Does your guest list have more than 200 people on it? Maybe it’s even grown to that sometimes-scary 300 number? We’re here to give you our best tips on how to plan for a large guest list.
If your guests list is large, it can seem almost impossible to see each of your guests during your reception (we totally get it). But with a careful curation of time and events, we know you can do it. Consider nixing the receiving line, because this can take a large chunk of time for larger weddings. Instead, consider doing a ‘first look’ so you can take the majority of photos before the wedding. This will allow you to attend your own cocktail hour and ultimately spend more time mingling with your guests. If a first look doesn’t seem right for you and your future-spouse, plan a welcome dinner or invite out of town guests to your rehearsal dinner. This way you’ll get to spend more time with these guests throughout the weekend, freeing up some extra time throughout the reception. Make a plan to visit each reception table, as well, this way it’s easier to keep straight who you’ve seen and who’s left to visit with.
There’s nothing worse than attending a wedding reception and being crammed like sardines into a tiny room, or under a not-large-enough tent (am-I-right?). I’ve been there, you’ve probably been there, too. Whether you anticipate a large guest list or not, your guest list should be the first thing you work on when it comes to wedding planning. I realize it’s not the most glamorous or as fun as the many tasks to come, but it’s the foundation for everything else you’ll do. From budget, to the nitty gritty numbers, it’s just the largest factor and will give you an idea of what’s available to you.
With that being said, don’t assume everyone won’t show up. On average, only 10 percent of wedding guests decline. That means if you invite 200 people, only 20 won’t show – and that’s simply an average. Pro tip: Make sure your venue of choice can accommodate slightly more than your guest count. This way you’ll have room for those little extras, because we don’t want you to have to give up your dreamed of photo booth to accommodate all of your guests!
When considering a large guest list, party favors are likely the first obvious area to save extra room in your budget. We love the idea of replacing an item you’d already be spending on – such as drinking classes – and turning it into your party favor. Recently I went to a wedding where they used mason jars you could personalize as the bar glasses. This was a great way to cut down on drinkware, plus each guest got to take theirs’s home at the end of the night – it’s a win-win! Another favorite
Ultimately, when you are planning for a large guest count, it’s important to keep the party flowing. Getting guests up out of their seats and moving can do a lot for the party vibes. Consider a photobooth or caricature drawing station to combine a fun experience that keeps guests entertained. Need more ideas on party favor ideas? Check out our post outlining our favorites.
We get it, you absolutely loved the make-your-own mojito bar at your bridal shower and you’re dying to recreate it for all of your guests to enjoy – all 257 of them, that is. But hold up, pump the breaks and consider just how much of a mess you know it will become. Think sticky, germy mess. Fruit and alcohol all over the tables. We’re not here to totally rain on your fruit-filled alcohol dreams but consider doing fun pitchers of drinks instead. Maybe mojitos aren’t for everybody anyways. Choose your three favorite cocktails and make them pitcher-sized for your guests to enjoy.
- WHITNEY, BRIDE
She took an enormous amount of stress off of our shoulders and helped us create the most perfect day of our entire lives. Taylor handled every situation with grace, confidence, and professionalism. I don’t think I’ve ever met a sweeter person, or someone who is able to bring such a calming and peaceful presence to any room she walks into!
"Taylor was our best decision in all of planning!"
- JANET, MOTHER OF THE BRIDE
As a first-time mother-of-the bride, I wanted someone to guide us through the whole process. We thankfully selected the full-package and never worried whether what we were asking was included or not. Taylor was positive, organized and tremendously accommodating, especially as we changed plans 3 times due to COVID.
"Taylor listened and brought my daughter's dreams to life!"
- Alyssa, bride
Taylor was so great to work with from the very beginning! We hired her for day-of planning, yet she went above and beyond to take care of us throughout the entire planning process. You can tell Taylor truly cares about her couples & that was proven by how much energy she invested in us and our making our perfect day happen!
"We felt supported throughout the entire process!"