding is to sit down with your partner to start compiling the list. Do not include your families to the discussion just as yet, as this will give you a fair chance to have an honest conversation with your partner.
You can begin with including your immediate families to the list, followed by close family members you wish to have, and then your sets of tight-knit friends you cannot imagine the day without! Going further, you may consider the must-haves from your parents standpoint.
Although this will not cover your entire guest list, this can well be a good starting point. Make sure you have both sides of the families represented equally within the guest count.
Decide A Cut-Off Point – And Stick To It
Now that you have your immediate close ones and the most important people included, it is time to move to the next part of how many people should I invite to my wedding guest list. This includes dealing with extended family, which can get a little tricky if not drawn fair lines.
A general rule of thumb is to include or exclude an entire generation within the family tree at once. If one uncle gets an invite, all other uncles and aunts need to be invited too; if you decide to exclude one of your second cousin, you might drop off inviting all of the second cousins.
While small families are not much of a hassle, large extended families can end up taking a bulk of your guest list if not halted appropriately.
Dealing With The Extra Guest Count
After you and your partner have concurred on your preliminary guest list while deciding how many people should I invite to my wedding, check for the number of extra spots available on the guest count, and divide it evenly between both of your families. Once delegated, allow your parents and siblings to use the seats however they would like.
To put into perspective, a guest list of 100 people may be split as – 50 between you and your partner, and 25 each for the two set of parents. That way, business partners, best friends, and other important relations can all be taken into consideration without much chaos and drama.
Things may get tricky here if one set of parents is contributing more financially or not at all. This is the right time to have an open and honest, yet a respectful conversation about setting expectations optimum with the budgetary and venue restrictions in mind. Remember, everyone is new to this wedding planning, and you may want to cut each other some slack!
How Many People Should I Invite To My Wedding? The ‘Plus-One’ Etiquette
Wedding guests often want to tag along with someone they are comfortable with – it could be a spouse or a partner. Wedding etiquettes direct you to set standards well ahead of time, and ensure the same applies to all guests equally. Also remember, you are not obligated to offer the plus-one invite to all of your guests, so that is some burden of the count off your head.
Ideally, an automatic plus-one is usually extended to any guest who is married, engaged, live together or have been dating for over a year. The ones who were a part of your wedding party also get a plus-one invite. The other guests who should have a plus-one invite are the ones who might not know anyone at your wedding, say your manager or your BFF from work.
A rule of thumb goes that if plus-ones outrun your budget while deciding how many people should I invite to my wedding, you prune on the original list of invitees and not cancel out plus-ones forcing people to attend the wedding by themselves.
How Many People Should I Invite To My Wedding? Children At The Wedding
The decision of whether you prefer an adults-only reception is absolutely upto you and your partner, but the invitation should include the message clearly. Whatever you decide, it is essential you stick to your decision and make no exceptions.
‘Please note this will be an adults-only celebration’ or ‘Adult (18 and older) reception to follow’ are some ways to put it on your invite, and the same is extended to the plus-ones, which is unsaid.
Most caterers will consider children guests under 12, so in the case you do decide to have children at your wedding, remember to apply the age rule across the board. That way, your work bestie’s toddler may be fine to attend the wedding, but not your cousin’s teenager, and the question of how many people should I invite to my wedding stays in check!
How Many People Should I Invite To My Wedding? Some Obligatory Invites
While putting together your list of how many people should I invite to my wedding, there are some obligatory invites you should not miss. This includes couples whose wedding you attended in the recent past, or those whose wedding party you or your partner were a part of.
This way, do not feel guilty to exclude your friend for whom you were a bridesmaid 5 years ago, but definitely include your neighbours if you attended their son’s wedding last year.
Account For Fall-Offs And No-Shows
While it is important to send out ‘Save The Date’s early on to give your preferred guests a heads-up, there may be some invitations that go unanswered or are declined politely for whatever reason or priority. Some invitations may confirm the RSVP yet fail to show up on the big day because of some pressing emergency.
Either way, the rule of thumb says not to invite any more guests than your budget or seating capacity while finalising on how many people should I invite to my wedding. You may choose to send out a round of second-tier invitations accounting to the maximum number of guests permitted at the end of the initial RSVP deadline, however, make sure it does not cause much hurt and drama and is well worth the risk.
- How many people should I invite to my wedding?
A wedding guest list is usually a matter of personal preference and budgetary allowance. As such, there is no ideal single number to pinpoint. However, it is commonly observed that a large wedding typically has over 150 guests, while intimate weddings may see as less as 25 to 50 guests. The wedding guest list is often also dictated by the choice of venue and how many guests can be accommodated for a sit-down dinner.
- What percentage of invited guests attend a wedding?
The usual rule of thumb says that about 80-85% of invited guests RSVP ‘yes’ to the the wedding. However, you may consider a yet further 5% no show for personal emergencies. This average may fluctuate in the case of destination weddings.
- Who gets invited to the rehearsal dinner?
The rehearsal dinner is usually reserved for the people taking part in the wedding ceremony. Immediate families and the bridal party are also included. The parents of the flower girl and ring bearer, even if they are not a part of the wedding guest list, are invited to the rehearsal dinner. You may choose to invite out-of-town guests as a gesture of appreciation for their efforts to be a part of the wedding, however, it is not always necessary. Ceremony readers and officiant with their plus-ones should always be invited to the rehearsal dinner.
- Who gets invited to the bridal shower?
The bridal shower is a much more intimate celebration and usually only the people who are a part of the wedding get invited to the bridal shower. Traditionally, the bride-to-be’s closest female friends and relatives are on the bridal shower guest list. The close female relatives of the bride-to-be’s spouse may also be a part of the celebration. The typical number of guests for a bridal shower may range from 15 to 50.
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