The wedding guest count is normally where I begin when chatting about bridal budgets, and I chat about bridal budgets before I really start getting to any other detail about a wedding day.
Practically every single aspect of your wedding revolves around this elusive number. From your wedding and reception venue choice all the way down to the number of invitations you’ll need, the guest count is arguably the most important number you’ll need when planning your wedding. That’s because it dictates exactly where everything in your bridal budget needs to go!
But beyond the issue of money, other concerns are affected by your guest count that require your attention. Read on for my top five reasons to watch your guest count leading up to the day you say “I do.” I promise that they will help to save you a lot of stress and heartache!
1. You have more control over details in your bridal budget when you focus on controlling your guest count.
More guests equal more chairs, tables, food, and drink, not to mention the need for a larger wedding venue or bigger dance floor. If you’re like most brides today, and your bridal budget is indeed limited, that means you’ll have to cut into your wedding décor budget or nix the posh limo ride to accommodate making more guests comfortable at your wedding. The whole point of the day is to celebrate your union with your closest friends and family in exactly the way you’ve dreamed – or as close to that dream as you can get! Make sure you protect the budget for your own wishes by controlling your guest count from the very beginning, even if you have guests who are assuming they’re invited, when they’re not!
2. The “maximum capacity” at a wedding venue isn’t just a guideline. It’s to ensure safety for you and your guests!
Many first-time party hosts and hostesses are surprised to find out that wedding venues generally have a list of restrictions, and they think these restrictions are simply guidelines more than rules. But in reality, most are in place to keep you and your guests safe as you party the night away. For that reason, they’re often nonnegotiable.
That especially includes the maximum guest capacity listed for your venue! No one wants your wedding shut down because the fire marshal was called, and you definitely don’t want guests to have a hard time leaving if an emergency arises. Do yourself (and your guests!) a favor: do not invite more people than your wedding venue can safely hold. If you’re concerned about your number, call your event manager at the venue and have it approved before you send out invitations!
3. A larger guest count entails a larger wedding, and the need to have more attendants.
I’ve heard a few “protocols” for the number of attendants you’ll need over the years. They range anywhere from one attendant per 25 guests to one attendant per 50. While many brides and grooms simply invite all their BFFs to join in on the bridal party, it’s still a good idea to consider the number of guests you’ll have before asking. After all, if you have more attendants than you have guests, weddings often look a little awkward. On the flip side, if you have a wedding with upwards of 350 people, you’ll likely need more attendants to help you on the day-of with last minute details.
Guess what? The more attendants you have, the more money you’ll need to spend on thank-you gifts and other wedding details for them. Keep that in mind, too!
4. Cut your guest count if only for your wedding vision’s sake.
If you’re going for a simple, casual wedding with a lovely lace sheath gown, it will be hard to keep it simple if you end up moving the location to a huge cathedral to accommodate guests. On that note, you may even need to reconsider your gown of choice to match the venue, too.
5. Knowing you’re surrounded only by your closest friends and family keeps the bridal stress at bay.
When you don’t have to worry about so many people coming to your wedding, you don’t have to get as nervous about a big crowd or about seating issues. Take it from me: saving yourself the hassle of worrying about this definitely makes life less stressful! Also, when you have your nearest and dearest in attendance, the details surrounding the wedding can be easier to make decisions on, too. These people know and love you well already, so you don’t have to impress them to gain approval.
Also, don’t forget that a smaller guest count makes transportation fast and easy when you have two locations for your wedding and reception.
In short, setting and controlling your guest count is the very first step you should take when it comes to planning your wedding, staying on track throughout the whole process, and remaining happy while doing so. Decide on the guest count first, then settle your budget, and then start securing your dream wedding!
Do you have other reasons to keep your guest count down? Tell me in the comments below!
Images courtesy of premier Johnson City wedding photography company Andrew & Erin Photography.