One of the first things you will want to decide when you start the wedding planning process is who to invite. Your guest list is a huge factor in determining the cost of your wedding and the size of your venue. Of course, who you invite to your wedding is entirely up to you as a couple. The most important rule is that the guests are the people you truly want there!
Obviously your top picks for wedding guests would be: your parents, your siblings, your closest friends and your children. Depending on the size of your family that can easily add up to 25 - 50 people. Next we have the special people in your life: Your grandparents, Your nieces and nephews, Your closest aunties and uncles, Your wider circle of friends. This can quickly add another 50 - 100 people including their plus one.
Next comes the hard part, the list of people that you may not see as often but would it might be awkward to not invite. This is where it gets tough in regards to your budget. This might be: your aunts and uncles, cousins, plus ones of new relationships (plus ones you don't know very well), Travel buddies, old friends you haven't seen in ages (Facebook doesn't count!), Your closest coworkers. Adding these guests to the list can add another 250 people. The next category is out of the question unless you want to top out at over 500 guests. This list would include: The officiant, neighbours, friends of your parents, children of guests, everyone from the local golf/soccer/tennis club, people who invited you to their wedding and all your work colleagues.
Remember the line has to be drawn somewhere. Think about times when you weren't invited to someone's wedding? Did you really care? Most os the time the average person totally understands that you can't invite everyone. Keep in mind about 10% - 20% of the people you invite will not attend. You must be careful in this assumption since the venue and caterer must be booked around a year in advance. No matter what be firm in your decision and stick to the budget parameters to allow for stress free wedding planning.