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  • Alexis Alvarez

How To Plan a Wedding: Budget or Guest List 1st?

How to plan a wedding: budget or guest list first?

You’re engaged! Congrats! You’ve posted your ring selfies, FaceTimed your friends, called your parents… and now what?

The first 2 steps of planning your wedding are going to be to determine your budget and guest list. But which comes first?


Your budget determines how many guests you can invite to your wedding, not the other way around. So first determine what your all-in wedding budget is and THEN work to create a guest list.

But once you know your budget, how do you determine how many people you can invite? There are a few ways to do this.

  1. Connect with a local Wedding Planner and ask what the average PP cost is of catering in your local area.

  2. Do a search for local wedding caterers and check out their website to see their average range of cost PP for wedding menus.

  3. Connect in some local Facebook groups and ask other couples what their PP catering cost is.

Why does this all keep coming back to catering? Because catering is going to be the most variable cost you experience when planning your wedding. If the average cost of catering in your area is $150pp - inviting 100 people will cost you $15K in catering alone. Inviting 200 will cost you $30K.

See? Your budget has to come first. It only creates frustration to start with deciding there are 200 people you want to invite and try to make those 200 people fit into a $40K budget versus deciding you have a $40K budget and working backward to decide how many guests you can invite.

Next week we’ll talk about whether you should book your venue or Planner first, but in the meantime, determine that wedding budget & start doing some research on how many guests you might be able to invite on that budget.

Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner?


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