wedding ceremony

Photo: Joshua Atticks Wedding Photography

Before you come up with a guest count, you’ll need to think more generally about the type of wedding you want to have – a big party or a smaller, more intimate gathering?

Here are a few pros and cons of big and small weddings to help get you started.


Small Weddings

Pro: More venues to choose from
Many wedding venues have strict capacity rules so options may be limited for weddings with extremely large guest counts. However, be aware that venues may have guest minimums, too! You also don’t want your venue to feel empty, so choose carefully.

Con: Restricting guest list can be difficult
You’ll have to make some difficult, potentially stressful, decisions and risk offending some people who aren’t invited.

Pro: Less expensive
For the most part, the fewer the guests, the less expensive your wedding will be. This gives to room to splurge in other areas of your wedding, if you so choose.

Con: Lots of questions
Friends and family members may not understand your desire for a smaller, more intimate wedding and you may find yourself answering a lot of questions about why certain people weren’t invited. Remember the reasons why you chose to have a smaller wedding to defend your decision.

Big Weddings

Pro: No need to restrict guest list
Go ahead, invite whoever you want – from kids to co-workers to significant others! By expanding your guest list, you won’t have to worry about offending uninvited people, just invite ‘em all!

Con: Fewer venues to choose from
If you’re having upwards of 300 guests, you may find that your venue options are a bit more limited. Not to worry, though. Use WeddingWire’s Vendor Search to easily find venues with the capacity you require.

Pro: The more the merrier
There’s a certain electricity that comes with bigger weddings – a more celebratory and lively atmosphere.

Con: More expensive
Unfortunately, the more guests you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be. However, there are certain things you can do to try to save money while still maintaining a big guest count – from getting married in the off-season to having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday.