Small Wedding Advice

You’re thinking about having a small wedding but there’s part of you that wonders if you are making the right decision. What if you offend the people who are not invited? What if you upset  your parents – who are expecting something bigger and more inclusive. And what if, well, it somehow seems less special.

I’ve featured dozens of real intimate weddings on IW  and rest assured - not a single couple regretted their decision. In fact, many of the couples said it was the best wedding-related decision they made (aside from who they chose to marry, of course).

In case you’re still feeling the angst of whether or not to trim the list, here are some words of advice from a few of our featured couples:

Darla and David had a misty North Carolina wedding with only 18 guests. Their advice?

Go for it! It is your day, so do what you want! I have no regrets whatsoever of making the whole event special and meaningful to David and I and our families. I understand a small wedding is not for everyone, but it was perfect for us and our situation. I never had any worries if everything would go as planned because that was not important to me. Those unforeseen moments are what make it memorable.

Candice and Mike had a DIY wedding in Florida with 58 guests.  According to the couple, it’s your wedding, so go ahead and trim that list!

Make your wedding what you want it to be. Make it personal. Make it special.  I look back at our wedding and can still remember so many of the special little moments we had with each other and with our guests because we weren’t frantically running around trying to tend to 200 people.  It’s your wedding, it’s your day, and you only get one shot at it. If it’s truly what you want, then put your foot down and let your family know upfront that this is something that is very important to you.  You have that right. It is your wedding after all!

Lauren & Geoff had an intimate wedding at The Grange of Prince Edward Winery. Here is their advice:

I would suggest choosing a venue that you find magical and building the wedding from there. Don’t pick your second-favourite venue because it will fit more guests — pick the venue you want and then build the guest list. Our experience was that the perfect venue makes all of the other choices easier.

Laura and Jeff also had a winery wedding. They also cite the venue as being important.

Finding the right venue should be at the top of your list, and (in my opinion) keep things simple.  Our location truly was magical, and just right for us, and yours should be for you, too.  I think keeping your most special day intimate, with the most special people surrounding you, is really the best experience ever.

Christine & Jimmy had a vineyard wedding in Georgia. They have some savvy advice for couples on a budget:

Remember that this is for you, so don’t feel pressure to do things that are not you. As far as budget, make sure when you talk to your vendors to get an itemized list or a price break down of what is included in the cost. You’ll be able to see things to cut that you don’t need or could use less of. And if you need help finding vendors, a wedding planner comes in handy; they know everyone in the business.

Genesis and Kevin ran away to Paris to get hitched. Their advice?

Follow your heart and listen to your intuition. And have a good answer prepared for the mothers! You’ll know if you are meant to have an intimate wedding.  If it is you, make the day yours.  Stretch your imagination to make the day exactly how you envision it to be.  The memories you make that day will be with you forever.

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2 Comments  |  Filed Under: Small Wedding Ideas, Wedding Planning

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  1. Posted by Derrick on April 19th, 2012 at 9:29am

    i'm all for small weddings...but to just assume Uncle Harry will understand that he was not invited it naive and selfish of the bride and groom. Perhaps all of this hype about "its your day" and "do what you want" is the reason that 52% of marriages fail. It's really simple. Couples just need to think about what they are really saying when the choose to exclude people. Family first. Close friends second. If you do not have the budget for a wedding. Then, act accordingly...don't discount the people who have spent your life supporting you. I see this happen all to often.
    Yes, I work in the wedding industry.
  2. Posted by Dee on February 9th, 2013 at 5:06pm

    Am I obligated to invite family members I do not speak to?
    My fiance and I plan to pay for our own wedding but my mother is insisting i invite my paternal grandfather.
    It is well known within my immediate family that I want nothing to do with the man. The possibility of
    upsetting other family members with his exclusion is worth it to us when faced with the
    potential stress of having him there .
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