• 09/09/2023

Average Wedding Size: What’s Best For Your Big Day?


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Can you hear wedding bells yet? Choosing how large you want your celebration to be is a major part of setting and sticking to a budget. Therefore, knowing the average wedding size can help you start planning your big day and contacting loved ones you may not have contacted in a while. The size of your wedding depends on your budget and you and your partner’s preferences.

The wedding industry has always gone strong. However, around 75% of 2021 weddings were rescheduled from 2020, when the circumstances made it almost impossible to celebrate in person. Now that life is back in full swing and you’re planning your big day, you need to figure out just how many guests you want to share your most special moments with.

How Big Is The Average Wedding?

A bride and groom exit a church surrounded by guests.

The average wedding size is between 75 and 150 guests. It truly does vary from couple to couple, however. For example, your soon-to-be spouse may be very well-connected and know several people they want to invite to your big day. In contrast, maybe you only have a handful of people you need at your wedding.

Regardless of how many people you personally want to extend an invitation to, knowing the categories of the average wedding size might help you pare down your guest list. Adjusting these lists might be crucial to staying within a tight budget. 

Small Wedding Size

Smaller weddings are often what you’ll see with more reserved couples. They want only the most important people at their wedding — and maybe they plan to celebrate with extended family and other friends after the fact. Small weddings tend to have under 50 guests, and the money it saves can directly go toward something like a honeymoon or first home fund. These weddings are more intimate, but just because they’re smaller doesn’t mean the couple sacrifices any beauty.

Average Wedding Size

The average wedding size, or what you might think of as a medium-sized wedding, is somewhere between 50 and 150 people. Most weddings may fall between 75 to 100 people, but anything from 50 to 150 is your standard wedding size. 

With an average budget of about $30,000, this number of guests can allow you to feel comfortable in your spending while splurging on some categories to ensure you have an evening to remember. Since it’s the size of your average wedding, you can’t go wrong with choosing around 100 of your closest loved ones to celebrate your day. The guest list may fill up sooner than you think!

Large Wedding Size

To most people, the term “large” might vary. However, people generally agree that if you’re hosting over 150 people on your big day, you’re having a large wedding. Sometimes, if you have so many guests, you may need to scale back in other areas of your budget. For example, a morning wedding might be better, as brunch food for the reception might cost less than a full dinner.

However, many couples lean into the luxury of the event and attribute more of their money toward food and ensuring their guests have a lovely time. They might choose a venue that already looks nice so they can save on decorations. Alternatively, a large family home might serve as a beautiful outdoor backdrop for a large wedding with a couple hundred guests.

Something is classified as a “mega-wedding” if there are close to 500 or more guests. These mega-weddings are rare, as the price per guest would completely obliterate many people’s budgets. It’s also the exact opposite of a micro-wedding, a trend that has been gaining traction in recent years during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Many Guests Is A Micro-Wedding?

Micro-weddings are one of the newest trends that ensure your most special people are with you on your wedding day. It takes out much of the cost of a traditional wedding, since your guest list is shaved down to an incredibly small number. In these cases, the wedding party may only have a couple of members or may not even exist at all.

How many people define a micro-wedding is different from person to person. If you consider a small wedding to be under 50 guests, a micro-wedding might slash that in half. Sometimes, a micro-wedding package at a certain venue may provide services for 20 guests or fewer. A micro-wedding could be the best option for a couple who doesn’t need a lot of wedding guests and wants to keep costs low.

Micro-weddings have steadily gained popularity since COVID-19, when larger gatherings weren’t guaranteed to be safe. Many people took these chances to elope, setting destination weddings that required a bit of travel to a beautiful location. Whether an elopement or an actual wedding, destination weddings have been growing in popularity, with market size growing by almost $5 billion in a year.

How Many Bridesmaids Is Average?

Bridesmaids wearing blue dresses laugh together.

As you’re building your plans for the wedding, you also need to choose who is in your wedding party. These people are part of your guest count, and traditionally, the higher the number of guests you’re planning on, the larger your wedding party.

The wedding party includes the following people:

  • You
  • Your Partner
  • Bridesmaids (including Junior Bridesmaids)
  • Groomsmen
  • Flower Girl
  • Ringbearer

You can also add any other people to your wedding party as you see fit. It’s your special day, so you should decide how big your group should be. Ideally, you’ll be surrounded by all your favorite people — no matter how few or how many that may be.

Therefore, the average number of bridesmaids typically depends on how you feel or how many guests are at your wedding. Since the average guest list runs somewhere around 100 guests, you might consider around four bridesmaids to be the best number for your big day, though you can also add more or give other loved ones special jobs to honor them.

Let the Average Wedding Size Guide Your Budget

The average wedding size isn’t as simple as one number. It’s often a range, and that range may vary depending on what is in trend. For example, the average size might be smaller due to micro-weddings rising in popularity, while in the past, mega-weddings might have skewed the average higher. You shouldn’t aim to emulate anyone else’s wedding — your big day is yours alone.

However, knowing the average wedding size can help guide you in the right direction when determining your budget for the big day. Your budget might be closer to the average of $30,000 if you plan to have the average number of guests. From there, you can edit your guest list and cultivate the wedding of your dreams with all your loved ones.

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