No matter the budget for a couple there is always a larger guest list than expected for an upcoming wedding day. Simply put, we simply do not realize how many people we actually DO know! But just because you happen to work with that person, or your mom is related to someone does not necessarily mean you have to invite them to your wedding.
Here are a few things that I ask my couples to consider when thinking about the number of guests that they are considering versus having a tight budget.
1. The more guests you have to consider the more you have to feed them. Seems simple enough. Once you calculate a per person food, cake and drink cost it starts to add up! By simply determining a set number of people you plan to invite and sticking to that number you will be amazed at what you can save in just food and drink expenses. It also allows you to stretch your dollar and opt in for a higher-end menu, a more decorated cake or better catering service options, such as wait staff to bus your guests' tables.
2. By opting for a smaller group, you can also opt for a better priced venue. Having a smaller group also opens up options for more creative, out-side of the box locations, such as an art gallery or a local vineyard. A venue that operates on a smaller scale, usually will have more to offer a couple that fits their price points. What some venues lack in square footage, they make up for in throwing in full service amenities such as linens, set-up and tear down of the space, day of venue coordinators and so on. So in general you can also save yourself a bit less stress on your day of prep and decoration by choosing to go with a smaller guest list and opting for a full service venue!
3. Then there is stationery. Invitations, even if you are a DIY couple, cost money. Most couples opt for a save the date as a way to collect addresses for their future invitations. Consider the print and postage cost of those, in addition to your standard invitation, and your thank you cards. If you have programs, signs as part of your table decor or printed favors then those would also multiply based on the number of guests you are expecting to receive. All of that can really add up over time!
So what do you do? It is hard to pick and choose your guests, there is a bit of resistance because,in general, we are all decent people with no intention of hurting someone's feelings. However, consider this question, would you rather be starting your marriage off in debt, spending way more than you can afford to not offend that great aunt that you have only met three times? Or would you like to have a wedding full of great food, an awesome DJ and your dream decor all while staying within your means?
For more helpful tips and insights check out this Ultimate Guide to Cutting Your Guest List from theKnot .