Before the lovely man and I got engaged, we knew one thing for sure – we were going to have a small wedding. For me, small means 30 people – which is exactly how many we are having at our intimate lunch time reception.
In the mega-wedding industry of 200+ people, string quartets and harpists, helicopter arrivals and budgets that stretch into buying-a-home-territory, I know this is almost unheard of and could require a little explanation when chatting to friends and family about your wedding plans. Most friends are very understanding – realizing that as two people starting their lives together, our budget reflects our circumstances. We have also both been to so many weddings where the bride and groom spend most of the evening trying to spend 30 seconds with each guest, while still trying to make sure great-Aunt Enid can still hear the speeches with her one deaf ear.
It’s the most important day of our lives and we want to spend it having quality time with the people who mean the most to us. Having meaningful conversations and truly engaging, rather than merely broken fragments of conversation on the way to the dessert table.
If you also choose to go the ‘small’ route, here are two tips to consider:
Too many ‘friends’ : you know the problem – when you invite Sam, you have to invite Annabel too, as you all went to school together. Then of course, you have to invite Sam’s wife and Annabel’s husband and as they share a cousin whom you’ve met once, you have to invite them too … and so it continues. However, if you’re really honest and only invite the people who have contributed and supported your relationship, you’ll easily find that the number is much smaller without the ‘obligation’ or ‘guilt’ invitations you fear you have to send.
The struggle of finding a venue: Whether it’s the church or reception venue, many are geared towards 100+ people and may only give you exclusivity if you have a set number of guests. This just challenges you to think a little creatively – we are inviting more people to our ceremony than to our reception (with cupcakes and Coke for everyone after the ceremony). Our reception is at one of our favourite restaurants, who have given us the entire upstairs area to use for our lunch.
Whether you have 4 close friends, or 400, have the wedding that is right for you and remember why each guest is there.
Read more from Candice as she plans her wedding in our Bride to Be section.
Happy Wedding Planning!