Are you currently planning your wedding and feeling overwhelmed by the daunting task of creating the guest list? Well, you’re not alone. According to Zola’s 2023 First Look Report, the average wedding consists of 130 to 150 guests, but the list can easily spiral out of control. Choosing who to invite can be a sensitive and challenging decision, as no one wants to upset distant relatives or friends. In this article, we’ll provide you with expert tips on how to determine the right number of guests for your wedding without blowing your budget or hurting anyone’s feelings. Emily Forrest, head of communications at Zola, will share her insights to help make this process a little easier for you. So, let’s dive in and figure out the optimal number of people to invite to your special day!
What Type of Wedding Do You Want?
Planning a wedding can be an exciting and daunting task. One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what type of wedding you want. Are you dreaming of a small, intimate elopement? Or maybe you envision a classic wedding with all of your friends and family. The size of your guest list will greatly impact the overall feel and cost of your wedding, so it’s important to carefully consider your options.
The Elopement: 3 to 5 guests
If you and your partner are looking for a truly intimate and private wedding experience, an elopement may be the perfect choice for you. This type of wedding typically includes only the couple themselves and a small number of close family or friends, totaling around 3 to 5 guests. Elopements are often held in scenic locations such as a beach, mountainside, or even a city hall. They offer a romantic and low-stress alternative to a traditional wedding, and can be a great option for couples who value privacy and simplicity.
The Petite: 25 guests
For those who want a slightly larger celebration while still maintaining an intimate atmosphere, a petite wedding with around 25 guests might be the ideal choice. This type of wedding allows you to include a few more of your closest friends and family members, while still keeping the guest list small enough for a more personal experience. You can choose a venue that suits your style, whether it’s a charming garden, a cozy restaurant, or even your own backyard. A petite wedding allows you to focus on creating meaningful connections with each of your guests.
The Classic: 100 guests
If you have a larger circle of friends and family that you want to include in your special day, a classic wedding with around 100 guests could be the way to go. This type of wedding offers a balanced mix of intimacy and celebration. You’ll be able to invite your closest friends and family, while also having the opportunity to socialize and dance the night away with a larger group. A classic wedding often takes place at a traditional venue, such as a ballroom or a historic mansion, and allows for a more formal and elaborate affair.
The Mega Wedding: 300+ guests
For those who love big celebrations and want to invite everyone they know, a mega wedding with 300 or more guests might be the perfect fit. This type of wedding offers a grand and extravagant experience, with all the bells and whistles. From a lavish venue to an extensive guest list, a mega wedding allows you to go all out and create a memorable experience for everyone involved. However, it’s important to note that hosting a large wedding can come with a hefty price tag and require more logistical planning.
What Is Your Budget?
While it’s essential to have a vision for your wedding, it’s equally important to consider your budget. Setting a concise budget early on will help you make informed decisions and ensure that you don’t overspend. Start by determining how much you and your partner are comfortable spending on your wedding. Consider factors such as savings, loans, or contributions from family members. Knowing your budget from the beginning will help you prioritize and allocate funds to different aspects of your wedding.
According to Zola’s data, the average couple spends around $29,000 on their wedding. However, it’s important to keep in mind that wedding expenses can vary depending on your geographical location. For example, couples in New York City can expect to spend around $43,000, while those in Idaho may spend closer to $20,000. The biggest budget items typically include the venue, catering, and entertainment. It’s crucial to factor in these costs when planning your budget.
What Is the Capacity at Your Venue?
The capacity of your chosen venue will determine how many guests you can invite. Different venues have different maximum capacities, so it’s important to choose a venue that can comfortably accommodate your desired number of guests. Keep in mind that larger venues may come with a higher price tag, whereas smaller venues may offer a more intimate atmosphere. Consider the overall vibe you want for your wedding and find a venue that aligns with your vision.
Remembering the Purpose of the Wedding
Ultimately, the size of your guest list should align with the purpose of your wedding. While it’s easy to get caught up in societal expectations or pressure from others, it’s important to remember that your wedding is about celebrating your love and commitment to each other. It’s an opportunity to share your happiness with your closest friends and family. Whether you choose to have a small elopement or a grand mega wedding, the most important thing is to create an event that reflects who you are as a couple.
So, take some time to consider what type of wedding you truly want and what fits within your budget. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and make choices that prioritize your happiness and authenticity. With careful planning and thoughtful decision-making, your wedding day will be a beautiful and memorable occasion for you and your loved ones.