Post # 1
Any ladies who have had very small guest lists, I would like to hear about your experiences.
My fiance and I haven’t even really made plans or set a date, but we do know that we want a very small guest list – immediate family only (and possibly one or two friends). This is not just because of money, but because neither of us wants the spotlight and we aren’t especially close to our other relatives.
What were your reasons for keeping your guest list small? Were other family members angry if you didn’t invite them? How did you smooth things over or explain if they did get angry?
Post # 3
We were supposed to elope, but then word got out. We’re sending out 24 invitations to our Vegas wedding. We won’t be hosting a reception, but will be inviting those interested to join us for dnner. The biggest reason? Money. We’re saving for a house, and didn’t want to spend the money. Also, he’s a teacher, and didn’t want folks recently laid off to spend the money.
Post # 4
We’re pretty far out, but I thought I’d still respond. I really want to have a small event, but this is apparently “just not possible”. So as a compromise, the wedding will include only our immediate families, grandparents, and best friends. The reception will include about 100 people. We too didn’t want all the attention that comes with a big wedding, nor do we care to share such an important event with people that aren’t close to us. BUT…there was a lot of protest already about not including everyone so that’s why we gave in with the reception. I’m going to rely on my future-in-laws mostly to deal with their family discontents and mine could probably care less.
My advice is that if your in-laws and parents understand (ours do thank goodness), ask them to help deal with those that want to criticize your choice.
Post # 5
I wish I would have gone with my instincts and done the small wedding thing- I’m jealous of brides who have these intimate affairs.
Post # 6
We kept ours small (under 50) mainly because a lot of his family couldn’t make it (airfare costs). I could easily have had over 200 with my extended family and friends, but we didn’t really want that big a party, and I also thought it would be rather unfair that he would have half a dozen of his people, and the rest would be mine!
We limited it to immediate family, my very closest friends, and some extended family that I am particularly close to. I suppose there might be a few noses out of joint among my innumerable first cousins, but it was either stay under 50 or go over 200, because of that whole, “well if you invite X, you have to invite Y & Z” thing.
Post # 7
We’re having a small ceremony, 30 people. I get really bad migraines, just did a post about it, and I wanted to keep my stress load as little as possible, which will be hard because I get high anxiety when it comes to being in front of people. We’re having a dinner after for about 100 people, mainly because FI wanted to be able to celebrate with family and friends. We had a few family members upset that they couldn’t come to the ceremony, my aunt hung up on my mom when she told her! But when we explain our situation and reasons behind it they all seem to understand. I try not to let it bother me because it’s our wedding and we’re keeping it small for a good reason. If they don’t understand and support me than too bad, I’m not going to give myself a migraine over it!
Post # 8
@ Bamboo: Thanks, that makes sense to have the parents field questions. I am mostly worried because my Dad’s family is fairly close-knit and due to the fact that my family hasn’t been as supportive all the time as I would hope, I am a little worried about their reaction. I’ve dropped comments and they haven’t said anything negative though.
@Fontgoddess: I’m glad to hear it seems to have worked out well for you. Our families are similarly unbalanced. My extended family is tiny because my Mom is an only child.
@Maureen: I hope it turns out well. We plan to pay for it all ourselves too, which is another reason to keep things modest.
@Karma: Did people react well to your compromise? I’m sorry that you had to change your plans and I hope it ends up being a good experience.
Post # 9
@artbee: I think it’s sad people are reacting badly when you have such a good reason for wanting to keep your stress level low. I think people sometimes have a really hard time putting themselves in other people’s shoes when it comes to a chronic illness. It’s too bad because their pain-in-the-butt attitudes don’t help with the physical pain I’ll bet.
Post # 10
We are having a small wedding. We have huge families, so it was either 200+ or 20. We opted for the 20, since we are planning to build a home this Fall. It was a tough call because we are both very close with our families, but we had to find a “clean breaking point” for our guest list, and for us it was aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. My mom has been wonderful in extending to her brothers and sisters that “they would love to have everyone, but are saving up for a house….” so that has helped. FH’s mom – not so much. She just makes comments like “don’t expect to invite these people to a shower for gifts if you aren’t inviting them to your wedding.” – bummer!
So, we have parents, grandparents, siblings, and my 2 nephews attending our wedding. Some aunts and uncles are upset, but most understand and are happy for us (but of course would love to share our day)! We would have loved to have a few friends, but some of the aunts and uncles would take offense to it – so we decided to play it safe and keep everyone happy. We are celebrating with friends (and the rest of the family) at other times. My side had a shower for us with gifts a couple of weeks ago, and FH’s parents are having a post-wedding party for his side to celebrate with us the weekend after.
We aren’t having a traditional bridal party, either. Our mom’s will sign as our witnesses, and light our unity tapers. My 10 year old nephew will walk me down the aisle, and that’s it! We will stand up on the (small) altar ourselves with the Pastor. Most of the traditions we are following are the same, just on a smaller scale. A photographer, decorations, centerpieces, bouquet/boutonniere (wrist corsages for the mothers and a bout for my nephew). We are having music, but DIY’ing with an iPod or laptop.
Post # 11
We’re having a small wedding as well (35 people). In retrospect I may have invited a few more and I sort of feel bad about it, but with only a few more days to go there’s nothing I can do about it. Like Bamboo said, my mom is fielding any questions or concerns people may have about not being invited and almost everyone understands.
Post # 12
We had a small wedding and I echo a lot of the comments you’ve already heard. We invited about 60 and had 32 guests. This was to be expected because we’re from different areas of the country, so travel was going to pose a problem no matter where we held the wedding.
There were a couple of people there I could have done without, but it was about compromise even at that point. It was important to me to have a small wedding with those people who were close to both of us as a couple and supported our decision to marry. The wedding was really a wonderful time for all of us and we were able to spend time with each guest.
About the only person who hasn’t been totally supportive of this has been my MIL who is a really social, fun, outgoing person who has a lot of friendly acquaintances. She wants to have a reception for us in my hubby’s hometown. We’ll have to see how this turns out — I feel like (and have told her!) that it feels like she’s saying the wedding I worked so hard to plan wasn’t good enough. She wants to show me off to all her friends who my husband hasn’t seen in years, and I guess that’s not a bad thing. I’m such a private person, though, that I’d prefer to meet them under other circumstances.
Post # 13
we had 40 guests – our immediate families and close friends. it was beautiful because we kept everything personalized for our guests, and we really shared the day with those who really mattered to us.
the result was an amazing atmosphere, with a tangible sense of love & goodwill in the air!
we wanted to make the wedding more meaningful and more enjoyable (eg better food, more time for us to properly mingle with those who matter), so we kept it small. costs were a secondary factor, because, with the same budget, we could’ve had 100 guests instead of 40, but with like, a buffet line instead of sit-down french food.
i think most people understand when you say it’s only immediate family, only XX no. of guests. good luck!
Post # 14
We’re having a small wedding (under 20 guests). Because we’re a same-sex couple, we’re having to get married quite far from where we live. We therefore just invited immediate family and a few close friends to the wedding, and will have a bigger reception for our friends when we get home.
Post # 15
We are having a smallish wedding with a strict fire code of 100 people including staff, I hope to come in with 80 guests. We have agreed to invite about a 100 people and hope to have a 20% No. I know this sounds horrible to hope people can’t come but we are already cutting at close family and friends. Also, almost all guests will need to travel to some extent (destination at home) with quite a few needing to fly over 7 hours so we don’t expect everyone to be able to do that. We are talking to people before sending out invitations. Some friends have already told us they plan to be expecting or unable to travel for financial or other reasons and we understand that. Both sets of parents have been understanding of the capacity limit. Yes, we could move to a larger venue but we both LOVE this place as it is in the neighborhood where we met and neither of us really want a larger wedding. I think his family is a bit more understanding since his cousin only invited cousins and not aunts and uncles to her wedding last year, at least I hope they will understand since we are not planning to invite all of his aunts and uncles.
Post # 16
I’m glad having a smaller wedding seems to have worked out so well for everyone. Thanks for helping to alleviate my fears. I don’t want an enormous party, but I don’t want to upset people either.