Home Event Planning How Many People Should I Invite To My Wedding: Budget Wedding Decisions

How Many People Should I Invite To My Wedding: Budget Wedding Decisions

11 min read
How to Plan a Wedding on a Small Budget: The Guest List

Budget weddings are generally small. This is because every person you invite, you have to at least feed and every meal is more money. The more people in your bridal party, the more gifts you have to produce and more money you have to spend at the rehearsal dinner, so on, so forth. If you’ve decided you’re a budget bride and you start out with a 500 people guest list, that’s fine. But you’re going to need a bit pair of scissors and nerves of steel. 

It’s a common misconception that you “owe” people invitations. Whether it’s a distant relative, a co-worker, or even a friend, you aren’t obligated to invite anyone. That said, hurt feelings can follow if you don’t. Remember what I said about nerves of steel? 

Let’s Start with the Basics

Don’t forget to count yourselves when you do your guest list. This sounds obvious, but it’s not. When you do seating charts or order the food, you and your new spouse will need seats and meals. 

Let’s Continue With Your Bridal Party

Now that your guest count is up to two, you will need to start thinking about who you want to stand up with you on your big day. Remember: you do not have to include…

  • someone whose bridal party you were in
  • a relative, especially if you’re not close
  • someone who you suspect might bring the drama

So who do you invite to be in your bridal party? Think about everyone you want to be in your party and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I close to this person? Being a bestie when you were 7 may or may not be the best way to judge. Think about when you last saw them, casually. When was the last time they came over to your house? What about vice versa?
  • Do I genuinely want them to be in the bridal party? If you think about your cousin and all you can picture are her aggressive multi-level marketing posts and constant complaining that people are buying enough products from her, you might not want to include her in the wedding. Reserve this place for someone you can’t imagine spending the day without.
  • Will this person help make my wedding amazing? As a bride, you will be dealing with enough stress as it is. If you have a friend or family member who you love but is prone to bad behavior, it’s probably best to let them be a guest and stay far away from the microphone during toasts.

Most importantly: think about this decision. Once you’ve announced who is in the bridal party, it’s easier to make additions than subtractions, but generally can cause problems when it comes to rearranging. So take some time, think carefully, and choose your party with care.

How to Plan a Wedding on a Small Budget: The Guest List

Who Should I Invite as a Wedding Guest?

If you’re having trouble narrowing down the list, I recommend looking through said list and making sure the people you’re inviting to the wedding are there because you want them to be there and celebrate with you, not because you feel social pressure. 

But if I don’t Invite X Person They’ll be Upset!

Yes, and that is their problem. Not yours. If you don’t actually want them at your wedding and the budget doesn’t allow more guests than the ones you have already selected, don’t let yourself worry about fallout from this decision.

No matter how many guests you invite, people not invited will always think that they should have been there. No matter how few guests you invite, people will always believe they hold a more special place in your heart than they actually do. There’s no sense in inviting people who might get upset without a invitation if you don’t want them at your wedding.

What am I Supposed to Say to X Person?

Start with this: You are having a small wedding with a limited guest list and unfortunately could not invite everyone. But you appreciate their interest in your wedding and thank them for their well wishes as you start a new chapter in your life. 

If the would-be guest protests further it will become more and more clear to you that the problem isn’t that you didn’t invite them to the wedding, it’s that the guest isn’t familiar with being told “no.” 

How to Plan a Wedding on a Small Budget: The Guest List

A Word About Social Media and Small Wedding Planning

Even though you are within your rights to invite whomever you please to your own wedding, you can also help minimize drama by not extensively advertising your wedding planning on social media or at social gatherings where attendees include those who aren’t on the guest list.

Most people won’t be offended at all and will wish you well on your wedding planning, even if they won’t see the end result in person. Some never thought they would be invited in the first place. But constantly talking about a wedding to a host of people who aren’t invited could cause more problems than venting your frustration over floral arrangements will help.

Talk to your wedding group, wherever you find one. Leave it off your personal timeline. After all, you do have a life apart from wedding planning. That’s what people want to hear about. 

Additionally, never post your bridal registry link on a social media profile. While you might intend your nearest and dearest wedding guests to see it, it will probably just seem like a cash grab on your part and make everyone else roll their eyes and search for the platform’s “unfollow” button. 

Other Ways to Narrow Down the Guest List

Channel Ma-Ti and use the power of heart. It might be difficult, but you will know who you should invite and who you should leave off. Remember that this your wedding and your money is funding it. If it’s not in the budget to invite as many people as you want, it’s just not in the budget. Don’t stress if you can’t please everyone. 

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