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View Full Version : How big is the average American wedding?


tim314
05-03-2005, 08:39 AM
I'd be interested in both the average number of people invited and the average number of actual attendees.

BwanaBob
05-03-2005, 10:41 AM
We invited about 100 people (this included family).
About 85 attended.

pulykamell
05-03-2005, 10:48 AM
No hard sites, but based on my experience as a photographer, it seems to average around 150.

RealityChuck
05-03-2005, 11:09 AM
Both my weddings were under 25 each.

Thudlow Boink
05-03-2005, 11:14 AM
No hard sites, but based on my experience as a photographer, it seems to average around 150.Of course, your sample only includes weddings "big" enough to hire a photographer.

Whatever the average is, I suspect the standard deviation is pretty high.

pulykamell
05-03-2005, 11:28 AM
Well, there's this (http://aweddingministers.com/wedding/statistics.htm) from the National Association of Wedding Ministers.


175 guests are invited to an average wedding


It doesn't say how many attend, though.

pulykamell
05-03-2005, 11:28 AM
Well, there's this (http://aweddingministers.com/wedding/statistics.htm) from the National Association of Wedding Ministers.


175 guests are invited to an average wedding


It doesn't say how many attend, though.

BiblioCat
05-03-2005, 12:06 PM
My wedding was eleven years ago, so I can't remember exactly, but I think we invited about 120-some, and just over 100 or so actually came. My husband has a big family, so that was a big factor - lots of cousins. That seems to be about average for our circle of friends, but we did attend one wedding a few years ago where they invited over 200 people.

That recent "runaway bride" wedding in Atlanta with 600 guests? I don't even know 600 people! I'd be inviting random people out of the phone book.

tim314
05-03-2005, 12:16 PM
That recent "runaway bride" wedding in Atlanta with 600 guests? I don't even know 600 people! I'd be inviting random people out of the phone book.
That was actually part of what prompted my question. :)

My dad's comment on that story: "I'd run away too if I knew I was going to have to write 600 thank you notes afterwards."

Si Amigo
05-03-2005, 05:00 PM
Well, there's this (http://aweddingministers.com/wedding/statistics.htm) from the National Association of Wedding Ministers.



It doesn't say how many attend, though.

I don't suppose that they would count them as "real" weddings the ones performed in wedding chappels such as are in Vegas and Gatlinburg would they? How about people who have a little undenominational wedding at the court house?
Back yard weddings? I'll just bet that the average is a little lower than you would think.

pulykamell
05-03-2005, 05:11 PM
I don't suppose that they would count them as "real" weddings the ones performed in wedding chappels such as are in Vegas and Gatlinburg would they? How about people who have a little undenominational wedding at the court house?
Back yard weddings? I'll just bet that the average is a little lower than you would think.

Could be. I certainly don't want my wedding to be any more than 50-75 people. But from my experience, both through work and within my family and friends, these numbers seem about right. (And most of my family and friends come from what would be called a working class background.) I've also seen much bigger weddings (as much as 800+ guests at an Indian wedding). Then again, I don't know anyone who's had a courthouse wedding or a Vegas chapel wedding. :shrug:

Miss Purl McKnittington
05-03-2005, 05:58 PM
Then again, I don't know anyone who's had a courthouse wedding or a Vegas chapel wedding. :shrug:

My parents had a courthouse wedding in 1984. The people present for the wedding were my older sister and their immediate family members. Under ten people, I do believe. They held a wedding reception a couple of months later in June, after all the spring planting was done, and that's when the hordes of people came. Even then, it wasn't too many. Probably about a hundred all told. The reception was held in the machine shed at home. Attire was clean blue jeans. I like telling people my parents were married by a judge and then partied with tractors. :D Completely blows the elaborate productions of today out of the water by sheer coolness, I think.

BiblioCat
05-03-2005, 06:03 PM
I don't know anyone who's had a courthouse wedding or a Vegas chapel wedding. :shrug:
I have one friend who had a courthouse wedding. IIRC, they just had a few people there; the bride's teenage children and the groom's parents and their siblings, maybe.
The next day, though, they had a reception for maybe 50 people at a Knights of Columbus Hall. I wonder where that would fit into the equation.

Ponster
05-03-2005, 06:10 PM
The average wedding in Ireland based on the 100 of so I've been too (provising the music) has about 100-130 people.

pulykamell
05-04-2005, 08:45 AM
I have one friend who had a courthouse wedding. IIRC, they just had a few people there; the bride's teenage children and the groom's parents and their siblings, maybe.
The next day, though, they had a reception for maybe 50 people at a Knights of Columbus Hall. I wonder where that would fit into the equation.

I'm counting the reception for purposes of wedding size--whether it has occurred the day of the wedding or later. I figure this is the important number in respects to wedding size because it adds to your cost. Attending the ceremony itself doesn't cost the bride and groom anything significant. Otherwise, my estimate would be much lower. Many guests only show up for the reception. I would guess anywhere from a quarter to just over a half only show up the reception.

Mehitabel
05-04-2005, 10:49 AM
Baby bro had his in August; invited 140 people or so, but he knew some of them wouldn't or couldn't come so they budgeted for 120; 115 people came, and the food wasn't too fancy and it was a cash bar. Bride and groom each had seven attendents, but again they have lots of cousins and friends, and we paid for our own dresses and transportation and lodging and all and the bridesmaids gift was small but delightful (a silver bracelet).

They received enough in monetary gifts to almost cover the cost of the wedding, too.

BubbaDog
05-04-2005, 10:58 AM
I've DJ'd about 100 or so weddings in the last 20 years so for weddings big enough to have a DJ:

most are between 100-200 with the average around 120

...and they always include one member of the wedding party who apparently thinks that its their job to get very drunk and to complain continuously to the DJ that his music sucks even though the dance floor stays packed all night. :rolleyes:

Smallest wedding with DJ = 26
Largest wedding = 650

butler1850
05-04-2005, 11:03 AM
My wedding was about 125 attendees. We invited about 150. We likely could have invited nearly 200, if we had extended out my family, and more of my parent's friends.

I think an "average" of your "traditional" wedding, would be somewhere between 100 and 200 attendees.

Large socialite families, or those with extended business contacts that have to be invited, would obviously be very easy to make very large.

If I did it again, I'd likely do what my brother-in-law did, hop a plane to Vegas, and have a party later when I had returned.

-Butler

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