Post # 1
We’re having a very small, intimate outdoor wedding. The Guest list is at 37, and that’s including my fiance and I and + 1’s and children. I really wanted the ceremony and reception to be in the same place (both outdoors). Im having so much trouble planning the reception b/c I feel like having a buffet, open bar, music and dancing would be too much for such a small crowd. Then, having no music and dancing, just dinner, seems really awkward and boring. Any suggestions?
Post # 3
What’s the feel of your wedding? Not wanting dancing doesn’t mean you can’t have music. Could you set up lawn games like croquet or badminton? And don’t underestimate how much people will just talk and socialize– some of our guests stayed until the very very end of our reception, and never hit the dance floor- they just chatted.
Post # 4
You can certainly have whatever you want. 37 people is actually a pretty good group (I used to plan company events for my old company and that’s about how many people there were with wives, etc.). You can absolutely have music, start dancing, others will follow. If you think a buffet is too much, do a nice seated dinner. Theme/location ideas would also help with ideas.
Post # 5
I agree with Snowflake. Tell us a bit more about your venue and atmosphere. We had a small wedding at a family home and my best friend is having a small wedding on a hobby farm in August so I may have some tips or a perspective you find helpful
Post # 6
I’m not sure if this is what you have in mind, but my hair stylist had a very small, intimate ceremony with only parents, brothers & sisters & best friends present. Immediately after the ceremony, they sat down to a delicious family style meal. After dinner, they met up with a larger group of family and friends, though it was still small-ish, at another venue for drinks & dancing.
I know my hair stylist is a sort of shy, laidback person and that a big fancy ceremony & reception with all eyes on her would have been too much, but this way, a larger group of people were able to celebrate with them in a more casual way.
Whatever you choose to do, it will be lovely 🙂
Post # 7
In a previous life, we had 25 guests, and once the music started, the dancing followed. The party took on a life of it’s own, and at least your bar bill won’t be so big! Go ahead and have fun with it!
Post # 8
Thanks for all of the advice. I’d like to have the wedding on the grounds of a plantation. There’s one we’re leaning towards that has beautiful gardens outside and an old barn that they rent for events. The barn holds 200people (and I’ve only got 37). Not sure of the theme. Maybe a little rustic. The bm dresses are brown. It will be October and the leaves changing colors. My sisters and I were going to do a lot of the decor for ceremony and reception ourselves. For the centerpeices I wanted flowers in mason jars with rafia and ribbon around them. I collect antique china and was going to use a lot of my pieces for serveware, everything mismatched. Makin’ homemade raspberry jam for favors…..Now that I’m typing these ideas together in one paragraph I feel a little redneck…geez. Anyway, I didn’t really want to exclude dancing but the group just seemed small to me. But now I’m feeling a little better about it.
Post # 9
Go for it! We had an outdoor ceremony with an indoor/outdoor reception (dinner outside, with dancing inside) for 45 and we all had a fabulous time. The dancing was great, but we were very careful with the music, picking a range of music that was accessible for guests of all ages (big band/swing for dinner, motown and disco/80s for post-dinner dancing).
Post # 10
I agree with missm. And, since you have such a small wedding, it would be easy to customize the music so that it would fit the people who are coming. If the people who are coming are the type who like to dance, then if you have music, there will probably be dancing. There doesn’t have to be a formal DJ telling people to get up and dance.
Post # 11
My family uses any excuse to play music and dance. We had about 24 at my brother’s engagement party and everybody was up cutting the rug. Even when a few people left, the core of family members was still doing the electric slide and soul train line and conga line. We just tore it up!