What is one of the most stressful questions you can ask a bride or groom? Who is going to your wedding? Followed by well how many people are you going to invite to your wedding? This is a stressful question for so many reasons, but mainly, are spending too much money or leaving someone out of the equation that really shouldn’t be.
So, how many people should you invite to a wedding? There is no definitive number. But, you should only invite people you want to be at your wedding, that you can afford, your venue can accommodate, and that meet your preferences for guest size. Either way, invitations should always be dictated by the bride and groom, perhaps with some compromises to reach an agreement.
That answer probably didn’t make anyone feel better.
But don’t worry, keep reading because there are average wedding party sizes in all of the groups, from small to big.
We can help make that list a little clearer for you.
What Is The Average Number Of Wedding Guests?
If you are really looking for an exact number of wedding guests, then the average wedding size has 167 guests attending their wedding. Most weddings don’t have parties larger than 200 because first of all how many people really know 200 people and then second of all it just gets expensive.
Let’s break down small, medium, and large size wedding numbers that work.
There are a couple of different kinds of small to consider here.
The smallest wedding, of course, is going to be the one where nobody is invited.
This is called eloping, where the bride and groom go away and marry themselves and usually take a nice vacation for themselves in the meantime.
This is the most intimate experience.
However, most people like to have their immediate family there, which is why this is the next grouping of small.
This may be like 10 to 15 people max of your closest family members on each side.
Sometimes this is the ideal group for destination weddings.
The ideal small wedding size is going to be your 30-50 ish guests that will include your family and your best friends.
These weddings are becoming a lot more common as brides and grooms have trended towards spending this special moment with their closest loved ones.
Medium weddings are fairly common as well.
This is usually a number anywhere between 50-125, where the 125 really starts to push itself into the large category.
This is great because it allows some room outside your top friends to invite other people as well.
This may be your coworkers and your buddies from the gym.
Medium weddings are perfect because they offer the ability to have everyone at your wedding while also not having to spend the big bucks on people you may not have seen for many years.
Large has a couple of different categories of its own.
You have your first category of a baby large wedding where you are putting 125-200 people.
This is still a lot of people and will require a decent size venue space to host everyone.
This is for the popular couple that has a lot of friends from a lot of different places.
Or if you have large families on both sides, this leaves room for the family and all the friends.
Then we have the medium-large party size.
This is really a big wedding and has guests between 200-500.
These weddings are incredibly expensive, and the costs are certainly no cost at all.
The friend of the friend who wants to come? No problem. They are invited.
Then there are the celebrity weddings.
These are 500 plus and, of course, can be compared to the royal wedding.
This is for anyone, really, but likely these are all the scenarios of a celebrity who has no limitations on the guestlist whatsoever.
This almost never happens for the average person. The reason being cost alone.
What Is A Good Number Of Wedding Guests?
The best number of people to invite to your wedding will really depend on the type of wedding you have and the people you have in your life. While it may make more sense for someone who a lot of friends to have a medium-sized wedding, others will want something even more intimate.
Let’s talk about a few different scenarios that make the most sense for certain size weddings.
Just for Us
When you want something that is just for your fiance and you, eloping becomes the ultimate experience.
You can make the travel destination as elaborate as you want with trips around the world, or you can head down to the town hall.
When you want to keep it private, something for the two of you is perfect.
Low Budget and Beautiful
Sometimes spending 20k on a bunch of people you haven’t talked to in a while is just frustrating.
There is something, however, that is out there for you, and it can both save money and provide a magical experience.
Doing a destination wedding with just your closest family and friends can be a wonderful time and cost a fraction of what it costs to be having a big banger. This number is good to keep around 10-15 people.
No Budget and We Like to Party
If money isn’t an issue and you have always dreamed of being the princess bride waving to massive crowds, then your wedding is your day, and you can invite whoever and however many you want.
A big wedding may be great, especially if you have bigger families and all the kids are invited.
This is great because the stress of who is allowed a plus one is no longer a stress.
Anywhere between 150-250 is really a good number here.
What Percentage Of Wedding Guests Actually Attend?
Around 85% of invites will turn into a yes, according to surveys. But this number does vary, particularly on where the wedding is held. Local weddings typically have a higher attendance percentage than those that require a lot of travel and expense.
If you are having a local wedding and most of your family and friends live nearby, then this number will dramatically increase, and you have a better shot at perfect attendance.
If you are having a destination wedding and you are asking people to take long drives and most likely plane rides away, you are going to have a harder time securing that number.
Having said that, when you invite people for destination weddings, you are much more likely to have just your closest family and friends who wouldn’t miss your wedding for anything.
What Is The Etiquette For Inviting Guests To A Wedding?
Wedding etiquette certainly has changed a lot over the years, but a few things have remained true.
Technically yes, it is your wedding, and you can do whatever you want.
It is always nice to be courteous to guests and give them enough time to plan and prepare.
This is especially true for those closest to you.
Here are a few rules and things to keep in mind.
- While you don’t have to give everyone a plus one, it can be nice to give engaged couples and definitely married couples a plus one to the wedding. If you are going to make this rule, makes sure to stick by it and not make special exceptions as it can cause drama.
- When it comes to inviting work friends, you don’t need to invite the whole office. Truly invite those you are close with outside of the office and not those who you just work the most with inside the office.
- You don’t always have to invite everyone that once invited you to their wedding. While this may be offensive for some, consider the guest size at both weddings. If they are having a huge wedding and you aren’t so close, you don’t need to do the same for your small wedding. Everything here is situational.
Closing Out The Guest List
When it comes to how big your wedding is and who has invited, the truth is it is ultimately up to you and your groom.
If it is going to be just of the two of you, no problem.
If it is a little bigger with the fam, no problem.
This is your wedding day and however much you want to spend with whoever you want to spend it is totally up to you.
While you are entitled to this, keep in mind a few polite exceptions when inviting people.
The rules, for the most part, should apply to everyone, which will help avoid any later drama.
If you are confused about numbers, then take a look back at our group dividings and see which one makes the most sense for your needs!
Everyone’s weddings are different and for good reason!
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!