Wedding Stress! 100 or 30 guest? Please HELP! All advice appreciated! (:

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2869 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Ahh, I’m sorry, I wish I could give advice… I’m doing a 30 person wedding and can’t imagine doing larger than that, BUT I don’t have the large extended family that you have… I only have a couple family members on each side, so I can’t even imagine what it would be like to have to cut one aunt and invite that cousin but not that one… :-/ but if you do it reallllly small, you’d be cutting most of them, and I think that’s less offensive than just cutting one or two.  You could explain that it’s only immediate family and closest friends…

Post # 4
1418 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I can’t really give you advice… but my family is about 70 people and FI’s is about 30… and we’re inviting 180… hoping for 130-140. A small wedding OR a larger wedding can both be lovely. Go with your gut!

Post # 5
1114 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Perhaps you could have the small wedding, with a second celebratory reception on another day?  Something more relaxed, like a garden party or something?  Then you can explain to your family more easily that the real celebration is the second reception as your Fiance wants a smaller do for the wedding.

Post # 6
9917 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

How many of the guests would be traveling from out of town?  We just put together our guest list and I have no fewer than 40 family members…all of whom live around the country, and all of whom are super excited to come!  My fiance only has like 15 family members.  So, we’re going ahead and are just going to have people sit wherever at the ceremony and reception.  


I think you should invite everyone you want to, and plan it from there.  Otherwise you’ll worry about the people who weren’t invited.  Unless, of course, people are in the area already.  In that case, I’d have a super super small ceremony and then a large reception.

Post # 7
4803 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Based on what you’ve said, I would do the small wedding. I was excited to have a larger wedding (160 people), and I still had major anxiety right before I walked down the aisle about all the people watching! And I also typically like being the center of attention…that sounds bad, but it’s true. It sounds like going with a small wedding would make it a much for happy and fun event for you.

As far as family getting mad, I think the best way to do this is to make the cuts really clear. For example, you could invite parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, super close friends, and thats it. My cousin did that for his wedding, and everyone understoof and was still happy for them. Though of course that depends on the family.

Post # 8
661 posts
Busy bee

I have the same dilema – I CONSIDER PPL too much and we have large families. We decided to have a Destination wedding to cut costs and cut guest lists, I dont want a massive wedding! Naturally not all our family will come, just those who are very close to us! Problem solved~! I hope :S We are still inviting 100 ppl, Hoping for about 65 max  – so lets see x

Post # 9
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We had decided to do a small wedding the consists only of immediate family: siblings (and their spouses/SO) and parents and his 1 best friend and my 1 best friend and their spouses. We had to set pretty strict guidelines because we both have extended family that lives nearby and our list would spiral out of control pretty quickly. 

Post # 10
674 posts
Busy bee

Quite a bit of the stress of wedding planning is in planning the event itself, not the exact size of the guest list. Even guest-related issues here pop up whether it’s a small wedding or a big wedding – RSVP issues, bridal party drama, family fights, etc.

If your budget can handle it, I would lean toward the 100 person wedding. It’s really not going to fundamentally give you any more headaches than the smaller event.

Post # 11
871 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’m having 80 guests and that’s a pretty good number. Most weddings I’ve been to are 100- 150 guests. I couldn’t imagine having only 30 people at a wedding. I’d go with more if you can afford it.

Post # 12
2281 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

For one thing, they won’t all come. Just know that. Invite 100, and you’ll get around 80 (maybe). For us, the major wedding stress has been from the people we aren’t inviting, not from the number we are. It’s not like you’re talking about 300 people. 100 is a lot more manageble than you think, and it saves the enormous stress of dealing with the hurt feelings of the people who got left out. 

Post # 13
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I am having a smallish wedding (70 people) and I do not think that if that # was 30, there would be any less stress. It is the number/type of decisions and planning that determine stress and you don’t change the # of decisions with a smaller guest list.

If you invite 100, 85 might come. That is small enough to still be intimate.

Post # 14
7 posts

I think you should have the larger wedding, but then again that all depends on your culture and your family. I know if I were to not invite everybody to my wedding it would be a big deal especially since like you said, they have all been involved in your life. Believe it or not 100 is not really that big and this way you won’t have your conscience nagging you about those who you didn’t invite. As far as people judging the decisions you make as far as decorations and whatnot, don’t let that faze you. As long as you are happy with your choices and the outcome, noone else really matters. If they truly love you they will be happy to be with you during your celebration. 🙂

Post # 15
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I think I’m in a very similar situation! I wanted a small wedding, but I realize now that with his family it just isn’t going to happen. Our guest list is actually split almost entirely equal but his is all family and aside from my parents and sister, mine is all friends. I could maybe justify cutting some of my friends, but if we’re going to have a big wedding anyway (well, bigger than I anticipated), I don’t feel like I should have to. My biggest worry is that his family will be domineering over a lot of things. Because my family is so small, they tend to think that I don’t understand traditions and how important family is. I don’t agree and think I understand just fine (we have traditions of our own, after all), I just don’t think that if in the three years that I’ve been with Fiance and haven’t met Great Aunt Margaret, I shouldn’t be obligated to invite her. Perhaps I’m just mean-spirited?

Hang tough! It’ll be hard. There will definitely be disagreements, but if you can afford to have a bigger wedding and want those people there will you, don’t back down. I wish I had spoken up about how many guests I really wanted, but I don’t think it would have made a difference. My future in-laws and I don’t really like to compromise :/

Post # 16
15 posts
  • Wedding: April 2013

Ah- the dream of 30 people. My FH & I really wanted a small wedding.

We have a budget small enough that blogs have been written about the challenge and near accomplishment of keeping it under x amount. One of the first tips for a budget wedding is to cut the guest list, and I’ve tried but it keeps creeping up past 100. Just our immediate family (just parents, our siblings and their children) is 40 people. Then there are the aunts and uncles & cousins we all just saw again about 3 weeks ago on my side (30) and the aunts and uncles on his side that we just saw recently too (30). So, we can’t even use the excuse that so-and-so hasn’t even met one of us. Without any friends we are already up to 100. We whine about our families being so prolific, but wouldn’t want to not know a single one of them.

So, the 30 person wedding isn’t realistic after all unless we decide to have a destination wedding that none of the people we REALLY want there can afford. We would elope if it weren’t for the fact that it would totally exclude those same people.

Then my Fiance said something brilliant: what was so important to us about a the idea of a small wedding? There is a specific quality about small weddings that attracted us to the idea. We both shudder about being in the spotlight and are both very private.  We realized it was having a bunch of relative strangers gawking at us that made us shy away from a larger guest list. We arrived at “intimate” as being a better word to describe what we really wanted for our wedding day.  As long as it’s with people we love, and would share our biggest news with first, and we make it about our marriage, it will be intimate.  As long as we can actually talk to the people attending, and they are celebrating the marriage and not the decor, it will be intimate. There isn’t a number attached to that redefinition of small.

Honestly,  it’s still a lot of people, and I am still stressing about how on earth I am going to fit all those people in one place without sacrificing that intimacy, tasteful decor or budget.  We joked the other day that it won’t cost us more to have more guests if they don’t all want to eat, or drink, or sit..LOL  

I feel you in a big way about the stress of the details and perceptions and invitation guilt,  but I do urge you and your fiance to define for yourselves what it is about a small wedding that you want and see if that quality still a possibilty with a slightly larger guest list.

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