My focus has turned to smaller, more intimate Weddings in the last year (we’re talkin’ under 75 people) and I could not be any more content in this space. Ultimately everyone has their reasons for how large of an event they want to host and how many people they want there, but if you decide to go small, rest assured you’re not sacrificing anything! From my experience and what I have seen, here are 5 reasons why I think small Weddings are just as special, if not even MORE special, than large Weddings (be sure to read to the end for the 1 biggest Small Wedding Myth, busted!)
Confidence / Comfort: the fewer people you have, the more likely those invited are going to be your “core”: the friends and family who support and know you the very best. In turn? You don’t deal with a lot of the unease or the drama or the awkward introductions on your Wedding day of so-and-so’s boyfriend that you never did get the chance to meet before. If you and your S/O tend to not like the feeling of being the center of attention, consider cutting back your guest list!
The Party still gets Down: See above point for you and your soon-to-be spouse, but guess what? That comfort and reassured confidence spills over to the rest of your guests and at small Weddings everyone seems to be a tad bit more comfortable. They have more space to breathe, there are less people to bump into, and they have plenty of space to OWN on the dance floor. You might think that a smaller Wedding means that your party won’t be as ‘lit’, but I’ve seen the opposite: people tend do let loose and enjoy themselves even more (or maybe it’s just that the bar line is shorter so they’re making more rounds…)
Budget: Less people means less mouths to feed and booties to put in seats. You can either look at this as a money saver overall to keep your Wedding Budget to a more manageable place, or you can look at it as making the Design Elements and moments more lavish. If you don’t have to rent as much furniture or buy as much food, your Floral and Decor and Special Elements budget can stretch much further and what may have been a “pretty” event suddenly turns into something show-stopping and jaw-dropping
Time to Savor: Whether you agree or not (I didn’t personally experience this on my own Wedding day) we have all heard the adage of “My Wedding Day was such a blur! I hardly remember anything!” The reason this phoneme often happens to couples is that their day-of timeline is not properly considered ahead of time, or that they don’t have a realistic expectation for how many events they are trying to fit into a short amount of time. Generally from the time guests arrive to the time they depart about 5-6 hours passes. That sounds like a lot of time until you are trying to fit in a sentimental and legally-binding Ceremony, a Cocktail Hour party that feels relaxed and fun and not rushed, a Dinner Party, 3-5 emotionally-charged speeches, 1-3 special dances, and then maybe a few extra things too! By the time you get to the part where you just “hang out and dance” you can be shocked that your day is almost over! With large Wedding parties the timeline gets eaten up by a lot of transition time because honestly, it just takes a long time to get over 100 people to do what you’re asking them to do. The smaller the guest count, the quicker transitions are, the simpler your logistics become, and you suddently have a lot more room to “breathe” in your timeline. So sit back, and enjoy and take those mental snapshots and remember every.single.moment.
Personal Connection: I’ll keep this one short and sweet: if you have fewer people the chances of you getting to personally say hello to, hug, and connect with each of the people you invited to come and be a part of your special day is much, much more likely. If you actually want to interact with ‘your people’ at your Wedding, keep it small.
The Myth! All of this being said, I need to address one Small Wedding misconception! I often get inquiries or comments from clients that go something like this: “We’re just having a small Wedding, about 50 people, so it will be really simple”. I’m so sorry to tell you, but the smaller the Wedding unfortunately does not affect the amount of Planning at all! If anything it ramps up the attention to detail and the need to make moments intentional and planful because everyone is REALLY going to be up close and paying attention! Whether you’re having 300 guests or 20, your Vendor list looks about the same and the logistics, emails, and communication are still aplenty, so don’t underestimate your details and need for Planning support if you decide to go small!
Featuring Shanette & Wayne’s Wedding to accompany this post, a stunning example of a small Wedding done so beautifully and not sacrificing a single detail or special moment.