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How Many People “Should” You Invite To Your Wedding?

Dunbar’s number at wedding ceremonies

Can you think of other social gatherings wherein one might put Dunbar’s number to the test? In my trade book, I propose weddings as an intriguing possibility. Specifically, I predicted a priori that the average number of wedding guests should conform to Dunbar’s number. True to form, it turns out that the average number of guests at a wedding is indeed around 150 (in my book, I cite an estimate of 164 but I’ve just uncovered other references that set it at 148 and 138 respectively). The explanatory power of evolutionary psychology is limitless!

Since we are on the topic of weddings, some readers might be interested in my earlier Psychology Today article wherein I discuss one of my current research projects (headed by Sigal Tifferet) in which we examined gift giving practices at Israeli weddings (specifically the fact that the maternal sides of the bride and groom offer larger sums than the paternal ones, and the correlation between the genetic relatedness of gift givers and recipients, and the size of their monetary gifts).

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