This is a complicated question that most brides and grooms will ponder over but at the end of the day it is down to personal preference. To help you through this complex issue, we’ve come up with a list of handy pointers that should help you to make the right decision for you.
What kind of wedding do you want?
This is one of the biggest questions. Do you just want a small group of your closest family and friends or are you more interested in a large gathering of your extended family and all your friends? If you’re marrying far from home, it may be more difficult to get everyone together so a smaller wedding may work better for you.
What is your budget?
It may seem like just one more person sometimes but don’t forget that everything adds up. One more person could mean paying for an extra meal, perhaps extras for the buffet or canapes if you are having those, not to mention extra bubbly for the toasts. There are also other smaller considerations like place names, invitations and favours that will also be adding to the budget. You may be able to negotiate a good deal with your venue or caterers so talk to them to see what can be done.
Research venue sizes
When you know what kind of wedding you want, including the style of venue, you can look at the venues in your target area and take note of how many people they are suitable for. If the style of venue you like cannot accommodate many people, that will make an impact on your guest list. If it is more flexible, however, you can base your list size on other factors.
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Split the spaces in your guestlist
Work out how you will be splitting the available slots in your guest list early on. That way, you can make sure that each of you gets a fair amount of people coming to the wedding. Generally this is done straight down the middle but you can adapt it to suit you, based on the size of your families and how many friends you have.
How big is your family?
Bigger families can mean bigger weddings. However, if you don’t want to have a large wedding, you don’t have to. Remember to consider whether you were planning to have a big wedding or not. One helpful way to look at making your list is to consider who is on your birthday card list. That is the people who send you a birthday card and those to whom you send a card. Doing this makes it easier to work out those who are really part of your life still.
Don’t forget that not everyone will be able to show up on the day. Some older relatives may not be able to attend, whether that is because they cannot travel the distance or they are too unwell to do it. They will still appreciate the invitation though so you can always invite them so they know that you are thinking of them.
How much room do you have?
When you’re booking your venue, you need to have a good idea about how many people you can fit in, which means you should already have a guestlist ready. Knowing what number can be fitted into different venues (or even different rooms within the same venue) when you are conducting research will help you to whittle down the list to only the people you really want to attend your day. You can have various different layouts at many venues so experiment with this to see what you can do.
Does everyone really need a plus one?
If you have friends who would be coming as part of a friendship group, or family members who are in new relationships and you don’t think you’ll be able to invite their plus ones, consider whether the primary guest will have enough people to talk to at the event. If the answer is yes, you may be able to get away with it, especially if you don’t know the partner well (or at all). You can always talk to your friend or family member first and say that you probably won’t be able to invite their partners but point out who else will be attending so that they know that they won’t be alone.
Can you split the guest list so that some come later?
A popular way to control the number of guests – and therefore the expense – at a wedding is to separate those guests you want to have attending for the whole day (from the ceremony to the evening party and when it’s time to say goodbye at the end of the event) from those you want to just attend the evening party. This can be useful for people you aren’t quite as close to and as a way to include some of your friends’ plus ones.
Don’t forget, it’s up to you want you want to do for your special day and people will have to respect that. It is a privilege to be invited to a wedding, not a right, so do what will make you and your other half happy. If you’re looking for a venue that will do whatever it can to make your dream wedding come true, contact us today on 01604 821 666 or fill in our wedding enquiry form.Go back to other articles