How many People should I have at my Wedding?

So I get asked all the time “How many people should I have at my wedding?” When chatting with a couple very quickly they realise that that more people you have at the wedding, the more people you have to go and see/thank for coming. Which in turn means the less time you have to spend with everyone?
Some Venues have a certain Minimum or Maximum for the Reception. To make sure they have enough room for all your guests is very important. Then there is the catering for all you guests as well. In some cases I have seen people been invited to the Ceremony of the Wedding and not be invited to the Reception because of the constraints the Venue has put in place on the Maximum number of people allowed to attend the Reception.
Another aspect in the number of Guests is the cost involved. A lot of venues have a set price for the meal for your guests then add in a “Drinks Package” for a certain number of Hours. So obviously the more guests, the more meal and Drinks will need to be supplied.
Family v Friends is another issue. Do you invite Family members that you haven’t seen in years? or do you skip them and invite your friends that you see on a regular basis. Traditionally Family is invited over Friends because of the whole Relations aspect. If you don’t invite that Uncle you haven’t seen since you were 12 they might be forever upset that you didn’t. Or Grandma/Grandad might be upset that you didn’t invite Aunty so-n-so… Friends on the other hand would probably understand if they didn’t get an invite to your special day because of the Family invites.
Lately i have noticed that there is a swing towards inviting the people that your see on a regular basis, the people that make you happy. Friends are becoming more and more popular as the main invites to the weddings.
So just some things to think about before sending out your invites for your big day. How many people can the Reception venue cater for? How much is it per/head for the meal and Drinks Package? And who do you really want at your wedding???
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Mark Brittain.