Creating a Wedding Reception Guest List

It might seem hard to figure out whom you should or shouldn't include in the guest list for your wedding reception . Basically there are four parties that you need to consider that have an influence on the guest that you invite

  • The bride

  • The groom

  • The bride's parents

  • The groom's parents

I believe that the easiest way to go about creating your list is by giving each of the parties mentioned above 25% of the guest list to invite. This actually works out well because in the end the bride and groom end up with the majority of the guests. Each party invites

  • Family

  • Friends

  • Acquaintances

  • Co-workers

*The Trick?*

The bride and groom should make their lists first.

They should invite all of the friends, co-workers and acquaintances that couple wishes to have attend the reception, then add close family members.

This way the parents will most likely invite the remaining family members that should attend and will have a limit in the number of their friends that they invite.

Also many couples share some of the same friends so the couple ends up with the majority of guests invited.

Determining the Head Count

If you have an unlimited budget with which to work then you might be able to invite as many guests as you like. But you need to make sure that you can find a reception facility to handle the amount of guests on your list.

Most banquet facilities can handle anywhere from 250 guests to 500 guests. If you are limited in your budget then you need to realize that most facilities charge at least $25 per person and your reception will most likely consume about half of your wedding budget.

My wedding reception cost my husband and I a little less than $10,000. $7,500 (plus tax and gratuity) of that money was for the banquet hall, food, beverages, linens, china. It did not include our cake, entertainment, favors, or centerpieces. So we had a guest list of 250 people at $30 a head. But if you want to have your reception at a place that charges $60 or more per person and still wanted to stay below $10,000 for your reception, then you would have to invite more like 125 people. This is how you can use your budget to determine how many guests you plan to invite.

Keep in mind that around 75% of the people that you invite will attend the wedding and reception. So don't compile a guest list of 300 people, hoping that only 175 (the capacity your chosen site can handle) will RSVP in the affirmative because you may end up with more mouths to feed than you can handle.

Once you have decided who you will invite to your wedding then you can look into wedding reception floor plans and seating arrangements.

Return from the guest list page to find more wedding reception information