Ten Reasons to Have a Small Wedding

small wedding

What’s the hottest trend in weddings? Smaller guest lists.

Here are ten reasons to have a small wedding:

1. You get to celebrate one of the biggest days of your life surrounded by people who love you. Of the many couples I interviewed for Intimate Weddings
and for my blog, nearly everyone says this is one of the best things about having a small wedding.

2. You can feel more relaxed on your wedding day. Because you’ll be surrounded by friends and family, you’ll feel more at home with your guests. Your wedding will feel more like a celebration with close-knit friends and family, than a production.

3. You can save money. You can save thousands of dollars by having an intimate wedding, which means you won’t have to go over your Wedding Budget.

4. You can splurge. Some couples choose a small guest list not necessarily because their budgets are small, but because they can pull out all the stops and have a truly lavish wedding. You get more ‘wow’ for less wallet with a small wedding. When you’ve got fewer guests, you can splurge on the things that really matter to you. For some that might be an out-of-this world dinner, for others it might be a five-piece jazz band or a designer wedding gown.

5. You have more options when choosing a venue. Since you won’t need a large space to accommodate your guests, many small wedding venues will be open to you. A smaller guest list means more creative venue options like bed and breakfasts, museums, art galleries and restaurants. (Don’t forget to check out the IntimateWeddings.com venue finder which lists more than 1,300 venues throughout the U.S. and Canada that are ideal for small weddings.)

6. You have more freedom to customize your wedding to your own tastes. A small wedding gives you the opportunity to get your creative juices flowing and make your unique wedding a reflection of the two of you.

7. You get to spend time with your guests. How many weddings have made you feel like a stranger fulfilling a social obligation? Small weddings aren’t like that. When the guest list is small, the bride and groom can spend time with each of their guests, making them feel welcome.

8. You can make your guests feel at home. Because you will be able to spend at least some time with your guests, they will feel more at home at your wedding. Also, when the guest list is small, guests will have a better opportunity to mingle with most of the others. Chances are that many of your guests will know one another.

9. You can get your guests involved. A small wedding will give you the opportunity to get your loved ones involved in your special day. Also, it’s a lot easier pulling off a DIY wedding with a guest list under 75, than a big scale production.

10. You can have a wedding that people will remember. Because your wedding won’t be typical – the kind your guests have been to over and over again – your wedding is more likely to be remembered.

Photo: Red Fly Studio

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20 Comments  |  Filed Under: Small Wedding Ideas, Small Wedding Ideas Homepage, Wedding Planning

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  1. Posted by Mary Jane on September 17th, 2009 at 9:15am

    Number 2 is sooooo true for me. You get to be yourself - 'cept in fancier clothes. Big weddings (to me) feel like a stage show. I did not want to put on a show on my wedding day. I wanted to focus on the truly important.
  2. Posted by Angie on September 17th, 2009 at 3:19pm

    I had a destination wedding with about 80 guests. The weekend felt so cozy and intimate with our close family and friends. We were told by many guests that it was the best wedding they had been to. I think having a smaller guest lists allows you to spend time with your guests and really cater to their needs while still focusing on "you" as a couple.
  3. Posted by Melanie on September 20th, 2009 at 12:26pm

    With a smaller guest list, brides can often afford to carry out their wedding day themes even more elaborately!
  4. Posted by Melanie on September 20th, 2009 at 12:27pm

    Details seem to get more attention in the more intimate weddings.
  5. Posted by LCIPaper on September 22nd, 2009 at 6:02am

    I love this posting. It is so true that the smaller the guest list, the more you can do to put a personal spin on it.
  6. Posted by Sunny on September 22nd, 2009 at 2:06pm

    Current wedding trends tend to point towards smaller, more intimate weddings. This allows brides to splurge more on certain extravagances that they normally would not be able to splurge on(point 4). One past bride had an intimate wedding and gave each of her male guests hand crafted cigars and all the women hand made Belgian chocolates.
  7. Posted by che on November 2nd, 2009 at 7:29pm

    I am leaning towards a small ceremony, much more fun & less stressful!
  8. Posted by Date Girl on January 7th, 2010 at 2:42pm

    I really want a small wedding but our problem is both my fiance and I have big families. We're not sure how to include some family but not others without causing major drama. Ideally we'd just invite our close friends and parents and leave the rest out!
  9. Posted by Emily on April 29th, 2010 at 8:03pm

    I really like reason 4. You could make your dream wedding with all the bells and whistles and then enjoy it with your special friends and family. What a great idea.
  10. Posted by Moonshine on June 14th, 2010 at 2:33am

    Thank you!! I'm def going to have a small intimate wedding, thanx for all the tips, most likely splurge on the honeymoon, wedding dress,make up artist and photographer.
  11. Posted by Lo on October 12th, 2010 at 3:03pm

    Very true. My husband and I were married in June of this year and thought we had many relatives on both sides and friends, we decided to go with immediate family only and it was a terrific idea. The pressure of the wedding was lessened dramatically just knowing that we wouldn't have to be putting on a show for anyone.
  12. Posted by Robin McQuay Anderson on September 19th, 2011 at 8:12pm

    Small weddings are so perfectly intimate and romantic. I love everything about them...especially the relaxed bride and groom.
  13. Posted by Jessica on December 2nd, 2012 at 1:06am

    I love this list! I think the older people get the more likely they are to have a smaller wedding. Not to mention they're usually the ones paying for it.
  14. Posted by Carla on February 25th, 2013 at 5:30am

    We both had large weddings for our first marriages and downgrading (less guests) is definitely ideal this time around. The fact that we are older (less living family members - he has none), paying for it and more than likely doing it ourselves will rule that decision.
  15. Posted by Nathan on March 22nd, 2013 at 2:30pm

    Have shot hundreds of weddings and I do agree, I like the small intimate weddings. Our ultimate was a week in Matangi Island, Fiji with 28 guests. Highlight of my career thus far :)
  16. Posted by Tina2488 on April 14th, 2013 at 10:58am

    Love the idea of small weddings. I'm hoping to get like 20 people. So parents, very close friends. Get a dress from JC Penny for example. Have in mind a summer dress, in lace. On a cottage/beach. DIY paper flowers as centerpieces. Something to that effect.
  17. Posted by jen on June 20th, 2013 at 4:05pm

    Great advice and comments! Theres more than just these reasons to have a small wedding.
  18. Posted by Andrea on October 31st, 2013 at 1:05pm

    My fiance and I have opted for a smaller wedding. Not because we want it, but because we are paying ourselves and are limited in our budget. Idk why but I feel like it's a bit ridiculous to wear a big fancy dress and a long walk down the aisle and dancing at the 'reception' if it's only going to be immediate family (even with immediate family it is still going to be about 30 people bc he has 3 sisters and they all have large families as well).Idk why but I guess I figure the larger the wedding then yes, the more should happen. If we're just getting married in front of immediate family why the need to be so fancy? They know who we are and it seems silly to me. He doesn't agree, but I'm having a hard time with it all.
  19. Posted by Sarah on February 22nd, 2014 at 1:49pm

    I'm experiencing the opposite of #5... several venues told me their minimum is 100 guests, and I'm only planning on about 20. A couple of the B&Bs even wanted us to rent out all of their rooms, regardless of wedding size. What am I supposed to do with 26 rooms?!

    Otherwise, this list is spot-on, and I'm not letting those venues change my mind. I'm sure we'll find something amazing in the end.
  20. Posted by Briseida on April 19th, 2015 at 2:20pm

    Yeah the problem is, shopping for venues for a wedding with a guest list of 25 a lot of venues require minimum guest list of 60. I feel like they don't take our inquiry serious and even ignore us because we don't ring "dollar signs" to their ears and pass us up for a bigger money-making event opportunity. So discouraging...
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