How Many Wedding Attendants Should You Have

When it’s time to hand out the wedding day assignments, picking the right number of attendants may seem to be the biggest issue you’ll face. While you want to make sure no one feels left out, you also don’t want more people standing in your wedding party than sitting in the seats observing! You also have to consider who you want to have close by for support throughout the wedding planning process and on your big day. Traditionally, groomsmen and bridesmaids help out with much of the planning and details before your wedding, so you can plan on spending a lot of time with them. In addition, these are also going to be the people in all your wedding photos – so make sure you’ll be ok with that for years to come!

Consider the following guidelines for choosing the right number of people to serve as wedding attendants:

Small, Intimate Ceremony

If you ceremony is going to be small, with just family and a few friends, you probably don’t need twenty people standing in your wedding party. This is especially true if you’ll have less than fifty guests attending your ceremony. In this case, most people choose to have just a best man and maid of honor, although you could add one more person on each side, if needed.

Mid-Sized Ceremony

If plan to have 50-200 guests at your ceremony, you can choose from one to six bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand on either side of your wedding party. Obviously, this number should increase depending on the number of guests. In most cases, you can use the groomsmen as ushers as well – just keep in mind that you’ll want at least one usher for every fifty people attending your wedding.

Formal Wedding Ceremony

If expect to invite more than 200 guests to your wedding ceremony, you’ll want to recruit at least six to ten groomsmen and bridesmaids for your wedding party. You can also opt to have at least one flower girl and ring bearer for this type of event. You may also want to have ushers that are not the groomsmen, as an event this size can be very busy. For a wedding this size, you’ll likely need extra help from friends and family as well to ensure everyone is in the correct place and knows the correct times to complete their part in the wedding ceremony.

Whichever wedding party size you choose, make sure you consider the stress and financial impact this choice can have. A large wedding party will cost more and takes much more time to organize. On the other hand, feelings can be easily hurt if you’re hosting a large ceremony, as not everyone will be able to participate in the service. If your family is very large, you’ll likely have brothers, sisters, and even cousins that will want to participate. Make sure anyone you choose is willing to help out and attend all practices – organizing a wedding party of ten or more people can be very stressful if people aren’t available for every rehearsal. Whatever size your wedding party is, be sure to follow these guidelines so that the event goes off without a hitch.

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Filed under: Invitations,Wedding Planning — vicky at 1:30 pm on Friday, March 27, 2009

How Many Guests Should You Invite to Your Wedding?

Planning your big day can be a lot of fun, although there are many tough decisions to be made along the way. While it would be wonderful if you could invite everyone you know to share in your big day, this isn’t always reasonable or cost-effective. There are many things you need to consider when deciding who gets a coveted spot on your guest list and who will need to be content with pictures from your wedding.

Think about your space

The first thing you need to consider is the space you have available at the wedding venue. If your church or wedding hall will only hold twenty people, then you can only have twenty people at your wedding. However, if you have a large venue, you have many more options for creating your list. Just don’t try to squeeze more people into your wedding than the recommended capacity – you’ll want to be sure that your guests are comfortable during the ceremony and that there’s plenty of room to move around in the event of an emergency.

Cost is a major factor

Apart from space considerations, your wedding budget will be the biggest determining factor of how many people you can invite. When determining your “per-head” cost, you’ll need to consider the cost of the venue, the cost of the buffet and drinks, and the cost of the reception. Inviting fifty people will cost much less than inviting three hundred. A typically wedding buffet can run over $20/person – when you multiply that by the number of guests you’re thinking of inviting, you’ll see that the cost can quickly add up.

You must consider feelings

While cost and space can be major factors, you also have to consider the feelings of your family and friends. Some people will be very offended if they aren’t invited. Therefore, you need to first make a list of who must be invited – such as mom, dad, and immediate family members. Once you have that basic list figured out, you can start adding in friends and coworkers, up to your maximum number of guests. Of course, make sure you include both the bride and groom’s families before you start adding friends and colleagues!

Consider the number that will attend

One of the most frustrating parts of planning a wedding is that just because you invite 200 people, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have 200 people in attendance. The number of guests that arrive will depend on a number of factors. Generally, it’s safe to estimate that about 85% of local invites will attend, while only 50-65% of the out-of-town guests you invite will show up. You also have to consider the number of single invitees that will bring a date, which usually ends up being about 75% of your single invites. Therefore, you can probably invite a few more people to your wedding than you have space for. However, you still want to be conservative, as it’s much easy to invite than to un-invite your guests.

Figuring out the perfect number of people to invite to your wedding is never an exact science. It will take time and negotiation between you and your partner to decide on the final list. The best thing you can do is to make sure the most important people are invited and then add in whoever else you would like. Invite a few more people than you have space for, but watch your RSVP list to make sure you haven’t gone overboard.

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Filed under: Inexpensive Weddings,Invitations — vicky at 1:29 pm on Friday, March 27, 2009