The One Thing That Makes The Biggest Impact On Your Wedding Budget


Congratulations! If you're reading this, you're probably planning a wedding. So many details go into planning a wedding day, and many of your choices will impact your overall spend. But there's one area in particular that will have the biggest impact on your wedding budget. Do you know what it is?

Your Wedding Guest List.

When it comes to planning a wedding, your guest list (or more specifically your guest count) will have the greatest impact on your overall spend. You see, for every guest you add to your list, your costs will increase exponentially. It's really just plain and simple math when you think about it. For every guest you invite you'll need:
  • another save the date, invitation, wedding program, place card or other paper item
  • another chair at the ceremony and reception
  • another place setting
  • another meal
  • another round of drinks
  • another wedding favor  
If you have invite fifty guests you'll need fifty of each of these items, but if you invite one hundred guests you can basically double the cost or more.

And for every 8-10 guests, you'll likely need to add additional tables at your reception, which means more tables, linens, centerpieces, and possibly a larger venue to accommodate the additional tables. You'll even need to increase the size of your cake!

As a result, trimming the guest list is the number one way to reduce the cost of your wedding. The smaller and more intimate your guest list is, the less you will need to spend overall.

Tips for Cutting the Guest List

It's widely accepted that trimming the guest list and staying on budget are two of the toughest parts of planning a wedding, and the sad truth is that they are directly connected to each other. Cutting the guest list can be incredibly stressful, especially when it comes to family and old friends.

It is recommended to have a guest list size or count in mind before beginning to check out venues. You want to know the number you are shooting for when considering the location of your wedding so you don't end up booking a venue that can't accommodate your group.

Make a series of lists ranking your friends, relatives and loved ones into tiers.
Decide how to split the guest list with your fiancé. Will you share the total invites 50/50? Or does one of your have a larger family than the other, resulting in the need for a slightly uneven split?

Choosing whether or not to allow your single friends or relatives to bring a date to the wedding. Plus ones can easily increase your guest count total.

Feel free to nix acquaintances, people you don't know well like your parents' coworkers, or even opt for a child-free wedding to reduce the number of guests.

Remember, it's not likely that everyone you invite will be able to attend. Try to estimate how many wedding guests will attend your wedding based on travel, physical proximity and closeness of your relationship.

The Perks of a Small Wedding

When you have a more intimate and small guest list, you could treat your guests to a nicer experience. Want a wedding with a luxurious feel but don't have a down-payment sized budget? Keep your wedding super intimate by only inviting family and the closest of friends. Then you will be more likely to be able to splurge on an incredible dinner and the dreamiest centerpieces.

Keeping your wedding more intimate also allows you more of a chance to connect with the people who are attending. If you invite a ton of people to your celebration, you could end up spending the majority of your reception in a receiving line greeting each of the guests. Wouldn't you rather spend that time truly enjoying yourself with the people who matter most?

Small is the new big, so embrace the smaller wedding. If you find it too difficult to cut the guest list, check out these other tips for cutting costs for your wedding day.


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Love Magazine: The One Thing That Makes The Biggest Impact On Your Wedding Budget
The One Thing That Makes The Biggest Impact On Your Wedding Budget
Love Magazine
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