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When envisioning our wedding days as a young girl, I'm sure we have all pictured different things. From the decorations to the location, but no matter what you decide, the size of the guest list will have the biggest impact on your budget.

I knew having a big wedding was inevitable for me because I have a large family, and my fiance's family has many close friends. Big to me meant 150 people. Well of course when discussing the guest list with both of our parents, the numbers kept increasing, so I agreed to 175 max! Then there's a few people here and there that you may have forgotten, or your cousin wants to bring his girlfriend, now increasing the list to 200. That's right, we went from 150 to 200 and it took much frustration and anxiety for me to finally accept this number. Now that we are nearly 2 months away from our wedding day, we are starting to get RSVP's. I've read that approximately 20% of the guest list will say no, so I was happy expecting 180 yes's. WELL, we've had 15 people say no so far, and this has opened up the floodgates yet again for the opportunity to invite more people. (Or so they think) Not only do you have a vision for your wedding, but so do your parents, and when the parents want a big wedding, there will be a fight to the end to invite as many people as possible.

guest listLet me share a with you a few scenarios we've had regarding the guest list.

Scenario 1:
Aunt + Uncle respond Yes but did not include my cousin in the reply. I email my Aunt to ask if said cousin will be coming. Aunt says he was going to talk to me personally and ask me something. (I know what this is about) Cousin text messages me to ask if he can bring his girlfriend (whom I have never met and he has only been dating 2 months). I say yes.

Scenario 2:
MIL gets a text message from a friend who asks if her daughter and son-in-law can come along to the wedding because they think it would be so fun. I laugh because I think she's kidding. She's not kidding. I say no.

Scenario 3:
I get an email asking if we can invite three more people who have been great customers of the business for over 20 years. So and so already said no, so could we just replace them with these guests? This one has been lingering for almost a week now…I'm undecided. I'll probably cave and say yes because I'm sick of dealing with it.

Let's just say that it's going to be a never ending battle until the actual wedding day. Even then, people may just decide to show up if they feel like it. (Another response we got from one guest. Like are you kidding me?)

Sometimes I wish we could just elope.

Image via Style Me Pretty

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About Leah

Leah is a Toronto Bride planning her Spring 2012 wedding with a $20,000 budget. She is looking forward to marrying her sweetheart of 7.5 years and moving to the big city. She loves fashion, has a slight obsession with organization, and loves spending time with her family.

Connect with Leah
  • These kind of stories always make me a little sad. Brides and grooms should be surrounded by friends and loved ones on their wedding day, not loyal customers whom they’ve never met. However… she who pays, decides. So if the parents are helping with the budget, yep.. they get to invite distant cousins, loyal customers, and everyone they ever met. Good luck!

  • Emily

    I’m also dealing with a guest list much larger than I’d wanted. With the bulk of them from out of town, we are assuming that most will not make the trip, however it seems like a lot actually are.

    I 100% agree that if Eric & I would have had any idea about a lot of this, we would have eloped in a HEARTBEAT.

  • Sarah

    I feel ya Leah. Every time we talk wedding with my parents or future MIL the wedding list grows. I really wanted a small wedding (or to elope, my fiance wasn’t with me on that though) and it looks like I will have two ~175 person weddings!!! Grrrr…

  • Danielle

    Reading this makes me sooo happy about our plans. My fiance and I really wanted an intimate family only wedding. We planned a destination wedding (at a fairly easy to get to destination for most). We limited the guest list to only our nearest and dearest, and bowing to my future husband’s desires increased our guest list to include some very close friends. We were hoping for about 20, but are ending up with around 40 – which I’m okay with. The best part is… we have told both our mothers that they are to be hands-off on our party and can host their own parties in their own locales. So, we are technically having three receptions with each of us getting exactly what we want. My mother is thrilled to plan the wedding she’s always dreamed of…and I’m thrilled to plan the wedding I’ve always dreamed of.

  • Morgan

    I will be paying for my own wedding, and there will be some disappointments, mainly in part on my parents. There will be family members and close friends of the family who will not be invited. If my parents want to foot the bill for the extras, then, by all means, they can come! But if not, sorry mom and dad, I love you, but your friends aren’t coming to my wedding.

    • Budget Savvy Bride

      I have to agree with you! I faced the same issues when planning my wedding and the old saying goes, “S/he who pays, decides.” They can’t expect you to foot the bill for people you might not know that well or who aren’t important to you.

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