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Guest Numbers

Okay, so i have quite a large guest list at the moment. 

Around 150 people, but for the day, it works out to about 113 (plus me & me OH)

As much as my H2B would like to invite everyone!! I have told him this is not possible as the cost would be over 5k just for the meals!

So, now i am needing to scale down the guest list. Which he has kindly said is now up to me. 

How do i choose who is a day guest and who is evening without offending people. 

In my opinion, the people who actually care that you and your partner are getting married the most are grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles.  For most others it's about going to a wedding! Obviously it's different for everyone.

My family, all my cousins are grown up, so i can easily invite my aunts and uncles to the day and cousins to the evening, but my OH, some of his cousins are between 10 - 15, where they would need to be left at home or invited to the whole day, but how can you invite some to the day and not the others!? 


I need help! I feel like i'm being far too nice and involved in everyone elses feelings. 


Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long message!! 


  • We have had the same problem and agreed young cousins (18 and younger) can come the whole day and cousins over this age, evening only. My older cousins all have partners and some have children of their own so would just make the guestlist a ridiculous number!

    Most family members were ok about this. I was worried about upsetting people but remember it is your wedding and they are not paying for or organising the big day you are 

    Good luck xx

  • MisskaybMisskayb Posts: 14

    Thank you! It's just difficult to remember its about you and not everyone else. 

    I've made a list, with some of my OH's cousins on there, but as they have young children, i may give them the option to come all day on their own or just in the evening with their children  

  • Michelle09Michelle09 Posts: 141

    If you're going to split your guest list then just do it by whoever you most want there on the day. 

    But be prepared for people not to come. These days I don't go if I'm just invited to the reception. It's just as expensive to attend and since I can't afford to go to all the ones I'm asked to (this month I'm going to three!) so it's a good way of deciding. Because at the end of the day it's a wedding and so you want to see them get married. :)

  • I would second that as I wouldn't attend an evening only wedding either, sorry.  

    You should chose the people you really want to be there.  Having rules like only cousins under 16 is very helpful for dealing with family politics but I personally would want to select based on whom I was closest to. 

  • MisskaybMisskayb Posts: 14

    I have split my list up into important, so parents, siblings and grandparents.

    Then would be our close friends. 

    then aunts and uncles and then cousins.  We get on well with our cousins, but we don't see or speak with them very often. 

    If we were to include all our cousins in the day, this would bring the total for the day up to 113! Which would then make the food alone cost over £5000. A bit too steep for our budget. 

    We'd obviously love for everyone to be there all day, but sometimes it's just not possible. 

    I personally would have no problem going to the evening of a wedding. I'd recycle an outfit and cab share or drive. plus the cost of a card and a gift! 


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  • MisskaybMisskayb Posts: 14

    Thank you Kitten :) Your comment has helped to put my mind at rest. 

    I'd love for everyone to be there, but when you think about your own family, it's not a problem, but then you need to double that and take into account your OH's family and friends too. 

    The costs spiral so quickly. 

    Every guest isn't just a meal. Its a meal, drinks, a favour, an invitation etc etc. 


    It's easy to think 'invite who your want to be there' but that would be everyone. But unfortunately i can't afford that :(

  • Michelle09Michelle09 Posts: 141

    And if it's too far to drive that night? Travel, plus hotel and gift can add up. We have three weddings in two weeks coming up and when you're at a certain age you can get invited to 10-15 weddings a year. 

    We're not separating but we're also having an afternoon wedding and going straight to the reception. We cut down on things so the reception for 100 including a two course meal and half a bottle of wine each is coming to 4k. 

    Maybe put everyone into a list in order? Then work out where the cut off needs to be? 

    Also, not everyone turns down evening invites. You have to accept you may offend people but try not to let it get to you. If you can't afford everyone then there's no gain in you being upset too! 

  • bella2015bella2015 Posts: 1,903 New bride

    We decided to invite cousins to the evening and aunts and uncles to the day. My other half has loads of cousins and it just wasn't possible to invite them all.  Anyone that we dont really see family wise have been invited to the evening, but even then there are family members who we have decided not to invite at all. The cousins policy didnt go down well with one of my h2b aunt and uncle as they have decided not to come to the day in protest, but we dont care anyway as he isnt particularly close to them. 

    I've been quite surprised at how many rvsps' we've had from family who cant attend. We were quite a lot over our numbers as we have a package and so far we've had 15 say they arent coming to the day, plus another 3 have dropped out after rsvp'ing that they were coming. 


  • MisskaybMisskayb Posts: 14

    I have looked through our lists, and managed to put them into order of "importance" 

    I have my immediate family and close friends, who are the people i'd like there whatever. 


    Michelle, I emailed my first choice venue whether they are able to do that with the meal! 

    When i worked it all out, it saved a few hundred pounds. Its a great idea! and i personally always feel that with canapes, drinks, 3 courses and a buffet is quite a lot of food. Im usually full after the canapes and wine 


    As much as i LOVE my first choice venue, i'm looking at other venues again, to see if there's any way i can accommodate more guests with a hog roast or something.  If its possible, it'd be nice to do. 

    I think i wouldn't be fretting about it as much if my OH actually bothered to help me. He is currently working 6/7 nights a week, so he's never in the mood to discuss it. 



  • MisskaybMisskayb Posts: 14

    Bella, I suppose its just a risk you have to take. If they really wanted to be there, they would attend whether your cousins were there or not. 

    I spoke to my cousins who got married last year about her planning and costs, and she said it will always cost more than you think. So i know that she at least would understand the costs and so why she would be invited in the evening. 

    Luckily most of my family live locally.  My OH's family live a bit further out, but most of them would be there all day due to their ages. 

    The only ones, who would be invited to the evening live about an hour away, but most of those i've never met before and the other 3 are idiots anyway! They would turn up just for the drink! 

  • Michelle09Michelle09 Posts: 141

    Fantastic!  And I completely agree. Since our wedding is at 3, we're providing a two course meal at 6. You wouldn't normally eat another meal after that. 

    I just sat there and chopped bits off the package. They told us it included a fruit cake worth  £500. Well, I'm coeliac and my partner hates fruit cake so my friend is providing a cake as a gift. So I asked for £500 off the reception cost. :D You don't ask, they won't offer. 

    A hog roast would be brilliant. You can get good deals. :)

  • MisskaybMisskayb Posts: 14

    I agree!! There's always too much food at weddings, its just added cost. 

    Thanks for your help! :) Always good to hear others point of view, even a small bit of information can make a big difference 

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