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 Loutre Wedding Hi Friends!

I’m McKinzie Loutre, the Events Coordinator here at The Center for Rural Development. Many of you may not be aware, but we offer a full range of wedding consultation services to help couples plan and coordinate every last detail leading up to their special day. In our fourth Wednesday Wedding Wisdom of 2017, I’m going to look at how the number of guests you have at your wedding will dictate everything else, and therefore, have the biggest impact on your wedding budget!

Photo left: McKinzie on her wedding day, at The Center for Rural Development.



What Has the Biggest Impact on Your Wedding Budget? 

So you’ve finally met with some potential vendors, and you begin to notice a common theme. Sure, you’re aware there are various elements of a wedding that contribute to your overall budget, but did you realize that majority of those are greatly impacted by the guest count?!  After my own wedding, I did a little analysis on our total costs and when it came down to it, over 80% of what we spent was completely contingent on the number of people that attended.

I meet with brides regularly who want a “budget-friendly” wedding with all the amazing details, yet want to invite over 250 people. Listen future brides, the number of guests that you have at your wedding will dictate EVERYTHING else, and therefore have the biggest impact on what you’re going to spend. It really has nothing to do with how much you DIY, what exactly you serve for dinner, or what style/theme your wedding has—the guest count counts! I like to tell our brides that you should always leverage the 20% rule. If you invite 300, you can expect 240 to attend. With that being said, let’s break down the guest-impacted elements a bit further:

You really should not be choosing a venue without knowing how many guest you will be having. Some can accommodate 100 people and others can accommodate over 300 and I’m sure those spaces aren’t priced the same. Some venues even charge a service fee per person, be sure to get all of that information before signing any contracts.


Perhaps one of the biggest areas affected by guest count is food and drinks. The more guests you have, the more money you’re going to spend. Not only does guest count have this direct impact, but it also impacts the number of servers, chefs, bartenders, and clean-up crew required, which can easily make costs go up.


More guests equal more tables, more centerpieces, etc. that are needed. It’s pretty simple, but most don’t realize this until they are much deeper into the wedding planning process.


Similar to décor, the more guests you have, the more rentals you need. Whether that’s renting chairs, linens, china, glassware, and/or flatware…it all makes a difference.


You know all those little items that no one seems to factor in until the end, i.e. invitations, save-the-dates, wedding favors, programs, special gifts, etc. it all comes down to the number of guests that you must provide for.

The truth is, weddings aren’t cheap, but’s it’s not because weddings are extravagant, overpriced, or you’re being “scammed” by the wedding industry. It all boils down to the usage and consumption of materials and services. In the end, your wedding will more than likely stay within budget if you have less guests! So re-evaluate your guest list. I know you want everyone to see how beautiful you look on your big day, but really this event is something that should be shared with people you care about and who actually care about you. You shouldn’t feel the need to invite everyone you’ve ever met!

You are invited to attend our bridal show “From This Moment”, on January 27, 2018, from 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Brides will have exclusive access to a wide variety of vendors and services for your big day! Brides plus one guest are only $5!! Check out our event page for more details and follow us on for vendor announcements and emerging details.

Register me!