Budgeting

Surviving a Large Guest List
Trimming the guest list at a wedding can be a difficult task, but by keeping in mind a few important points, you should be able to reach a number that is just right.

Trimming the guest list at a wedding can be a difficult task, but by keeping in mind a few important points, you should be able to reach a number that is just right.

Big families can be wonderful. When you have a lot of relatives, you have a lot of people you likely can turn to when you need advice, guidance, a laugh, or an idea of where your genetics might take you later in life. Despite how nice it is to have plenty of kith and kin, it can also pose a unique problem when the time comes to plan your wedding. Whether both you and your partner come from large families or just one of you does, fitting everybody in might require some ingenuity.

Though it can create many headaches throughout the process, it is entirely possible to survive the experience of planning for a large guest list. Take a look at this advice and see how you can get through the ordeal.

Budgetary Concerns

Inviting a lot of people to your wedding means the total cost of your event is going to be substantial. You need a lot of money to fit all of those bodies into one space, feed them, and make sure the majority of them are enjoying themselves. Before you get too far into planning, you need to make sure you can actually afford to invite everyone on your list. Making cuts to your guest list is definitely going to be a stressful task, unless, of course, there are some relatives you really don’t want to come.

Once you’ve gotten through this step, take a moment to breathe. While it won’t be a walk in the park, everything else you need to do to see success is going to be a bit easier.

Spacious Venues 

Now that you have a guest list, you need a place to put them all. Choosing a venue for the reception might be a lot easier now that you’ve got your full list. If you have a ton of names on the list, then there might be only a limited number of spaces available for you to rent. You may not be able to pick your dream venue, but you can still get all of your guests together for your big day in a suitable location.

Beyond having enough space to fit everyone, you also want to make sure you can fit them comfortably. You don’t want the entire space to be packed with tables and chairs, as it can make it impossible for your guests to get around without knocking into each other.

Talking Points 

As one of the guests of honor, you are going to need to spend a large chunk of your wedding chatting with the friends and family members who came out. The more people at the event, the more time you are going to have to spend bouncing from table to table. You’re definitely not going to be able to talk with everyone, but you can easily make an appearance at every table by setting aside an hour of the reception to make your rounds.

Seeing success with this task is going to come down to timing it out right. If you give yourself an hour to see everyone, then make sure you keep things moving. Don’t get stuck on one person for too long, and be sure your partner can keep with the pace. You may feel bad rushing through, but your guests will be happy to get a little time with you.

Time Constraints

Finally, remember that having a lot of guests might delay things. Waiting for everyone to arrive can take an eternity, so take into account the fact that you might need to start later than you’d like. Being prepared for a delay will make it far less stressful on the big day.

When you’ve got a lot of guests coming to your wedding, you need to plan it out just right. By taking your time and thinking through all angles, you’re far more likely to see success and enjoy the experience all the while.

Budgeting for the Wedding – Who Pays for What?
A person budgeting for a wedding

Proper budgeting is essential.

The cost of a wedding can approach the expense of new car or even more, depending on any number of items. According to The Huffington Post, a wedding in Quebec can run about $8,400 for just 77 guests, but one survey found that the average amount spent on a wedding was about $23,000. That figure does not include the engagement ring or honeymoon. Today’s couples have to make sure they have budgeted for their wedding. Traditionally, families were expected to help with the expenses, but in today’s environment, that isn’t always the case. Although the lines of who pays what for a wedding are definitely blurred, there are some customary divisions.

The Groom and His Family

The groom and his family have the easier burden when it comes to the wedding. The groom generally pays for the engagement ring and bride’s wedding ring. He should also expect to be responsible for:

  • His attire
  • Boutonnieres and corsages for his side of the wedding party
  • Officiant’s fee, plus accommodations and transportation
  • Marriage license
  • Bride’s gift
  • Gifts for the groomsmen
  • DJ or music at the reception
  • Liquor at the reception

Because the groom’s family traditionally hosts the rehearsal dinner, he or his family should expect to manage all the expenses associated with it.

The Bride and Her Family

Generally, if it isn’t in the groom’s list, it’s the bride’s responsibility. This includes the ceremony and reception expenses, as well as all of the planning, invitations, and photography. Most of the big ticket items are under the bride’s purview. The bride’s family is generally the one who hosts the engagement party, and the bride’s parents are considered the hosts of the reception. This is one reason their name is listed first on the invitation. If the bride hosts a luncheon for the bridesmaids, it is her responsibility to pay for the party.

The Attendants

Although the bride and groom are responsible for most of the expenses associated with the wedding, the attendants should pay for their own attire and accessories. Considerate brides and grooms may offer to assist with costs if the attendant is not able. The bride and groom may also need to provide attire for younger attendants such as the ring bearer or flower girl who do not have discretionary income.

The attendants generally work together to host the bachelor or bachelorette party, and the maid of honor and bridesmaids may host the bridal shower. Attendants should also arrange their own transportation to and from the wedding. Sometimes, the attendants chip in together for a gift for the couple, but it isn’t mandatory.

Contemporary Views of Who Pays

More couples are waiting until they are older and settled into a career and home before they tie the knot. This lets them contribute more money to their own affairs and not ask their parents to cover any expenses. Some families are splitting the bill in thirds, where the groom’s family, the bride’s family, and the couple each pay for one-third of the wedding.

Instead of looking at traditional lists of who pays for what, it’s important to consider the abilities of each party. Adult brides and grooms who have been managing their own finances should not expect parents to cover any of the costs. If the parent offers, then consider it a blessing and don’t ask for more. Second-time brides and grooms are pretty much on their own when it comes to wedding expenses.

Instead of making your wedding about money, take the time before you ever make plans to work out a budget and know exactly what you and your future spouse can afford. Stay within your budget to get started on the right foot without going into debt and dealing with a truckload of bills in your first year of marriage.