Whats Worse: Large Over Budget Wedding or Intimate Wedding that make people mad!

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 3
1441 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Congrats on your engagement!  Stick to your budget – you don’t want to start your married life in debt over a one day party.

Post # 4
7929 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort

Stick to your budget. Maybe a brunch wedding or an afternoon cocktail and cake reception is a better idea that an evening dinner wedding. The thing, though, is that if you go intimate and you’re using tht to justify not inviting lots of close people, then you have to keep it intimate. Intimate means nuclear family and bestest best friends (likely the people who would be your wedding party) and the spouses/longterm partners of all those people. If one of you starts inviting an aunt or a cousin or something, you’re going to wade into treacherous waters.

ETA: don’t try to balance the guest list down the middle. Balance it based on closeness of relationship. Unfortunately, that means if her family is larger, she’s going to be inviting a larger share of the guest list. If she has 5 superclose friends and you have 2, then that’s the way it goes. You shouldn’t invite 3 buddies just to even it out.


Post # 6
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’d answer your question quite simply – always have the wedding you can afford. 

Post # 7
2537 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Stick to the budget.  We had an immediate family wedding with two friends (so less than 15 people) because we didn’t want to blow our savings and/or go into debt in order to marry.  Yes, our families were disappointed but they’re not the ones paying for it.

Post # 8
3659 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Have the wedding you can afford. I wouldn’t get too gung-ho planning until you’re actually engaged and the two of you can sit down with your families and start to make plans for a wedding. Right now you’re getting yourself worked up a little prematurely, in my opinion. You have the entire engagement to stress about the wedding — let yourself relax a little bit now and focus on enjoying the remaining months before you’re engaged.

Post # 9
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi @otto2008:  Etiquette Snob here… lol

In truth the trick is finding a happy middle ground.

You want to work out a Budget that you can afford… whether that is all savings, or a bit of Credit thrown in (just enough that you are comfy with)

There is no reason to go into debt for years on end

That said… as someone who has been married 2x (1980s & now) I would say that it is VERY Important that you put the emphasis on YOURSELVES & YOUR RELATIONSHIP as well.

That is the Wedding Ceremony & the Honeymoon.

A BIG Reception is a nice way to Host Family & Friends for supporting you… BUT it is not a requirement.

One can have a very tasteful Reception that doesn’t break the bank… Cake & a Bevvy thru to a top drawer Formal Black Tie Event.

BUT I honestly believe that a Wedding & Marriage is ALL ABOUT THE COUPLE…

So be sure and budget for a Honeymoon… it is a great way to kick start your Marriage.  The Honeymoon is a time to relax and enjoy one another.  To wind down after the taxing time that comes with Wedding Planning & the Wedding itself.

Based on all experiences… make the Ceremony & Honeymoon a priority for sure !!

Hope this helps,


Post # 10
7019 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@otto2008:  The wedding you can afford is the best option, for sure.

The only people you really “owe” an invite too, in my opinion, is your parents, because they raised you. Then it’s good to invite your siblings and grandparents, because usually you’re close to them. Any other family members – aunts, uncles, cousins etc – are optional. They’re not really that close to you. They didn’t raise you, and if it’s like my family they see you a couple of times a year, if that. If you can afford to invite them., great. If not, let them get upset. Sure they miss out on a free meal but they’ll get over it.

I suggest you put family people at different “levels” of closeness and decide how far you can invite, e.g. 1. Parents; 2. Siblings; 3. Grandparents; 4. aunts/uncles 5. cousins.

At our wedding we went to as far as cousins. When DH’s older brother got married he had a smaller wedding and only went to “level 4”, i.e. aunts and uncles but no cousins. The cousins weren’t that close to him and weren’t upset. DH’s other brother had a smaller wedding still and only went to “level 3”, i.e. no aunts and uncles. I’m not sure if the aunts/uncles got upset, but he and his wife weren’t going into debt over it.

Post # 11
7630 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2013

@otto2008:  we want to invite all of her family (even those who i don’t really want there like cousins and her dad’s side of the family).

I’m confused here. Do you want to invite her whole family or don’t you? If you’re only inviting them out of obligation I would save yourself the trouble (and the money) and keep it small. 

Post # 12
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Have the wedding you can afford. Im happy that after looking at the two different lists either 120 vs 65 guests we chose the smaller intimate wedding. We can afford it and dont have to worry too much about pairing items down or trying to find the lowest of the low pricing out there. I also am begining to like the idea of it too. We can talk and relax, enjoy our guests company at the wedding, basically have really memorable memories with these close family and friends.

Post # 13
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@otto2008:  have the wedding you can afford. Based on your post, I’m guessing that inviting people put of obligation and going over budget because of that is going to lead to a lot of stress and resentment.

Post # 14
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@otto2008:  Go with the intimate wedding for sure. I would never want to start my marriage in debt because of a wedding. And if you guys aren’t even close to some of those people then I don’t see why you should have to feel obligated to invite them.

After you get engaged, I think you should both sit down and figure out exactly what you can afford on your budget. And then you should discuss whether she really wants those family members invited. If she does, maybe you can find a way to cut costs. If not, problem solved!

Post # 15
525 posts
Busy bee

I think you’ll regret the over budget wedding much more. 

Post # 16
1491 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Have the wedding you can afford. The people who REALLY care about you will understand that going into debt is BAD for YOUR LIFE and if they loved you, would they wish debt on you? Of course not? Weddings allow people to show their true colors and I really would go for intimate if I were you. I had an intimate wedding and DH and I were lucky enough to save up enough for a friends’ party the year later, but we just couldn’t so it in the same year. All our friends were very understanding so far. 

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