by Christie A. Brogan {5.5.17}

Easily the most common question we are asked by couples is some version of this…”how do I cut my costs?” or “how do I make the most of my wedding budget?’ The answer,¬†albeit not always popular, is simple…cut the headcount. Although this may not be what a couple wants to hear, it’s true. It’s math. Let me explain.

Industry standards suggest approximately 40-50% of your wedding budget should be allocated to the reception (read: venue, catering, beverages, etc.) So, the more guests you have, the more your catering costs will be…but it doesn’t stop there. More guests mean more invitations and postage (more $). More guests mean more tables and chairs (more $). More tables and chairs mean more linens and centerpieces (more $). More guests means a bigger cake (more $). More guests mean more wedding favors (more $). Do you see the trend?

Consider this…if food and beverage for 150 people at $50 per person costs $7500 and you trim 50 people off the list (100 people at $50 per person = $5000) you realize an immediate savings of $2500.00. Like I said, it’s math.

There are all sorts of arguments to be made for a more intimate guest list and, of course, there are ways to manage the guest list to make room for “B-List” guests when you receive the “A-List” declines, but that is conversation for another day.


Christie Brogan {Co-Owner & Partner – 128 South and Bakery 105 in Wilmington, NC. Entrepreneur, Event Planner, Wedding Geek, Writer, Business Innovator, Idea Maker, Boot Camp Betty, Yoga Nut, Animal Lover, Avid Reader}