You may have seen the pictures of the Orthodox Jewish wedding with over 20,000 guests! If you're having trouble cutting your guest list you may be able to relate! Most advice on cutting your wedding budget starts with the guest list, you're constantly told to have fewer guests. But that isn't an option for everyone, and it isn't the only way to reduce your budget. About half of your wedding expenses have NOTHING to do with how big your guest list is.
There are many reasons not to cut your guest list. In some cultures not receiving a wedding invitation is tantamount to an insult. Indian weddings, Jewish weddings and Mexican weddings are all traditionally very large. The same may be true for your family. Sure, it's tempting to tell your mother that you aren't inviting your third cousin twice removed, but remember that the hard feelings that result from not following family traditions last a lot longer than your wedding.
You may not want to cut your friends from your guest list. If you're getting married straight out of high school or college and have only lived in one or two places, your guest list may be naturally small. But, if you and your partner have gone to college and graduate school, and moved to a few different cities, you've met a lot of people and have a lot of very close friends. It's natural to want your closest friends with you on your wedding day, no matter how many there are.
Some people like the idea of a small, intimate wedding. Others like the idea of a big blow out party. If you're a "the more the merrier" type of person then it makes sense that your wedding would follow suit. Big weddings are also on trend this year, with the popular "Gatsby theme" taking over from the more sedate weddings of the past.
The important thing with a wedding of any size is to have the wedding that you can afford, and only take on as much debt as you want. As we said, 50% of your budget has nothing to do with your guest list, so make sure to research other ideas for reducing your wedding budget.