Understand which type of event you're planning.
momina jack wedding guests group shot

It's a common phenomenon: Someone tells you they're planning a small wedding, but when you show up on the big day, there are over 100 guests in attendance. Is this what a small wedding really is? While size is somewhat subjective, it seems as if there should be a rough number of guests that would be associated with small, medium, and large weddings. As it turns out, there are. Here, Tara from Dream Makers NY shares the average guest counts wedding planners most often associated with small, medium, and large events, plus tips on how to decide which type of celebration is right for you.

How many guests are typically invited to each size wedding?

These numbers may vary a little depending on who you're speaking with, but a small wedding typically includes 50 people or under, a medium wedding has a guest list of anywhere from 50-150 guests, and a large wedding has over 150 attendees. If your family typically marks a wedding with upwards of 300 guests, a 100-person event might feel small to you; similarly, if you've only ever been to very intimate ceremonies, a reception with 80 guests might feel huge, so it's important to remember that these numbers will be a little bit different for everyone.

How to decide which size is right for you?

There are a number of factors at play when crafting a guest list, but the main one is generally budget. "Your guest list and budget should help you decide which size wedding works for you," says Tara. "If your immediate family is 50 people, you may not the option of having a small wedding."

How does budget factor into this?

As you choose the right size event for you, think about what you can realistically afford. "For example, if your budget is $65,000, that would mean two totally different things if you had 50 people versus 200 people," Tara says.

At the end of the day, your budget is really what decides what type of wedding you'll have and how many people you should invite. If you have a larger budget and a smaller guest list, you'll have more flexibility in terms of spending more on the vendors you really want and personalizing your day with unique details. If it's more important to you to celebrate with everyone you know, you can make that happen by cutting back on certain decorative elements.


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