Master October 2025

Which came first: setting your budget or your guest list?

Rebecca, on December 11, 2018 at 11:05 AM Posted in Planning 0 67
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Deciding on a budget and a guest list are two of the biggest and most complicated decisions you’ll make! It can be tough to determine which one to start with since they both affect each other. Which did you decide on first - your budget or the guest list?

Which came first: setting your budget or your guest list? 1

Photo by Katheryn Moran Photography

Next Question: Which came first - booking your ceremony venue or your reception venue?

Back to the Beginning: Which came first?


  • Tamara
    VIP August 2019
    Tamara ·

    We set our budget first since it would dictate everything we did after that.

  • Kenisha
    Champion June 2019
    Kenisha ·
    Setting our budget was definitely first.
  • BrandiWeds18
    VIP May 2019
    BrandiWeds18 ·

    Budget, it gave me a realistic idea of how many people i could invite after seeing all those quotes comes back. Technically it worked out i always had 100 people in my mind anyway

  • Alexandra
    VIP June 2019
    Alexandra ·
    Budget! Too hard to figure out a realistic number of guests without it!
  • Alisha
    Dedicated November 2020
    Alisha ·

    We actually did our guest list first to get an idea of how many people we wanted to invite to the wedding. We both knew the guest list wasn't going to go past 100 people so it was easier to do it this way.

  • B
    Super July 2018
    Brittany ·

    Guest list then budget. Basically we wrote out all of the absolutely need to invite people to see about how many we're looking at having and that helped create the budget and choose a venue

  • D
    Savvy August 2019
    Danielle ·
    The budget then the guest list
  • Across The Stars
    Devoted October 2019
    Across The Stars ·
    Guest list came first
  • Abby
    VIP March 2019
    Abby ·
    Had a rough list together and then cut after deciding on a budget.
  • EllieRose
    Expert February 2020
    EllieRose ·
    Guest list, we don't have a super set in stone budget mostly because I don't have expensive taste.
  • JustKidding
    VIP April 2018
    JustKidding ·


    That told us how many people we could have.

  • A
    Dedicated June 2019
    Andrea ·
    The guest list- those few close friends and family who we wanted to be in our lives forever. Everything was predicated by this - when people could realistically attend (from all over the world), was paramount. Since it’s a small wedding, we knew the budget would be also.
  • Rebecca
    Master October 2025
    Rebecca ·
    View Quoted Comment

    Very true!! How many guests are you two planning on inviting?!

  • Tonia
    Expert October 2019
    Tonia ·

    We had a preliminary guest list, and then created the budget from there. It's more of a ballpark budget since it's not super rigid.

  • Melissa
    VIP October 2018
    Melissa ·
    It really was kind of both. We had a "tentative guest list," but didn't make that anywhere near final until we knew what we were working with, budget wise. Both of my parents offered a contribution, we decided what we could afford on our own, and then we finalized the guest list.

  • ChefKait
    Devoted December 2019
    ChefKait ·

    Budget first- had to figure out what we could afford!

  • Lacy
    Super December 2018
    Lacy ·
    We had a tentative budget already but determined it more specifically when making our guest list.
  • MrsV1027
    Master October 2018
    MrsV1027 ·

    It kind of all happened together. We knew we didn't want a huge guest list so the guest list came naturally with the venue since we picked a venue to suit close family and friends

  • Shaunte
    Expert April 2020
    Shaunte ·

    Budget was definitely first.... now if only my mom would stick to it.

  • Alexandra
    VIP June 2019
    Alexandra ·
    View Quoted Comment
    We’re inviting 225 with the hope of 200 guests (we have a lot of our-of-towners)!

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