Decision One - The Size Of Your Wedding Guest List
You’ve got the pile of wedding magazines, the Pinterest boards of couture wedding dresses and fairytale wedding venues, and you're following all the trendiest wedding bloggers on Instagram.
After the initial dreaming stage, it’s time to do some planning and start committing to some big decisions. And it can feel a bit daunting!
In our experience, the classic wedding planning mistake is to rush ahead with the dreamy details before establishing the actual size of the wedding you're planning. (We're not judging - we know how tempting it is to dive straight into those details!)
While you won't need to know every last attendee in the early stages of planning your wedding, having a solid idea of numbers really is the key to unlocking the rest of your wedding planning.
We always advise our couples to make establishing the approximate length of their guest list the very first thing on their wedding planning schedule. The undeniable truth is that the more people you invite, the more your wedding is going to cost. It'll also affect the type of venue you can pick.
Once you know more or less how many people are coming to your wedding, you'll have a much better sense of the reality of your budget and how far it'll stretch. And you'll be in a much stronger position when it comes to picking your venue. (More on picking your wedding venue later.)
Trimming down that first draft of your guest list to fit your budget - and negotiating the related family politics - can be a challenge. Our advice? Arm yourself with patience and a large dollop of diplomacy. Talk at length with your significant other and your families, and be realistic about what you can afford. Chat to other newly-weds and find out how they handled these kinds of decisions, and be reassured that deciding who comes and who doesn't is something a lot of other couples have gone through... and survived!
If you’re on a tight budget, one of the best ways to maximise your money is by keeping your wedding guest list nice and trim. Consider limiting numbers to a very affordable 40 guests, which is normally big enough to include all your nearest and dearest, yet small enough to feel really special and intimate, and give you plenty of time on the day to dedicate yourself to your guests.
And for the people who don't quite make the final draft of the wedding guest list? The work colleagues, the distant cousins? A popular choice is to throwing a separate, more affordable pre or post wedding party for your wider circle of friends and less immediate family. And if you're considering an overseas wedding, a local party before or after the event also provides an alternative for anyone who's not as much of a fan of travel as you and your significant other!
In our next blog, we'll talk about the second key decision in your wedding planning - setting your wedding date! Read it here.
If you're in need of some wedding inspiration to help you get started, visit Madama's Our Weddings pages, where we share details from some of our previous happy couples' big days.
Or to find out what Madama can do for you, for prices and more, get in touch with the Madama team today.