Just about any where you look, when it comes to planning your wedding budget, every one will tell you that your guest list is EVERYTHING. While it certainly doesn’t affect every single aspect of your wedding, it does play a major role in your bottom line.

Before we go any further, we should mention that we, in no way what-so-ever, think you should have a small wedding, if you don’t want to have a small wedding. You should have a wedding that works for you, your partner and your families. Whether that includes 25, 100, 250 or 400+ guests. BUT, if you’re looking for ways to cut back on your total wedding budget, trimming your guest list (BEFORE the save-the-dates and invites have gone out) is a good place to start. Taking just 10 people off of your list can easily save you $1,000 or more.

Four ways your guest list adds to your wedding budget by DPNAK WeddingsFour ways your guest list adds to your wedding budget by DPNAK Weddings

photo by Michael Pangilinan Photography

Below are four(+) ways that your guest list is going to make a major impact on your wedding budget:

01. Your food and drink bill. 

With each additional guest you invite to your wedding, that’s another guest you’re going to need to feed. Say your caterer or venue is quoting you $85 per person, an additional 10 guests on your list (which isn’t that hard to add) equals an extra $850 to your bill. And don’t forget the drinks. More guests mean more alcohol and whether you’re supplying your own bar or using your venue’s, it’s going to add up.

02. Your rentals and space

If you’re tasked with supplying the rentals for your guests, this is another area that will add up quickly. You will need more tables, chairs, dishes, flatware, glassware, linens, etc. – all of which can add up quickly if you’re not careful. Also, depending on the venue or space you need, you may need to rent a bigger tent, opt for a larger room or find a bigger venue entirely.

03.  Your transportation. 

This is an area that many forget about. If you are providing transportation for your guests, the more guests you have means either A) you’re going to need a larger vehicle to transport them or B) you’re going to need your reserved vehicle to make more trips which eats away time from your timeline and adds more hours to your contract with them. Either way, your transportation bill will go up if your added guests need a lift.

04. Your little items that you don’t think add up.

Ah… those pesky “little” things. Per-person items like menu cards, thank you cards, ceremony programs, place cards, escort cards, favors, invitations, save-the-dates, and more. It also means a bigger guestbook, more table numbers, more centerpieces, more everything.