Tuesday 20 March 2012

Managing Smaller Budgets: The Guest List

Today, Bristol Wedding Planner Steph Allison of How 2 I Do Wedding & Event Planning looks at ways to keep to a smaller wedding budget and focusing on the tricky subject of the all important guest list.

When you get married it's great to share your wedding day with all of your friends and family, but before you draw up a mammoth list, remember, you will need to allow approximately £50.00 per head for a day guest at your wedding. This should cover welcome drinks, food, wine, toast drinks and evening food. However, some upmarket venues may charge closer to this sum just for a three course sit down dinner.

Once your guests lists reaches 150 people, that's £7500 just on food and drink alone and if your total budget is £10,000 it's not going to stretch to cover venue hire, entertainment, wedding clothing, ceremony fees, transportation, rings, accommodation and all of the other endless costs related to your wedding.

So how do you keep numbers in check? Firstly make a list of everyone you would like to invite and see what figure you reach. To have a wedding with a budget below £10000, you ideally want to keep to 50-60 day guests, with another 20 or so guests arriving for the disco.


Evening guests will only cost you the price of any evening food you arrange, normally around £10-15 per head and you can often only cater for 80% of guests for evening food as many will have eaten a big evening meal before they arrive.

If your list is on the larger side, you may have to be a bit ruthless to keep your budget on track. A good way to cut guests is to create some simple rules such as only inviting people that you have seen in the last year prior to getting engaged or only inviting work colleagues that you have socialised with outside of work.  Perhaps stick to immediate family and close friends only.

If you can't cut numbers due to having a large family or circle of friends, then you will need to look at some creative ways to reduce your food and drink costs to keep a smaller budget on track. Consider buffets, hog roasts, afternoon tea or fish and chips as cheaper alternatives to a three course meal. You can also buy your own alcohol if your venue allows and their corkage charge isn't too high.

For more useful help planning your wedding, visit  How 2 I Do Wedding & Event Planning

Image Credit Sidney Diongzon

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