How many people should I invite to a wedding?

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A question often asked when planning a wedding is, ‘how many people should I invite to a wedding?’ This question is quickly asked but often hard to answer in definite amounts. Therefore, you’ll need to process specific points to get a satisfactory answer to know the exact amount that is right for you. 

What is the Average Wedding Guest Amount?

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A study published by the Knot found that the average wedding guest number in 2019 was 131 guests, however when the 2020 pandemic hit, these numbers dived down to just 66, but in 2021-2022 had a resurgence as lockdowns became a thing of the past. The average numbers the Knot reported were across all of the United States, but these varied drastically when broken down across regions. 

How Many Wedding Guests Come out of Town?

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It would help to consider how many prospective guests will be coming from overseas or out of town to attend your wedding. Consider whether you should invite locals to minimize costs for them or yourselves if there are many of them. This could be substituted by having a virtual wedding for those that wish to attend but cannot afford the time or expenses of travel, and you can invite more guests in town. 

Can You Afford a Big Guested Wedding Budget?

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When it comes to weddings, one thing you should be conscious of is your wedding budget. Of course, you could spend freely, but in the end, you’ll start your married life with debts, so to avoid this, consider how much you want to spend on hosting guests. In addition, you’ll need to consider venue size, catering, and entertainment depending on the number of people you invite to the wedding.

Will it Require A Lot of Time to Attend?

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If you are one of those couples who love the idea of a week-long wedding, consider making your guest list fit this accordingly. For example, you could have smaller get-togethers for each day to invite more people but save money on the larger reception or ceremony.  Consider also your guest's time and whether it would be best to have a shorter ceremony and have the important days on the weekend when most already have those days free!

How Big is The Venue?

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You might dream of a massive guest list, but if you don’t have a venue to cater for them, you’ll be disappointed. So, consider how much you can afford, narrow down the guest numbers, and pick the venue. If you do these steps in said order, the planning process will go smoothly. 

Do I Want Just Family or Everyone I know?

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Who you decide to have at your wedding is up to you, and if you’d rather have just family or friends, that is fine. Think about who is most important in your life, and if that is all friends, you can have an exclusively friend-only wedding, and the same can be said for your family. The bigger the wedding guestlist, the more friends and family you can invite, but a minimal wedding might only have a guestlist of 20 and under. 

Should I Allow Plus Ones?

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When you invite guests, you can add the option of plus ones, but remember that this will contribute to your overall guest numbers. If you’d prefer to keep it to the names of people you know, you could make it a strict ‘not plus ones’ rule to general guests and only allow your closest friends and family to bring partners if you know them. 

One counterpoint to not including plus ones are that some guests might not attend if they feel they can’t get a partner or support. Many find themselves stressed if they go to a social gathering with many people and don’t know anyone except the host. You’ll be busy, so you can’t always be there to entertain them! If you can pinpoint these people, you could add them to the plus-one list. 

Final Remarks: How many people should I invite to a wedding?

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The answer to the question of how many people you should invite to your wedding is not straightforward, but by using this guide as a baseline, you’ll find a sweet spot. So send out your invites and enjoy the planning stages of this exciting moment in your life. 

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