How Many Guests Should you Invite to a Party?

how many guests to invite to a party food

So you’re getting ready to host your party and need to decide how many guests you should invite first? There’s a lot of things you need to consider when making your guest list, but it’s definitely one of the first thing’s you need to do. Think about the type of party and your budget first of all, and then decide who absolutely has to be there. After that you’re ready to set a date, send invites and start planning the fun stuff! If you want more advice on how to play your party, then check out out ultimate party planning checklist!

How Many Guests Should you Invite to a Party?

The first thing you should think about when deciding how many guests to invite, is what type of party you’re planning on hosting. We’ve estimated the number of guests you should invite to each different party as a guide to get you started.

How Many Guests Should you Invite to a House Party?

This depends mainly on the size of your house. And how flaky your friends are! You’ll probably have to invite more people than you want at your party. With house parties especially, you’re likely to get a few people who can’t make it. Try and invite around 10-20% more guests than you actually want at your house party. Estimate about 5-8 people per room and figure out how many rooms you’re guests can go in and it’ll give you a rough number.

How Many Guests Should you Invite to a Garden Party?

This again depends on the space you’ve got available. You also need to think about how much food you want to offer. Keep reading this post to find out how much food you need for each guest. This will help you figure out how many people you can afford to cater for. Space wise, around 10 guests per 100 square feet is usually enough. 

How Many Guests Should you Invite to a Baby Shower?

Usually around 10-25 guests is a good number for a baby shower. The exact amount will depend on how close you are to the people you invite. If you start invited lots of the extended family, the number will creep up more than you think! Baby showers are usually best when just close friends and family are invited, so don’t get carried away inviting too many people. 

How Many Guests Should you Invite to a Cocktail Party?

Cocktail parties normally have a fairly large guest list. Around 50 guests is typical, but it depends on your venue size and budget mainly. A large number of guests creates more of an atmosphere. So if you can afford the time, money and space needed to host a party for a big guest list, invite as many people as you can!

How Many Guests Should you Invite to a Games Night?

Anywhere from 6-12 guests is good for a games night party. It’s a good amount for each team and suits most games. You don’t want many more than 15 players as it can be too many to fit comfortably in most living rooms. Also, the games don’t work as well with a lot of players. A smaller number of guests also means there are fewer people to cater for so it still stays cheap. 

Where will your Party be held?

The amount of people you can fit in your venue is one of the most important things to consider. If you’re hosting at home, you probably won’t be able to fit loads of people in your house. Estimate for about 5-10 guests for an average sized room. This is on the lower side, but it can be a bit of a nightmare if you’ve got 20 guests crammed into a small living room. You can go a bit higher, but be careful not to get carried away! The same goes with a garden party. Make sure there’s enough room for people to move about without pushing past the other guests. 

Another thing to think about with a house party, is the number of bathrooms. There’s nothing worse than queuing for the loo for 20 minutes at a house party with one bathroom for 50 guests! You don’t really want any more than 20 guests per bathroom at your party. 

If you’re hiring a venue you have a lot more freedom with the size of the guest list. You can actually decide the amount of guests after hiring your venue in this case.

how many guests to invite to a party food

Think Carefully About your Budget

Your budget is a super important thing to think about when deciding how many guests to invite to a party. You might want to invite 100 guests, but if you can’t afford to hire a big enough venue, it’s just not possible. The size and subsequently the cost of the venue isn’t the only think to consider. You also need to make sure your budget stretches enough to cater for the amount of guests you’re planning on inviting. Here’s the average serving per guest you of some popular party foods. Factor this in when calculating how many guests you can afford to invite. Check out our party food tips for more advice!


Amount Per Guest


1.5 servings




1.5 per hour


2 slices


1 cup


1 bag

Cold meats

3 slices


2 slices


1-2 slices/ buns



Hot dogs


Set the budget from the start so you don’t get carried away with your guest list. Check out our quick budget tips for planning a party for some help!

What Next?

Once you’ve decided on the amount of guests you want to invite to your party. It’s time to figure out exactly who’s made the cut. Write a list of all your essential guests and ask them when they’re available. 

Next you can start fleshing out your guest list. Try and group sets of friends or family and make sure everyone from each group is invited. You don’t want to miss anyone out! 

Now it’s time to send the invites. If it’s a casual house party, it’s cool to just drop your guests a text and ask. This way you’ll get a direct reply so you know exactly how many people are planning to come. An email is good if you aren’t as close to some of the guests. Or you could send a personal invitation in the post if you want to go old-school. 

If you need to invite a lot of people to the party, the quickest way is by creating a Facebook event. It’ll help you keep track of how many guests will be going to your party really easily. The only disadvantage though is that some people might just ignore the invite and not give a yes or no. This can be a bit annoying if you need to plan the catering or book a venue. You can post in the event to remind people to respond though. But it’s definitely less direct than a text.

Once you’ve sorted the guest list, you can move on to the fun stuff like the food, decorations and entertainment! Have a look at our ultimate party planning checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered!

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