Post # 1
Hi all! Is anyone out there planning on having a super small or intimate wedding? I’d really love to hear any and all details! Where are you having your ceremony and reception? Are you having a photographer? Any issues/drama with family over the small guest list? Why did you decide to have a small wedding?
After doing a little bit of wedding brainstorming, my FI and I have decided that having a huge wedding scares us to death and what we really want is to just have immediate family present for our ceremony and afterwards, have a nice family dinner… 12 people total.
My idea is to have our ceremony on the garden patio of a local restaurant and then rent a private room in the restaurant for the dinner. After dinner, we are planning on having a coffee/hot chocolate bar, a cake, and some little assorted desserts. We figured this way, our families can get to know eachother and we can just enjoy the day and focus on what’s really important to us.
Unfortunately, my MIL is not quite on board with the idea of a small wedding and is pushing to invite some extended family, but FI and I are going to stick to our guns. I think she will come around once I’ve nailed some details into place.
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2014 - Jacksonville Inn
Our wedding will be a bit bigger than yours with about 40 guests. We found a great historical inn that owns a set of 4 cottages. We are renting the cottages and having our ceremony and reception in the yard the cottages surround. We don’t dance much so no DJ and very few formal dances. We are just going to hook up an Ipod to speakers. Our vision is more of a dinner party than traditional wedding reception. We are having a photographer. So far we haven’t had any drama, we both have small families so no one expected us to have a big wedding. Also, I’m 37 and my partner is 43 and between us we have only 1 remaining parent. Also, as a same sex couple we have some family who don’t want to come. I think we are going to have more friends at our wedding than family in all honesty.
Post # 4
@Apud85: we had 12 guest. 8 from his side- parents, step parents, and siblings. 4 from mine- mom, bro, aunt, ans bff. My dad declined to come.
We got married on the beach using an all-inclusive wedding ceremony company: officiant, live guitar player, bouquet, boutteniere(?), water for guests, cake, photographer was all included. Then, we had dinner at a restaurant. We chose a pre-set menu that included lobster. I was so happy that at least 5 people ordered the lobster. I had hair and MUA for my mom and I. It was a DW for everyone.
So who was offended that I knew about. My aunt because I ddidn’t invite her husband. She was really my mom’s plus one since my mom felt insecure about the size of my immediate family. My cousins who thought they should have made the cut. My friends who thought they were as close as family. My husband says his friends and fam were fine with it.
Post # 5
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
We had 30 at our wedding and it was perfect for us. You may enjoy this old thread. http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/the-small-wedding-thread-less-than-40-guests#axzz2uXvDRISi
Post # 6
We are going to have less than 10 guests at our wedding. We are having it at the Arbuckle wedding chapel which is about an hour away from our house. Our guests are renting a cabin in the Arbuckle mountains – and our plan is to all go back to the cabin and have an informal BBQ.
Here is our venue: http://www.arbuckleweddingchapel.com
cabins: http://www.lazymcabins.com and http://www.redtopcabins.com
We are have a quickie wedding – the $200 elopement package. The reason we decided to go this route is because the majority of our family lives out-of-state. We also have both been married before, and both of us have already had the “big” wedding. We decided this time around we would have a nice, quick, cheap, informal and fun elopement/wedding/BBQ (LOL!) and spend the majority of our money on the honeymoon.
Post # 7
@Apud85: There were 25 people at our wedding if you counted the officiant, his wife and the two photographers who also happened to be close family friends.
We DID get a lot of flack from Mr. 99’s family about who was and was not invited, point of fact my Step Father In Law was not in attendance because he was angry his daughter was not invited….honestly, we did not have the space and I just have this thing about not bending when a grown woman throws a tantrum…call me funny!
Either way, we loved everthing about our little wedding, it was fun and easy to plan, everyone had a great time, including us and stress and cost was at a minimum, which I could feel great about!
Post # 8
@Apud85: We are having 4 guests! My mother and daughter, and his parents. I try not to use the word ‘elopement’ as that sounds like we’re running off and doing it all in a hurry, but really, I am not going to spend tens of thousands of dollars on one day, and have all of this stress and craziness with venue/reception/bridesmaids, flowers, etc, etc that everyone else seems to have an issue with. We will be having an informal BBQ reception back at home, and then as my fiance lives in another country, we will then be going there and having another informal BBQ type reception, so everyone can help celebrate, without them being at the ceremony.
Post # 9
We had 4 guests. No major flack from either side! My husband’s parents are pretty old and live half way across the world so weren’t able to come.. same w. his sister/her family… it just wasn’t worth it to them to buy super expensive plane tix to Canada in the middle of December (Canadian winter lol). My mom and sister live in the same city as we do, so they came as well… as did my BFF and my sister’s date. We decided to have it in our current city because it was just easier. We made it clear to everyone from the start that we wanted to do something small and inexpensive. We just had better savings goals than blowing it all on one day. We’re also not big party/crowd people. I am glad we stuck to our guns. I think it’s so rude for people to pressure you into spending money on something you don’t want! Some of my coworkers/friends wanted to come but nothing awkward ever happened… we just explained the situation and everyone understood and thought we were super smart for going small!
Our venue for the ceremony cost $500, and then dinner at a nice restaurant for everyone was a bit shy of $1,000. Not bad. The whole thing came to like $2,000!
Post # 10
@lovekiss Thank you so much! I’m new and just started browsing the forums, so I hadn’t found that gem yet!
I love hearing about everyone’s small weddings!
Post # 11
We are at 14–immediate family and godparents only. A larger wedding would have required a destination that wasn’t as special to me (his extended family is primarily in one location). We picked a “destination” wedding where my family has a summer place and we visit every summer. Keeping it small has allowed us to pay for the hotel rooms for our guests. We are doing a ceremony at a non-denominational meeting house, followed by dinner at a fancy restaurant. Champagne toast when we enter, dinner, and wedding cake for dessert. I haven’t emailed photographers yet but have started looking. I was going to look into the Weddingmix videos and have a local friend film the ceremony using those video cameras.
Our thought process is–what is important to us, and do we really need this? That has eliminated the bridal party, flowers for MOB/MIL, decorations at dinner, etc. Our decisions on planning have also eliminated many of the “traditional” things like the first dance, guest book, etc. I want it to be low stress for everyone involved. Ex. my mom wanted decorations at dinner–i explained to her that someone would have to bring them there beforehand, pack them up after and take them home. I certainly don’t want to do that and i dont want any of the guests, including her, doing that. I’d rather everyone relax and enjoy themselves than have extra flowers or whatever on the tables.
I would tell your MIL that this is what’s important to you for the wedding. If she/you wants to do a party after the wedding for more of the extended family/friends, that is certainly an option. We are thinking of doing dinner for his extended family when we are there at christmas.
Another bee mentioned age. We are both in our early 30’s. Weddings have never been a thing for me. I think we’ve found a good balance of special memories for us and our family while still being low-budget. I am an only child so eloping was not an option.
Post # 12
We feel the same way. I hate being the center of attention. My fiancé’s father lives in Costa Rica most of the year, so we decided to have our wedding there with just our immediate families (11 guests total). We’re renting a beach house with enough beds for everyone to stay and we are having the ceremony and reception there. We hired a photographer and an officiant and we will be hiring a caterer and a florist as well. I think our friends and extended family took the news pretty well. Honestly, I think they were relieved that we weren’t asking them to attend our destination wedding. It saves them a lot of money : )
Post # 13
we attended a destination wedding where there were about 20 people total. it was fantastic. the bride & groom only wanted the most important people there, and that’s what they got. it was relaxed, it was comfortable, it was fun. we all had a fantastic time.
if FI and i didn’t have massively huge families, we would totally be doing something smaller. but his parents have 10 siblings between them. i have a big family as well.
Post # 14
We are doing an intimate wedding of 10 or 15 people–immediate family and grandparents only.
I promised the families we could do big celebration parties afterwards, but I would definitely have too much stress and anxiety over a huge wedding. We are doing a nearby destination to my hometown. The plan is to have the service in a small chapel, then have a nice dinner somewhere in that tiny town (still working out details). I still want to have all the awesome details of a large wedding, but just on a much smaller scale and with the people who really need to spend time together. I still want a tiny cake though :p
I’m definitely having a photographer! That’s one of the most important parts to me…
The big parties will be a chance to get to know each other’s respective sides of the family (mine is in one area of the nation, his in another), without the stress of actually getting married.
Post # 15
We’re having a small wedding…probably around 30 guests total (includes the officiant, band, and florist who are all friends).
Our venue is a small, local art museum. Our ceremony will begin around 7:30pm so we’ll not be serving a formal dinner…just some appetizers and have a cupcake bar. We will also have an open bar.
Our thinking was that we just wanted the closest, most important people in our lives to attend. So immediate family only, and then our friends. His family, which is super small, doesn’t mind at all. My extended family, however, is a little irritated….*eyeroll*….whatever. This is my FIs second marriage, and we’re a bit older (I’m 35 and he’s 40), so they’ll just have to get over it.
Post # 16
- Wedding: April 2014 - Rebar
@Apud85: I am having a small wedding as well too! I am having a total of 35 guests and within that 35 people like 11 are kids! Its going to be small which is exactly what i wanted. The location will at REBAR in Brookly NY. We will have a small guest book for people to sign and the ceremony will be in the same space. We will also have a small cocktail space. And our wedding favors will be bottles of wine with our names and date. We are trying to implement everything that we feel describe us. We are not doing a first dance or anything like that but we will have spechees from anyone that wants to say something. Music will be playin in the background the whole time and we will cut the cake at the end. I am getting married in about 6weeks! and i honestly cant wait for it!