Small wedding under 70 guests

posted 2 weeks ago in Guests
Post # 2
241 posts
Helper bee

Commenting to follow. This is my exact situation.

Post # 3
6649 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2016

We had 65 guests. It really didn’t feel small at all to me. There wasn’t any awkwardness either. People did kind of stick to thier groups but that’s typical at every wedding I’ve been to. 

We had times when the dance floor wasn’t packed but it really wasn’t a big deal. Fun, cliche wedding songs packed the dance floor every time.

ETA: We have tons of pictures of everyone having a blast during the reception:

Post # 4
484 posts
Helper bee

Could you have snack tables scattered throughout to encourage people wandering around?


We had a smaller wedding (like 72 guests, not all those came…probably 56? I dunno anymore lol) but we rented a boat for the reception, and opted to not have dancing. Not a common thing to do. 

Post # 5
5 posts

We actually had less than twenty guests, and it felt like a nice sized group—I think your size will make for an amazing event! I love keeping it smaller so you can actually spend time with each guest 🙂 Your description of his and your families sounds like our situation too—I was really worried his family would do or say something inappropriate, but really everyone held it together pretty well on the day-of and the time seriously FLEW by. I hardly noticed what anyone else was doing. We did not do a dance. 

Post # 6
70 posts
Worker bee

Is dancing important to you? You could always go for more of a dinner party styled wedding with an extended cocktail hour (which gets people mingling) and just speeches during dinner. Then have an “after party” at a local bar for those that like to party. You can put down a small tab to give everyone a round. 

Post # 7
268 posts
Helper bee

Ours was about 40 people, and we opted against a DJ and dance floor mainly because we wanted everyone to mingle. We just put on some background music. I guess it’s a know-your-crowd thing – I knew I didn’t want to cajole anyone into dancing. 

One of our main reasons for going this way was that we’re all scattered across Ontario and only see each other once or twice a year, and after DH’s family Christmas last year, I spent the ride home realizing how many then-soon-to-be-relatives I didn’t even get a chance to talk to. I’m happier knowing that I got to talk to everyone at the wedding. 

Post # 8
2690 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

We had 70 people at our wedding and there was plenty of dancing (by those who liked to dance). The ones who didn’t moved over to the sitting area and talked. My family is really big on dancing, my in laws don’t really dance for social events. I think the drinks definitely helped as well as the upbeat tone of the entire ceremony and reception. Having one or two different activities available at the reception might be good so that those who don’t want to dance have something else to do.

Post # 11
3257 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course

Personally, I don’t think couples need to go out of their way to encourage mingling. Adults are capable of social interaction based on their comfort level without interference. We’ll only have about 50 guests. Neither of us are into dancing but a couple of our guests enjoy it and since we’d like everyone to have a nice time chose not to exclude dancing. Plus we both love music even though we don’t dance so I couldn’t see not having any. There will be two tables set up with games as an option for those who prefer not to dance but thats kind of a know your crowd thing. We have a summary timeline listed on our website, so far I’ve had four guests email me domino challenges. Two I’ve never met from FI side. 😉 So I’ll likely be slamming bones while my sister is shaking her rump on the dance floor. Open bar and good food are usually enough to keep most people happy.

Post # 12
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

We have a similar dynamic to you, with 50 ish guests. We are having a live band who will play a mix of ‘dancy’ numbers and chilled-out background music- we’re expecting a bit of dancing, but we also have other things to do that will encourage the two sides to intermingle, including a quiz on me and FIs habits/quirks etc with fun prizes and giant jenga. Both of the venues we have in mind have a separate bar just off the reception room, so those who don’t want to shake their thang during the upbeat set have somewhere a bit quieter to chat. 

Hope this gives you some reassurance and inspiration! 

Post # 13
4928 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

jonasbutterfly :  I invited about that number.  Due to the location (pretty much necessary) half of that attended.  Such a small quantity means it’s the people who really, really want to be there, so closest family and friends.  As such it was no big deal having a good time together and additional supports weren’t necessary to encourage mingling.  Our two families got along very well and so did our friends as needed.  While I wouldn’t call any of us “conservative” per se, most of us aren’t drinkers and those who are just stuck to a couple of beers – social/meal drinking, not celebration drinking.

We had dancing but people only stuck to it maybe a half hour.  We had board games which no one touched even though it was raining half the time.  We had a football and frisbee which both got used in small groups.  We did things a bit out of order – lunchtime bbq reception from 12-3 with everyone welcome to stick around if they wanted to, but a huge gap for us to shower off, dress and do photos as well as another delay thanks to the rain.  Ceremony around 7:30 followed by a dessert reception (when the dancing occurred), which I’d say lasted until 11.  So really a good long day despite the lack of activities.  People just had a great time hanging out and we did it all over again the next day.

I think people stress a lot about keeping others entertained, but assuming they like you and each other, people are pretty good at keeping themselves happy without more help.  Try not to worry about it too much.

Post # 14
2230 posts
Buzzing bee

jonasbutterfly :  We had 70 people with little dancing.  People kept themselves occupied doing whatever it is they were doing… People naturally navigate to those they know. Nothing wrong with that. Its not your job to occupy them. 

Post # 15
124 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2017 - the garden house, seattle

we had about 60 people, all good friends or chosen family, with a champagne and heavy apps reception. we didn’t have dancing (which was good, because the sound stopped working right after the ceremony), and everyone just mingled and chatted on their own. when it ended at 11, there were still a significant number of people still there. it was like a big cocktail party where i got to wear a very fancy dress, and it was awesome.

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