Was the reception fun despite smaller DW crowd?

posted 3 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
3394 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We’re having an intimate DW and we’re expecting around 25-30 people. Certainly less than we expected, but I did brace myself to manage my expectations because it’s a destination wedding after all. Instead of a DJ or band, we’re having an iPod reception…I think it would be awkward with a full band or DJ, especially a lot of the guests aren’t necessarily party animals. 

If we had over 50 guests, I think we would go ahead with a DJ and a dancefloor.

I think it will be what you make of it…we’re going for a more intimate, dinner party type feel with our nearest and dearest so that’s what our idea of ‘fun’ is…it certainly won’t be a crazy party atmosphere.

On the upside, I think things are less stressful with a smaller guest list. We had a small dinner reception after our registry wedding earlier this year, and even with 25 guests I was really feeling the pressure of wanting to spend enough quality time with each guest, to the point where I didn’t eat anything and was just making my way around the room the entire night. And even then, there were a few guests I didn’t get around to talking to properly.

Post # 3
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Why are you worried about RSVPs for an October wedding? We are getting married in October and have international guests for a DW and won’t be mailing our invites until the summer. You will definitely get more people to RSVP when you are much closer to the date.

Post # 4
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

My sister’s was a DW with 30ppl total and it was SO much fun. We were in Jamaica with a DJ on the beach and it was great/didn’t feel empty at all. Just depends on the crowd I think – it was a fun bunch of people. Mine will also be a DW (in Nov) and we’re expecting 50ppl max and I’m looking forward to it. It’s a mix of the ambiance you create and the people you invite. 

Don’t stress, it will be great! 

Post # 6
3996 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I didn’t have a DW, but I did have a small wedding. We had 60 guests at a beautiful venue that could fit around 200. It didn’t feel too large at all and the reception was a blast! We did, however, have a night wedding (reception started at 7:45) on NYE, so that helped. It’s all about the time of day and people who are there. My cousin did, however, have a DW that only had about 25 people in attendance. It was a mid-morning wedding (10am) and the reception was from 11-4pm. There was very little dancing and it got awkward at times because the music was so loud. People just weren’t in the dancing mood at 12pm. What time of the day are you getting married and what type of guests do you have coming?

Post # 7
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

serendipity24:  I went to a DW with 50 people or so and it was a blast!! Everyone danced all night and had a great time! 

Post # 9
5259 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013


peonyinparis:  I had a destination wedding in Cuba last year. We had a total of 70 guests and the reception was in a private restaurant with dinner first then dancing. We had a blast! All of the older people left early and went back to the resort but all of us younger people (about 50 of us) stayed until 2am and danced the night away! I would say that alcohol and good music are a factor in not having an empty dance floor. I dont drink but the music we had was amazing cause DH’s friend dj’d that it was such an amazing time!

Post # 10
9859 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

serendipity24: I’m having the same nightmares.  We invited 127 – almost all from out of town (4+ hour drive or flying), our venue holds 150.  We have 58 responses so far and 38 people coming.  We’re expecting about 75 but the more I think about it the more scared I am that my wedding is going to suck.

I’m sure we’ll both have amazing weddings 🙂

Post # 12
54 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

So thankful for this thread.  Our wedding is approx 30 people and I’m worried the reception won’t be fun due to the smaller number of people.  Especially since we’re doing an ipod reception.  I don’t want people to think it’s boring!  (But I really can’t afford the $1200 for a DJ for 3 hours.

Post # 13
28 posts
  • Wedding: Ancaster Mill

I’m in the same boat. We’re getting married in the DR, we will have approximately 28-30 people coming. We will most likely be doing an iPod reception too, much less expensive. The ceremony is at 5pm, dinner and reception starting at 7 I think. So I’m hoping that people will be in more of a party mood seeing as it will be in the evening…

Post # 14
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - lotusresidence.com

We had a DW in Bali with 38 guests and the reception was fun with dancing! It will depend on your guests if they typically like to dance, which you probably have an idea of.

You may want to review how you set up the reception area, so it doesn’t feel huge for your number of guests. We sort of shuffled the furniture in a way we thought created a bit more of an intimate atmosphere. 

We found a local band who were not expensive at all to play a few sets. They usually walk around at the beach playing acoustic music, taking request from people having dinner there. For our pretty laid back wedding they were perfect and brought great energy to the evening. We used Spotify playlists for the rest of the evening.

We had to turn the volume down at around 11.30pm but that was fine. Most of our guests arrived at our venue at 4pm, after the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner we still had a good 3 hours of dancing which is really more than enough.

And remember: As long as you are having fun everyone else at the reception will be happy too! 

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