How to Determine the Size of Your Wedding

Photo Credit: Jason Kaczorowski Photography  

If you’re one of those girls who has been daydreaming about your wedding for years, did you ever stop and think about the size of the wedding you wanted? I never really considered it, but have been thinking about this a lot as of late. There are pros and cons to each size wedding that you’ll want to keep in mind.

Small Wedding

2 – 50 guests. If you're having a destination wedding or civil ceremony, 50 people might sound like a lot, but think about it: You’ve got mom and dad (times two), grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, co-workers. The numbers are starting to get up there, aren’t they? The major pro of a small wedding is that you can make it extremely intimate and personal—you'll spend a significant amount of time with each guest.

The obvious con: who isn’t invited. It might be difficult to choose just some of your family and friends. That being said, you have every right to invite (and exclude) whomever you wish. If it’s important to you to have a small crowd, simply tell those who aren’t invited that it’s going to be an intimate, small ceremony, but you would still love to celebrate with them in some other way.

Photo Credit: Duke Galaski

Medium Wedding

50 – 175 guests. Medium-sized weddings can end up feeling small or large, depending on which end of the spectrum the guest count falls. Corey and I are hoping to keep ours around 150 (which means we’ll likely end up inviting a bit more than that). To me, 150 people sounds like so many! After all, the group of people I consider to be absolute-must-attends at my wedding is relatively small.

But, you’re combining two families. That includes those important in your life, your fiancé’s life, your parents’ lives and your future in-laws’ lives. A medium sized wedding allows you to invite all your “musts” and provides a little wiggle room. Still, it’s important to keep your budget in mind when you are determining guest count. There’s a big difference in cost between let's say, 125 and 150.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Canvas and Canopy Events

Large Wedding

175+ guests. If you want a major party, you might want a large wedding! For those with large families and social circles, a larger wedding may be the only way to go. While this eases the stress of deciding who to invite and leave off the guest list, it might increase the stress in other areas, namely, the budget.

You might have to think of ways to cut back, like skipping the cocktail hour or having a brunch reception instead of a dinner. If you handle the budget wisely, you can stretch your dollar and allow for all the people you want to attend your big day.

Photo Credit: Hoffer Photography

No matter what size wedding you plan on having, it's important to feel comfortable with it. When Corey and I first got engaged, I strongly considered a destination wedding. My sister got married in Cabo, San Lucas in front of about 25 friends and family, and it was exquisite. But when it came down to it, we decided that my hometown was the best choice, because there were so many people that wouldn’t be able to make the trip if we got married somewhere long-distance. I know I’d be totally uncomfortable with a large wedding, so I’m happy in the medium-sized range.

Tell us: How would you classify your wedding size? How did you come to your decision?

— Nikki Stroud