How many people should I invite to my wedding? Here’s a breakdown

How many people should I invite to my wedding? Here’s a breakdown

Your wedding day is one of the most important events as you and your partner start a life together. However, planning a wedding is difficult as a lot must be done. One of the major decisions for your big day to be successful is the guest list. How many people should I invite to my wedding?

Plus ones at weddings
Photo:, @olyakobruseva
Source: UGC

You finally have the ring on your finger and can't wait to say I do to the love of your life. But before that, you have a wedding to plan and people to invite. Preparing a guest list is one of the most important decisions for your wedding preparations. This is because the list will affect your budget, the vibe etc.

How many people should I invite to my wedding?

There is no rule on how many people you should invite to your big day. It is completely up to you and your partner. Having a guest list is, however, one of the most important decisions you must make for your big day. Before answering the guest list question, consider the following factors.

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1. Type of the wedding

The first thing before you decide how many people to invite to your ceremony is deciding the type of wedding. Do you want a small, medium, or big ceremony?

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2. The size of your circle

When planning a guest list, it is important to consider your circle of family and friends. If you and your partner have many friends and family, your list will be big. On the other hand, if you only know a few people, you can have a small guest list.

3. Finances available

Coming up with a guest list will be influenced by the amount of money you have as a couple. So before you decide how many people to invite, think about the budget.

4. Consider the wedding venue

The location of the ceremony or venue will influence the number of people you invite. If space is limited, invite a few people; if the space and budget allow, you can invite more people. Destination marriage ceremonies also mean inviting fewer people.

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5. Account for all the little details

Considering all the wedding details related to guests will go a long way in deciding how many people you invite. Things like food, lighting, and chairs will greatly be affected if the number of guests goes up or down.

6. Don't assume anything

When planning, do not assume people will not attend, so you invite them out of being polite. People love attending parties, so ensure they are all factored into the plans. You might be in trouble if you assumed they wouldn't come and they would show up.

Rule of thumb for wedding guest lists

Who to invite to your wedding
Photo:, @georgemilton
Source: UGC

When coming up with a wedding list, there are certain steps to follow. Below is a guide on how to come up with a guest list.

  • Think about the vibe you want on your big day. Do you want a ballroom kind of vibe or a beach vibe? This will set the tone on who to invite and how many people should attend.
  • Come up with your dream guest list. If finances were not an issue, what would the list look like? Focus on the people you love; this will give you a picture before trying to fit in the budget.
  • Have a budget conversation with your partner. This is the most dreaded part of wedding planning because it affects many things. It is, however, crucial to ensure that you stay within the budget when coming up with a guest list.
  • Decide if you want children at your event. Before you finalize your guest list, you need to decide whether children should attend. If yes, what age is allowed?
  • Make the hard decision and draft a guest list. Once the budget is in place, you can estimate how many guests you can invite. Decide the people on the list in the order of importance.
  • The last step is to make a final list that fits the budget and let the fun begin. Ensure you send out the invites in good time to allow everyone to plan accordingly.

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Who to invite to your wedding

When planning a wedding, the guest list tops the list. This is because you want all the important people to share in your happiness. Here is a breakdown of who should make the cut on your guest list.

1. Close family members

This is the most important group that should be on the guest list. It includes parents, grandparents, siblings, their spouses, and kids.

2. Members of your wedding party

This group includes the best man, maid of honour, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and page boys. They should be on top of your guest list.

3. Extended family

Extended family members include aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. This part of the guest list is tricky if you have a big family. If you invite one, you must invite all to avoid offending anyone.

4. Close friends

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These are your close friends who are closer than even some family members. They include your best friends and your close friends.

5. Family friends

You have known these people for a long time and grew up with them. They are more or less like family to you.

6. Parents' friends

When coming up with a guest list, consult your parents about who they want to invite. This is important whether they are financing the ceremony or not. Ensure you control the number to match the budget.

7. Religious groups

If you are a member of a religious group, you may add them to your list. More so if you are exchanging vows at church or mosque.

8. Colleagues

You don't have to invite your colleagues to your big day. But if you're friends and meet outside your workplace, inviting them is courteous.

The plus ones at weddings

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A plus one is someone who accompanies an invited guest to a wedding. Mainly refers to a romantic interest, but it could also be a friend or family member. When deciding on plus ones, it is important to have a rule that applies to all guests.

  • Only married people should bring their better halves as plus ones.
  • Guests, for example, only get plus-ones if they have been together for a specific time.
  • If the plus has met the wedding couple before the big day.
  • Anyone in a serious relationship should be allowed a plus-one.
  • You can also decide to allow all unmarried guests to bring a date or a friend as their plus one to the ceremony.

Who to invite to a small wedding?

Invitation to wedding party
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Source: UGC

If you are getting married and you want a small and intim*te wedding, your guest list must be the same, small and intim*te. The invitation to the marriage ceremony should include the following:

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  • Parents from both sides.
  • Siblings and their spouses and their children.
  • Grandparents from your side and your fiancée's side.
  • The bridal party. This includes the maid of honour, best man, bridesmaids and grooms, flower girl, and page boy.
  • Invite your best friend and your partner's best friend if they are not on the bridal team.

What is the average number of guests at a wedding?

The budget and the couple's preference affect the number of guests at the ceremony. However, on average, the guest list should be between 100 and 200.

Do I have to invite someone to my wedding who invited me?

No rule says you must invite someone to your big day just because they invited you to theirs. You can consider the questions listed below before deciding.

  • How big was their marriage ceremony compared to yours?
  • How long ago did they tie the knot, and when is your marriage ceremony?
  • Are you close, and do you see each other often?
  • Do they know other people who will be attending your ceremony?
  • Do you like them?

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All in all, your guest list should include people you have relationships with. Don't invite someone out of obligation.

What percent of wedding guests attend a wedding?

The percentage of wedding guests that attend varies from one ceremony to another. The 2020 pandemic has decreased the number of RSVPs, and other factors affect the average wedding attendance. On average, the attendees' percentage is between 75-85 percent. Your budget should, however, cater to 100 percent attendance to be on the safe side.

How many people should I invite to my wedding? Although there is no one right answer, there are things to consider when making this decision. You should invite whoever you want to, depending on how big or small your wedding is. The most important thing is you enjoy your day with people who mean something to you.

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