Why size matters - I'm talking about guest lists of course!
When I first started, I never considered the guest count in my service costs. After over a decade of offering wedding services, this has changed and here's why.
In general, it's not the exact number that matters, but whether it's a small group or a large group. More guests equal more energy, work, and time for a these reasons.
Firstly, with larger groups (over five) it takes more energy to get their attention and get them settled. Weddings are exciting and guests (now more than ever) are thrilled to meet, greet, and get caught up with each other. This is especially true if there is a cocktail hour prior to the ceremony. It's like herding happy butterflies!
Personally, I like to get everyone settled to create a container or magical bubble around the ceremony space and the guests to get everyone engaged, so they feel like they are part of the ceremony and not just watching a show. I also want to inspire confidence in their perspective of what is about to happen, so they trust that the ceremony is not just 'the boring part' that they have to endure before they get to party.
Secondly, ceremonies with a larger guest count are more elaborate and require more work to prepare because they are an 'event'. This often includes the creation of the ceremony, but also the extra service of checking in with other vendors such as wedding coordinators, DJs, photographers, anyone giving readings, children, etc. to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Thirdly, as much as larger weddings are held at event venues and are often on a schedule, it's more common that the ceremony will be delayed and things run late because we are waiting on everyone to arrive. And, there is a greater probability of key people getting caught in traffic or delayed finding parking (early arrivers get the best parking spots!). All of this also applies to me, so I set out to these weddings early to ensure that I'm not stuck in traffic (festivals, protests, marches, construction, road closures...all of which has happened.)
For all of these reasons, when weddings over five to ten people, I charge a little bit extra to cover my time for an early arrival, and schedule time for a later leave.
(Note, I haven't mentioned that the more people attending, the greater the health risk it is for me, but I hope this will soon be a very minor issue in the future!)