Top 5 Tips to Help You Save on Your Wedding Guest List

So, you’re going to plan a budget wedding. YAY! You’re probably so excited to get started and maybe you’ve already been pinning ideas. But before you get too carried away, did you check out my post on the first 5 things to do when planning a budget wedding? Yes? Then hang on because now I’m sharing my top 5 tips to help you save on your wedding guest list.

So, you’re going to plan a budget wedding. YAY! You’re probably so excited to get started and maybe you’ve already been pinning ideas. But before you get too carried away, did you check out my post on the first 5 things to do when planning a budget wedding? Yes? Then hang on because now I’m sharing my top 5 tips to help you save on your wedding guest list.

Top 5 Tips to Help You Save on Your Wedding Guest List

This is one of those fun-at-first and then less-fun-as-things-go-on tasks. While you don’t need a definitive list right now, you’ve got to have a rough number to work with. Since venues and vendors generally charge by the head (i.e. per person), you’ll need a ballpark figure to shoot at them when getting quotes. To create your list, either sit down and combine everyone’s (parents, too!) lists or pick a number and tailor your list later to fit it.

1. Know your budget. Knowing how much you’ll ultimately be spending will allow you to understand how many guests you can reasonably expect to invite. Yes, knowing that you have $7,000 and want to invite roughly 100 people will be VERY important to your bottom line. Most venues and vendors charge per head so you'll need to understand how many people will cost you how much to have at your wedding.

2. Start asking who is coming. Check with your parents, closest friends, and other family members. All you need right now is a rough count of who's is hoping for an invite. Be sure that if your parents are pitching in for the wedding, they get a good percentage of say on the guest list. If you're completely footing the bill then it's polite to tell them, "you can invite X number of people beyond the ones we've already selected". 

3. Kids or no kids. This is a hot topic but one that you'll have to make so might as well get it over with. Including kids in your wedding has an impact on your budget. Some vendors charge less for kid's meals but some do not. Want to hire a babysitter for them? That costs money. Planning a cute kid's table with adorable favors – you'll need to plan for that in your budget.

4. Understand your venue choice and season. You don't need to have your venue nailed down yet but you'll need a general idea. Want a sunny beach wedding but planning it in September? You'll need an indoor back-up plan that can easily hold your guests. Hoping for an intimate wedding dinner at that chic little bistro downtown? Better plan on a leaner guest list or there may not be enough space!

5. When in doubt, go less. Always, always be conservative when it comes to your guest list. Fewer people always ends up costing you less money (fewer meals to buy, less favors, etc.). Just tell people from the get-go that you're having a small wedding with only a few guests – that seems to help with hurt feelings.

I’m living proof that you can have a fantastic wedding on a teeny-tiny budget and I promise, these were the first 5 things I did when planning our $5,000 budget wedding. It's really important to know your wedding date and give yourself time to work some deals.

What’s the first thing you’re doing to plan the guest list for your wedding? 

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