Your partner wants a small intimate wedding and you want a large wedding to accommodate your large extended family. But how big is too big?
The national average size of a wedding is 130 guests. Typically a "small" wedding is 50 guests or under, and a large wedding is anything over 150 guests.
Of course, everyone you invite won't actually attend your wedding. Most couples bank on the 85/15 rule. After sending out all invites, on average 85% will attend and 15% will decline and send you a nice gift.
To put it another way, invite 153 people to have 130 guests attend, the national average.
153 guests might seem like a lot of people, but that is only 76 people per fiancé. After immediate and extended family are added, there is only a small portion left for friends.
The best wedding advice I received came from my dad. He told me, "If you haven't talked to them in 6 months, don't invite them." This is slightly harsh, but greatly helped my husband and I! We wanted a medium-sized wedding, our venue wouldn't allow more than 100 people. After applying my dad's rule, we brought our guest list down to 115, and 86 showed up. When our wedding day came and I walked down the aisle, this was the perfect amount of people for me. I knew every person's name and half of their life story! Applying my dad's rule gave my husband and I the perfect medium-sized wedding!
(Yes, the photo below is my husband and I on our wedding day!)