Your Ultimate Guide To The Right Wedding Guest Number Abroad

Lisbon, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Planning a wedding is exciting! There are so many decisions to make, and one of the most important is figuring out who to invite. But things change a bit if you’re considering having your wedding abroad. You might wonder, “How many people should I invite?” It’s tricky because you want it to be cosy but also ensure everyone can come. 

There’s no set number for how many people you “need” to invite to an abroad wedding. It depends on your preferences, budget, and the location’s capacity. Generally, destination weddings tend to have fewer guests compared to traditional weddings due to the additional costs and travel logistics involved. Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for around 50% to 70% of guests to attend a destination wedding, but this can vary significantly based on individual circumstances. Ultimately, it’s about who you want to share your special day with and who can attend. 

Let’s talk about how to figure out how many guests to invite to your destination wedding.

Sesimbra Natura Park, Venue | Sesimbra, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Understand Your Vision

Before you start planning, think about what kind of wedding you want. Do you want a small wedding with just your closest family and friends? Or do you want a big party with lots of people? Thinking about your dream wedding will help you decide how many guests to invite. Destination weddings usually mean smaller guest lists because it can be tricky for everyone to travel. But having fewer people can make the experience more special and unforgettable for everyone.


One of the most important factors when deciding how many guests to invite to a wedding abroad is your budget. Having a destination wedding can cost more than traditional ceremonies. Every additional guest means more expenses for travel, accommodation, meals, and entertainment. So, you need to be realistic about how much money you have and how many guests you can afford to have at your wedding without going over your budget.

Quinta A Lendária, Venue | Barreiro, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Venue Capacity and Accommodations

The venue you choose for your wedding destination will have a significant impact on how many friends and family you can invite. Think about how many people the venue can hold comfortably and if there are any problems with getting there.  Also, make sure there are enough places nearby for your guests to stay. You want everyone to have a bed for the night! These things can change who you can invite, so it’s something to keep in mind when planning.

Respect Your Venue’s Regulations

When you are choosing a venue, make sure you know the rules about how many guests you can have. Some venues have strict rules to keep everyone safe and happy. Follow these rules and make sure everyone has a good time without any problems. This way, your wedding will be great for everyone!

Igreja Nossa Senhora da Fé de Monte Abraão, Church | Monte Abraão, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Travel Considerations

When you’re inviting people to your destination wedding, think about how far they have to travel. Some might not be able to come because they don’t have enough money, have to work, or need to be with their family. Remember these things when deciding who to invite and understand that not everyone will be able to come. It’s important to be considerate of their situations when sending out invitations.

Guest Experience

When you’re planning your wedding, think about your guests first. While it’s tempting to invite everyone you know to share in your special day, remember that a smaller guest list can make your day even better. It’s about having the people who mean the most to you there. Quality matters more than quantity. So, focus on the ones who really matter to you.

Quinta A Lendária, Venue | Barreiro, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Deciding how many people to invite to your wedding abroad isn’t easy, but here are some tips to help you figure it out:

Start with Family and Close Friends: First, think about the people whom you can’t imagine celebrating without, like your family and closest friends.

Think About Extra Guests: After you’ve listed your must-have guests, see whether there’s room in your budget and venue capacity to invite additional guests, such as extended family members or friends you’re close to.

Keep Travel Plans in Mind: Remember that everyone invited will have to travel to your wedding location. Think about things like where they’ll stay, how they’ll get there, and what they can do nearby.

Talk to Important People: It’s a good idea to talk to your partner, parents, and anyone else important to you about your guest list. They might have ideas or concerns you haven’t thought about.

Stay Open-Minded: Even if you have a certain number of guests in mind, be ready to change your plans based on what makes sense and what people say. Flexibility is key!

Quinta Cascata dos Sonhos, Venue | Almargem do Bispo, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

Managing Expectations and Communication 

Clear communication is super important for destination weddings. You should be open with your guests about what you expect from them, like how much money they might need to spend and what your plans are for the celebration. Give them lots of info about the place you’re getting married, how they can get there, and what they can do while they’re there. This helps them plan their trip better and makes everything smoother for everyone.

To sum up, deciding how many guests to invite to a wedding abroad is a big decision. It depends on many things. You should think about how much money you have to spend, how many people the place where you want to get married can fit, what your guests like, and how easy it is for them to get there. By thinking about these things and talking well with your family and friends, you can make a wedding that you’ll remember forever. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small party or a big one, what’s important is that you enjoy the time with the people who are special to you.

Quinta A Lendária, Venue | Barreiro, Portugal | Photo by PEDIPortugal Weddings

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Pedro Cruz

Wedding photographer and videographer from Lisbon, Portugal. Here is Pedro Cruz's short bio.

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