Small Affordable Wedding… or Big Wedding to Avoid Offending People?

posted 3 years ago in Money
  • poll: How are you dealing with the guest list for your wedding?
    I am keeping the wedding small--- I haven't encountered hurt feelings yet : (45 votes)
    35 %
    I am keeping the wedding small--- I have encountered hurt feeling from friends and family : (20 votes)
    16 %
    I will have a big wedding--- and the costs and number of people are making me nervous : (16 votes)
    13 %
    I will have a big wedding--- and it is worth the cost to have my friends and family there : (17 votes)
    13 %
    I don't know--- I can't figure out how to balance budget with the guest list yet : (10 votes)
    8 %
    I am not having a wedding at all--- it'll be just me and my fiancé with the officiant and witnesses : (0 votes)
    I am already married (describe your experience with dealing with budget and guests) : (20 votes)
    16 %
  • Post # 3
    266 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    You set a budget and you plan from there. Anyone who does otherwise likely isn’t concerned with the overall budget….its as simple as that.

    If you are paying for your wedding then family and friends really have no standing when it comes to making decisions.

    Post # 4
    4513 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I had a small wedding – 38 guests. Only our closest friends and family were invited. I did feel bad leaving some people out, but honestly I think most people (actually all of them) were very understanding. To be honest with you I got so many comments from people saying that they wished they had done it like we did – have an intimate wedding and use so much of that saved money for a house, honeymoon, baby etc.

    You have to think about what works and what is practical for you. Is it worth $20k to spare feelings? I would just assure people that you are having a small wedding for practical purposes, not to intentionally snub anyone.

    Post # 5
    1492 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Vote small wedding. If it’s going to make people mad, then they really don’t have your best interests at heart – weddings ARE expensive but not worth putting your life on hold for!

    Post # 6
    1287 posts
    Bumble bee

    I agree, if you are paying for it, they shouldn’t get offended if you can’t afford to have a huge wedding. Just do your own thing and do what makes YOU happy, not your entire family.

    Post # 7
    1194 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    @Love4Keeps:  obviously, definition of “small” and “large” weddings vary by person. FI thinks our wedding of 150-180 (200 invited, mostly OOT) is huge, but to me it’s mediumish.

    Post # 8
    3195 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We eloped because too many people were trying to make our wedding about them. My husband and I do not like being the centre of attention and we don’t like huge parties. My family was VERY upset after my elopement, but at least it helped us assert ourselves as autonomous adults. Discussions did not work with either of our mothers. My husband and I had deep resentment for the way our mothers were acting like it was their wedding. I knew that if I let my parents plan and pay for my wedding, my mother would hold it over my head forever. Better to live on our feet than to die on our knees.

    Many things went wrong on our wedding day and the aftermath was shocking. My husband and I have been through many trials in the short time we have been married. This is why we are having a vow renewal for our fifth anniversary. It will have wedding elements and give my husband and I happier memories, as well as some better memories for my parents.

    At the end of the day, all of those people you invite aren’t going to be able to buy you a home or shoulder the cost of raising a child. It is lovely that you want to include all of your family, but I am a firm believer in being practical with money.

    I know that it is traditional for European families to give money as wedding gifts but you shouldn’t expect monetary gifts to cover the cost of your wedding. It is best not to have too many expectations for the gifts you will receive.

    Most people spend way too much on their weddings. Women are generally indoctrinated by the wedding industry. Weddings bring out the crazy in everyone, particularly parents and brides. If you decide to have a big wedding, you can expect to spend a lot and then some.

    Post # 9
    975 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

    @Love4Keeps:  We are having a Sunday wedding with more of a brunch menu to afford the 90+ guests. I am DIY everything. Like EVERYTHING. Our budget is $5000. You have to choose what is important and sacrifice what isn’t, make comprimises. How many out of town guests would you have? This can decrease how many people actually come. Invite who you actually want to be there and try not to worry about insulting the people you don’t talk to or aren’t close to.

    Post # 10
    1400 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    You should add another option or two to your poll for people who aren’t paying for their wedding themselves, though I understand if you want to focus on people who are. 🙂

    For the most part FI and I aren’t paying for our wedding ourselves, so we’re having a big, fancy to-do with about 160 guests. But we thought about having a small ceremony instead, about 30 people, and that’s absolutely what we’d do if we were paying for it ourselves. I think going into a marriage with wedding debt sets a poor precedent.

    Post # 11
    434 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2013 - Tybee Island, GA

    For those of you who are married, did you have a big or small wedding? Small 30 guest DW wedding

    Did your  guests subsidize the costs of your big wedding with cash gifts, or were you in  the hole/over budget? The only “cash” i got was $300 and then like $200 in Bed, Bath, and Beyond gift cards…
    We however stayed within our 5k budget

    Are you happy with your choice of your big/small wedding? I wouldnt trade it for the world. If i would have had a bigger money my DH and I would not have any money left over in the bank. So we are very satisfied with our choice. I love not being in debt over one day.

    What would you do differently? Nothing, really. Our goal was to use 5k on wedding/honeymoon and we did (with no help finacially at all) and to still have money left over to live

    Did you deal with hurt feelings… and how did  you manage it? Yes, oh boy did we! We only invited our families that we see regualarly and that lives around here. We have a huge family and it was particularly hard to cut the guest list. But my mom has 5 sisters 3 in state and PLUS all her sisters kids and their kids! Its difficult. And my aunts from Illinois and Alabama’s feelings were hurt; but I figured we were all adults… and they should understand. I called them both personally and told them the situation and they said they understood. Come to find out my aunt in Alabama’s feelings were hurt more than i thought. (I see her maybe once ever 3 years….) But the way i see it is i made my choice and she should be adult enough to understand

    Post # 12
    552 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I have a huge family, my guest list with just my family is over 90 people, and that’s only aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and my immediate family. I see these people all the time, and I could never imagine only inviting some of them. So for me it was invite all and have a big wedding (we’re looking at close to 250) or nothing and just elope (which neither of us really wanted). We set a budget of $15,000 but we ended up being extremley lucky, my parents are paying for half, and my FI’s parents are paying for almost the other half, so we really don’t have to worry about money. I still refuse to go over the $15,000 budget, because I don’t want an extravagant over the top wedding, and I don’t want to take advantage of our parents.

    It’s ultimatley up to you though. If you want to have a small wedding and you’re okay with some hurt feelings then have the small wedding. If you don’t want to hurt feelings consider eloping or going to the courthouse. If you choose that option you could always have a reception style party a few years down the road.

    Post # 13
    552 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    Oh, and I would never go into debt for a wedding, I think that’s crazy! If my FI and I weren’t getting money from our parents we would not have struggled to save up the money for our wedding ourselves. My FI could pay for our whole wedding tomorrow and still have money left over. We set a budget that was reasonable for us, which is what I think anybody planning a wedding should do whether it’s big or small.

    Post # 14
    11772 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2013

    We only had 42 guests– Parents/siblings/grandparents/my Godmother and VERY select friends.

    Between both our families with aunts/uncles/cousins not invited (which ended up totalling out to 12 aunts, 13 uncles, and almost 40 cousins) ONE aunt and TWO cousins were upset they weren’t invited!

    Everyone else sent gifts and good wishes!

    So it was TOTALLY worth it!

    Post # 15
    137 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I am having a “small” destination wedding of approximately 30-40 people.  Otherwise our wedding would have been about 200 people here.

    We did encounter hurt feelings from some family, but at the same time those people didn’t want to take the trip to see us get married (they had the money, they just didn’t want to go), so I didn’t feel so bad about it.  

    It was only those people who couldn’t afford to go to our wedding that I felt guilty, but not enough for me to change my plans. 

    I am happy that I stuck to what I wanted.  I just went to a big wedding of over 250 people and it affirmed my deepset desire NOT to have a big wedding.  It was too many people and more like a high school prom.  Not my style.    

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