Our guest list is currently 200 people with around 30 alternates, so we are expecting to have the full 200. Our parents have been extremely generous (both sides), and our budget is currently $40,000 without us personally contributing to the cost (note that this doesn't include honeymoon-we will cover that ourselves). I am EXTREMELY grateful and never imagined that our budget would be this high. However, the contribution from parents mean that we have a little less control over our guest list (i.e., we can't say no to our parents' friends and distant relatives we wouldn't have invited if we were funding this wedding on our own).
I am totally happy to have all invitees that are on our guest list. What I am now trying to figure out is whether $40,000 is a tight budget, or a reasonable one, for 200 people. We booked our venue and bar package (venue is $8500, includes tables and chairs, and they have alcohol in-house, which came out to around $10k open bar). We still haven't booked catering and I'm feeling anxious. I haven't done a ton of catering research yet, but I'm wondering if we are going to be able to feed 200 people for less than $10k (it seems unlikely--and I'm not trying to go for luxury here!). If we spend another $10-$15k on food, we aren't going to be left with much for wedding dress, photographer, DJ, cake, etc.
I'm curious if anyone can let me know what they spent on their 150-200 person wedding. I have a friend who had a 250 person wedding for $60,000. We are able to contribute money to our own wedding and don't have an issue doing so (the wedding is October 2022 so we have lots of time also). I'm trying to figure out if we should reasonably expect to spend $50k or $60k, or if I'm overpaying for venue/alcohol and am crazy, or if $40k is just right. $40k seemed like a ton of money at the get-go, but I was expecting 100 people at my wedding, not double. It just seems to be slipping through my fingers.