Nov 06 2007

Our wedding: The guest list

If you’re looking to save money on your wedding, one way to do it is to have a small guest list. Unfortunately, this is the least fun option. However, having a smallish guest list will keep costs down.

For example, you’ll have less invitations to buy, which means less postage to use.

You’ll need to print/buy fewer programs.

You’ll have to buy/make less favors for your guests.

You’ll be able to use smaller (and often more affordable) venues such as your church site and reception site. A ballroom that can fit 2,500 people will cost a lot more than a reception hall that can fit 300.

Most significantly, you’ll spend much less on food. That’s less cake and fewer meals.

I really wish we could have invited more friends to our wedding. I feel like I upset a few people, and left some feeling excluded. I hope that they realize this was not meant as a snub, but simply, we were getting married on a tight budget. And my husband has a massive family with more aunts, uncles and cousins than I can count.

Looking back, we could have skipped the meal and simply served cake, punch and a few small snacks. However, that would have meant we would have paid for the reception hall (the hall was free when we bought food from the caterer). I don’t know if people would have appreciated this as much. When we’re asking people to spend a large portion of their Saturday with us, the least we can do is feed them a late lunch/early dinner.

So, our guest list was at about 175 or so. About 130 came. Unfortunately, we hadn’t heard from about 50 people, and by the time we figured out they weren’t coming, it was too late to invite more friends. That’s how it goes, sometimes.

For those of you planning a wedding, do what you can to keep your guest list low. For those of you who will be invited to a wedding at any point in the rest of your life (probably everyone!) be sure to RSVP right away. Give the bride and groom an accurate head count. If you can’t make it, tell them!

That could mean they could invite someone else.

Our church could only hold 175 people comfortably, maybe a few more if people were sitting on each other’s laps.

If we had more money to work with, we definitely would have invited more guests. Sigh.

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4 Responses to “Our wedding: The guest list”

  1. Yeah, I hear you on this. We had a tiny venue and could only INVITE 130. Left a lot of friends out because I’m the one with a big family. But we and our friends were all college students, so people were understanding. Our wedding was on a shoestring too (something the wedding industry is NOT set up for!).

  2. I’m getting married in May and we’re definitely doing things the cheap way. (We’re inviting around 125 people) I bought my invitations (print-your-own) from Wal-Mart on clearance (150 for about $36), 150 favor boxes on clearance for $1.99/50 and we’re making our own favors. We’re also making our own programs and doing one per family/couple.

    We’re also having an outdoor wedding and able to use chairs from the reception site (they also include tables). If it rains, everything will be moved to the reception site.

    My fiance’s family is doing the food and we can get a deal on the cake b/c the baker is a family friend.. so I think we’re saving a ton of money :)

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  2. Sense to Save » Blog Archive » Our wedding: The photography » Sense to Save
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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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