How many people should I invite to my wedding: bride and groom with the guests

Wedding planning takes time, and there are many decisions you and your honey will need to make along the way. One of the most important decisions is who you’ll invite. If you find yourself wondering “how many people should I invite to my wedding?” you’re not alone. This is one of the first big decisions you’ll need to make about your big day, and it also affects the wedding venue and wedding budget. 

Here, we’ll help you answer the age-old question: How many people should I invite to my wedding? We’ll highlight a few things to consider when finalizing your wedding guest count, plus share several invitation ideas so you can have the wedding of your dreams. 

How Many People Should I Invite to My Wedding? 

Deciding on how many people to invite to your wedding depends largely on what type of wedding you want. That means there’s no right number that works for every couple. For some lovebirds, having a small wedding is the dreamiest way of honoring their love story. For others, celebrating with a large wedding that includes everyone who’s important to them is the preferred way to go. 

It really comes down to what you and your future spouse want. As a rule of thumb, wedding experts recommend inviting only as many guests as your budget allows. This prevents stress and ensures your focus stays on celebrating your marriage rather than worrying about overspending. As such, you’ll want to nail down the guest list and stick to it. 

Key Factors to Consider 

Guests throwing confetti to the bride and groom

To answer the all-important “how many people should I invite to my wedding” question, start by deciding what type of wedding you’re having. Sit down with your fiance and discuss whether you want a big wedding, small wedding, or something in between. Once you figure that part out, you can consider the factors below that can affect your big day and how many guests can attend.

Know Your Budget

One of the main drivers of how many people you invite to your wedding is the budget. This is an important conversation to have with your future spouse as well as any other individuals who may be paying for or contributing to the wedding day. 

The average cost of a wedding in America is $22,500 as of 2021. Some of these costs are unavoidable. For example, you need an officiant to get married and you’ll have to pay for a marriage license. However, many of these costs are discretionary. You can choose to spend lavishly for a dream venue, or you can choose to skip expensive floral arrangements or hiring a wedding planner if you want to cut costs.

The key here is to discuss a budget number and stick to it. Once you know how much you can spend, you can create a wedding budget breakdown that hones in on how you’re going to spend that money. All of that dictates how many people you can invite to your wedding.

Create a Wedding Guest List

Sticking to the wedding guest list is key to staying within budget. If you’ve budgeted for 100 people, you shouldn’t invite more than 100 guests. One way to keep the number of guests within your boundaries is to make two invitation lists.

The first is called an A-list and typically includes your closest friends, in-laws, and immediate family members. This list should have everyone you absolutely want to attend your wedding. If guests from the A-list decline to attend in the RSVP, then you can send out new invites to guests on the B-list — just make sure to stay within the number of people you’ve budgeted for.

The B-list is a list of other guests you’d like to come to your wedding, but can’t invite if everyone on the A-list chooses to come. This can include people in your extended family as well as colleagues from work and more casual friends or acquaintances. To stay within budget, you can also invite some additional guests to the post-dinner wedding reception but not the ceremony itself (or vice versa depending on your situation).

You can further narrow down the wedding guest list by limiting plus ones. If you’re having a huge wedding, you might allow for guests to bring along a plus one. If you’re trying to keep things small, you can limit plus ones to bridesmaids and groomsmen in the wedding party or couples. You can also choose to have an adults-only wedding — or only invite children over a certain age — which helps trim down the guest list.

Consider the Venue and Location

Aside from the number of people you invite, the wedding venue and location can take up a big chunk of your wedding day budget. If you want to go all out, consider a destination wedding or have the wedding ceremony in a fancy locale like a castle. If you’re trying to keep costs lower so you can invite more guests, consider hosting the event in a community park or along the shores of a scenic lake.

Account for the Little Details

Food and beverage consist of the largest expenses related to guests. These costs change when you add or remove guests, which is why it’s so important to stick to your guest count. If you want to invite more people without going over budget, you’ll need to take a look at the other details.

Things like lighting, florals, the dance floor, and wedding favors can all rack up the bills. Fortunately, they’re also not fixed costs. That means you can make adjustments to lower the cost of these items so that you can accommodate more guests if that’s what’s important to you. 

The key here is to decide what’s essential to you as a couple. If you care most about having more guests, you can cut out things you care less about — like large floral displays or an ultra-expensive wedding dress.

Finding Wedding Invitations

Once you’ve decided how many people you’re inviting, you can send out the invites. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can choose to send printed or digital invites. Online wedding invitations are easy to send with just a few clicks and come in thousands of customizable and gorgeous designs. 

Digital invites are environmentally friendly, and you can even upload your own designs for an invite that is truly your own. Plus, you don’t have to run to the post office or deal with the cost of postage. Tracking RSVPs is easier than ever thanks to online dashboards where you can see who’s opened your invite and who’s responded in real-time. Here are a few of our favorite designs to consider for your big day.

1. Bold Layers Invitation

How many people should I invite to my wedding: Bold Layers Invitation

Design: Keen Peachy

This bright and colorful invite is sure to catch your wedding guest’s attention. The painted strokes and bold hues are perfect for modern couples and those who want to start their nuptials with a vibrant mood.

2. Golden Botanical Romance Invitation

Golden Botanical Romance Invitation

Design: Phrosne Ros

Looking for a wedding invite that’s romantic and whimsical? This gold foil invitation features baroque style and classic detailing. It’s ideal for formal and elegant affairs.

3. Virgin Islands Invitation

Virgin Islands Invitation

Design: National Park Foundation

This beach-inspired wedding invite features hand-painted watercolor waves in turquoise hues. Use it for a national park wedding or an exotic destination dream wedding.

4. Watercolor Bliss Invitation

Watercolor Bliss Invitation

Design: Chica Design

This modern invitation is a true work of art. Featuring geometric shapes in bold hues, it’s modern and magical. Customize the design by choosing different background colors and fonts to make it your own.

5. Enchanted Woods Invitation

How many people should I invite to my wedding: Enchanted Woods Invitation

Design: Stacey Meachem Design llc

Getting married in an enchanted garden, a rustic barn, or a fanciful forest? This rustic invite sets the scene of a magical affair set in nature. Available in several natural muted hues, it’s a great way to honor your love story.

6. Festive Bohemian Invitation

How many people should I invite to my wedding: Festive Bohemian Invitation

Design: Septembre Papeterie

This boho-chic invite features geometric graphic illustrations and a soft color scheme — perfect for a whimsical wedding. There’s plenty of room for including all the important event details, and it comes with a stunning envelope accented by gold foil for a touch of glamour.

Have the Wedding of Your Dreams 

How many people should I invite to my wedding? While there’s no one right answer, there are several factors to consider when reaching a decision. Ultimately, you should invite who you want to, whether that means only your closest friends and family members or a larger party with all your loved ones. 

The number of guests you’ll invite depends on the type of wedding you want and how much you’re budgeting for the big day. Talk to your future spouse — and make sure to include any other decision-makers like parents who are contributing to the wedding — to decide how many people you want to include and decide on a budget. 

Once you decide how many people you’re inviting to your wedding, it’s time to select your invitations. At Greenvelope, you’ll find all the stationery you need for your special day including save the dates and bridal shower invitations. Plus, you’ll discover tips to make the planning process easier on our Stationer’s blog with everything from wedding etiquette to money-saving ideas and stunning themes.