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As I slowly cross things off my checklist and gain a bit of confidence over this whole Wedding Planning Business, there is one thing that looms large on the horizon: our huge guest list.  When we started out, I wanted a wedding of approximately 80 people.  Although my hopes and dreams were soon given a reality check (each of David's parents is the youngest of seven), I still held out some small hope that we'd get away with anywhere between 120 and 150 people.  We sent out our save the dates about two weeks ago and figured that if everyone comes, and anyone out of college gets a plus one, we're at 208 people. TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHT!  I held my cool, mostly, with David, but have been slowly panicking ever since.  I didn't PLAN for an over 200 guest wedding.  Our lake house (while large) doesn't have designated parking (note to self: email those neighbors about being able to use their lot to park in) and we didn't sign any kind of insurance documentation.

200 guest weddingsource, at least it won't be this crowded! 🙂

On top of this, David and I have been together just under two years.  His entire family lives out of state and I've met approximately seven of them, and three were under the age of ten.  My family is also mostly out-of-state but several of them do live within two hours of us.  Our wedding is essentially going to be a huge getting-to-know-you-party.  With alcohol.  And a lake.  Given the fact that our respective parents haven't been in the room with each other for more than thirty-six hours and the ensuing awkwardness that accompanies that … well.  It should be interesting!

It's not that I'm not looking forward to meeting all of David’s family (and, of course, getting to see all of mine in one place for the first time since the last funeral), it's just that the list of things that can go wrong grows every time I think about it.  Gulp.  Thank goodness David has a steady head on his shoulders and is willing to talk me down off the ceiling!

Another problem is that we keep thinking of people we’d love to add to our list.  Friends we’re getting closer with, some of David’s co-workers, other friends or cousins but it’s really just. not. feasible.  We’ve also decided against doing an a-list, b-list thing because it’s really just not for us. It’s important (at least in my overwhelmed thinking) to make a decision and stick to it.

Suddenly trying to figure out the catering, the rentals, and what I want my bouquet to look like seem like surmountable tasks.  In trying to find my pre-wedding zen I’m going forward with the idea that the save the dates are sent, the people who own the house won’t be there to see how many people we cram onto their lawn and it’s just too late to do anything about it.  Deep breaths have also helped.  After all, there’s no reason to panic until we start getting RSVPs right? Right?!

200 guest wedding


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  • Carrie

    I would highly, highly recommend you don't give everyone a plus one unless they are in an established relationship. I have never been invited to a wedding with a plus one. When my stepbrother got married two years ago and I asked that my boyfriend (only of 4 months, but I knew where we heading and we are engaged now) be invited, they said no. And I accepted it, b/c I wasn't paying for it. Just my unsolicited advice, but it will help you bring the stress level down a wee bit. The guest list was the hardest thing for us, and now RSVPs are not much better!

    • Jenna

      I really appreciate the advice! We aren't (and I probably should have been clearer) letting family members bring plus ones unless they're cohabitating. But in a strange twist of fate all of our friends that we are inviting to the wedding are either living with their S.O.s, engaged or we're close with the couple, not just one or the other. Weird, huh?

      Thanks for the advice!!

  • On The Go Bride

    Absolutely no reason to start panicking until you get the rsvps. My husband and I invited 200 people to our wedding last summer and the total count ended up being 108. I've only heard of one person that had everyone rsvp yes to their wedding. More often then not, not everyone can make it 🙂

    • Jenna

      🙂 I hope you're right!! We're actually hoping that since David's older brother got married only 6 years ago a lot of his out of town family won't want to make the drive down. Thanks for the encouragement!!


  • Isn't this the biggest stresser?! We're trying trying trying to finalize our guest list, but the "Oh wait! We forgot ____________! And his date!"s that keep happening is really starting to freak me out!

    Gooooooood luck! (:

    • Jenna

      It totally is!! I wish I had a capacity cap for our venue 🙂 it would make cutting the list off at an arbitrary number MUCH easier!

      Good luck to you too!!

  • Mrs. Smith

    100% attendance isn't going to happen. We invited nearly 400, had nearly 200 in attendance. Its generally 75% if everyone is in town, closer to 50% if you have alot of out of town guests (like ours). Even with the best of intentions, things just come up that prevent people from coming. Don't stress.

    • Jenna

      Deep down I do know that 🙂 It's just hard to look at the logistics of planning for a 200 person wedding (when I was hoping for WAY under 100) and not panic a little. I am getting better though! And all these lovely comments have been fantastic. 🙂

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