A destination wedding can be a dream come true for many couples, but it also requires some careful planning and decision-making. One of the most important decisions you will make when planning a destination wedding is determining the size of your guest list.

This can be a difficult decision, as you may have limited space at your chosen location and want to balance your desire for a special day with your budget and your guests’ comfort.

How many people should I invite to my wedding?

There’s really no single answer to the question ‘how many people should I invite to my wedding?’ However in this article, we will provide you with tips for creating a wedding guest list that fits your destination wedding vision and hopefully help you come to your own answer.

Consider Your Budget

Before you start adding guests to your wedding list, it’s essential to set a realistic budget. Your budget will impact the number of guests you can invite, the location, and the overall experience.

When setting your budget, consider the cost of travel, accommodation, food, and entertainment, and what you will have to pay for. Once you have a clear understanding of your budget, you can start building your guest list, the more guests the higher you catering and drinks costs will be, you will also need to consider accommodation options and if you shall be paying for this too.

Read our guideShould I Pay For My Wedding Guest’s Accommodation?

Determine Your Venue Capacity

Most destination wedding venues have a capacity limit, and it’s important to consider this when creating your guest list. Before you start inviting guests, confirm with your venue how many people they can accommodate comfortably.

If you’re having your wedding at a resort or hotel, they may have a set number of rooms that can be reserved for your guests.

It’s important to keep in mind that your wedding may be more intimate with a smaller guest list, which can make it easier to manage.

Create a Priority List

When creating your guest list, start by making a priority list of people you cannot imagine getting married without. This may include close family members, best friends, and immediate family members.

Once you have a list of essential guests, you can start adding additional guests to your list. Keep in mind that not everyone you invite will be able to attend, so consider this when dicing on who and how many people to invite.

Kids or no kids

Another area to consider is children, do you want kids at your wedding and how could this effect some guests you are inviting. Allowing kids increases the overall guest number, and kids will still need a smaller meal, while some guests may have babies. Of course allowing kids does not mean they will come, some parents and guests may like then idea of a destination wedding without the kids and a chance to relax and enjoy the day with you kid free.

If you make it a kid free wedding however there will also be some guests and parents who may not have anyone to look after the kids, a destination wedding could mean being away for 1-2 nights and if they have no child support then it may not be possible for them to attend.

Consider Your Guests’ Budgets

While you may be excited about having a destination wedding, it’s important to consider your guests’ budgets. Travel and accommodations can be expensive, so be mindful of this when creating your guest list.

Consider sending out save the dates as early as possible, so guests can start planning and budgeting for your wedding.

You may also want to consider offering group rates for accommodations or providing transportation to and from the airport to help ease the financial burden on your guests.

Plan for Small Intimate Groups

A destination wedding can be an excellent opportunity to have a smaller, more intimate ceremony. This can be an excellent way to create a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere for your wedding day.

You may want to consider hosting a pre-wedding event or post-wedding event to celebrate with those who were not invited to the actual wedding. This can help you to include more people in your celebrations without having to worry about capacity limits.

Be prepared, some guests won’t be able to attend

With a destination wedding there can be more challenges for guests to come, flight costs, accommodation, time needed to attend, instead of a single day guests may need 2-3 to attend.

Older guests may not be able to fly and therefore may not be able to attend for this reason, so if you have elder relatives you want to be there, consider this when looking at your venues and planning your wedding.

Consider the Distance

Destination weddings often involve travel for your guests, so consider the distance they will need to travel when creating your guest list.

If your wedding is in a remote location or requires a long flight, you may want to limit the number of guests you invite. This can also help to reduce costs and ensure that your guests have a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Make the Most of Technology

With technology today, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with your guests, even if they can’t attend your wedding. Consider setting up a live stream of your ceremony or hiring a photographer to capture the moments so that you can share them with those who couldn’t make it.

You can also create a wedding website or social media page to share updates and photos with your guests.

Our top Tips and Considerations

  • Decide if you would like kids to attend
  • Create a priority list, who you really want to be there from both sides of the family.
  • Plus ones? Consider this and factor them into your overall guest number
  • Send your save the date early, giving your guests as much notice as possible

Wedding Guest FAQ’s

How many guests are normally at a destination wedding?

We see on average a guest size for a destination wedding of 70-90 guests from couple enquiring via our platform. However many opt for smaller and more intimate wedding of around 40 guests.

How big should a wedding guest list be?

There is no limit or set rule, on average wedding can range between 70 – 150 guests.

How long should guests stay for destination wedding?

Some of this will be dependant on the guests circumstances, however we find many guests will stay for around 2-3 nights depending on the wedding, location and itinerary.

What Is Considered a Small Wedding? 

A small wedding is tended to be consider with a guest size of under 40 people. Under 20 is intimate and can be classed as a micro wedding.

Round up

In conclusion, creating a wedding guest list for your destination wedding can be challenging, but it’s an essential part of the planning process.

Remember to consider your budget, venue capacity, and guests’ budgets when creating your list, and be prepared to make cuts if necessary.

Keep in mind that a smaller, more intimate ceremony can be just as special as a larger one, and don’t be afraid to consult with a wedding planner for advice and guidance.