(Closed) Cutting our guestlist from 80 to 20! What did you do for your small wedding?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

We hosted a cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres; a long, leisurely, multi-course dinner with beer and wine pairings; and then cigars and scotch in the garden (other alcohol was available, upon request). It was a fabulous dinner party rather than a traditional wedding reception.

Post # 5
7673 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

The smallest wedding I’ve been to was my father’s. As far as I can remember the guest list was:

Him: his 3 kids and our partners, his brother and his wife, his mother. (9)

Her: her brother + wife + 2 kids, her parents (6).

And I think 2 couples who were friends. So that’s 19, plus the bride and groom that’s 21. As I said in another thread, you can keep it small by having just immediate family and their partners, any surviving grandparents, and very closest friends.

The ceremony was outdoors, and the reception was in a function room of a very nice hotel.

Post # 6
2999 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Here are my guest list “rules”  They are so simple, but they  will cut out a TON of people.

 I’m having an intimitate destination wedding of about 30 people

Guest list criteria:

1. You have to at least met both me and my  Fiance.  This rules out great-aunts, random cousins, casual  co-workers, etc.  If you haven’t met both of us, you are not coming to  our wedding. I feel I shouldn’t have to introduce myself to you at my own  wedding.  Hi, I’m the bride…who are  you??

2. I have to have seen you in the last year.  This  rules out “friends”  who will not be lifers. Or someone who you were  invited to their wedding 7 years ago so you think you have to invite them.

3. I have to be comfortable enough to speak on the phone with  you. This  rules out old college friends who have become  acquaintances and only communicate  through e-mail and facebook.

Post # 7
7311 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

We had 30, including us. Just our immediate families and closest friends. If we didn’t hang out on a regular basis, there was no invitation. We all sat at one long table and it felt super cozy.


During cocktail hour we served bruschetta, crab stuffed mushroom caps, and bacon wrapped scallops (paired with a buttery chardonnay and Chimay Blue).


For dinner we had 4 courses- microgreen salad with apples, pears, and a champagne vinagrette (paired with a white zinfandel and Strongbow); butternut squash soup with yogurt (paired with a white wine that I don’t remember and Allagash White); filet with seasonal vegetables (paired with a burgundy and ?); cheeses, petit fours, chocolate truffles, and fresh fruit (paired with a white port and a framboise lambic).


And then we had 3 scotches- 15, 15, and 18 year (Glenfiddich, Macallan, and Glenmorange) paired with a variety of cigars.


There was a lot of socializing and drinking going on. We didn’t expect people to stay late, but we had to kick out our last guests at 11:30ish because we were exhausted and ready for bed.


Post # 8
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Our wedding is for roughly 24 people.  It’s a destination for all but a couple guests and we’re having the wedding at an Inn where most of our guests will be staying.  It’s a weekend long celebration with a welcome dinner at an area restaurant the night before, an optional outing the morning of the wedding to see some local sights, then the wedding & reception with a farewell brunch the following morning.

The reception will have 3-4 entrees to select from that are made fresh by the inn’s restaurant.  Probably some sort of steak, a chicken dish, and salmon.  Possilby a pork dish as well.  No vegetarians attending, so meat based dinners.

It’s very much a traditional wedding, just on a more intimate scale so we can celebrate with the people we love the most.

Post # 9
470 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

We aren’t married yet.. But we have a total of 30 people. We’re having a ceremony, cocktail hour (with canapés), three course dinner then drinks and dancing. I suppose it’s rather traditional, really.. 

Post # 10
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We’re having a similarly sized wedding. Just us, our parents, our siblings, our nephews/nieces, and a few friends. I think there will be 40 of us (including lots of kids though). We’re not having dancing, just drinks, dinner, and live music. We’re still having a wedding party, though most of our guests are in it, lol.


Post # 11
634 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@echolove:  We are having 28 guests and it will be held at a fancy restaurant.

Post # 13
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Lily_of_the_valley:  +10000!!! We followed generally the exact same criteria as you did when deciding who to invite. Immediate family only (meaning parents, siblings and the only living grandparent between the two of us) and true-blue friends. 

No aunts, uncles or cousins; No old highschool, college or childhood friends that we only talk to over facebook; No acquaintences that we run into while hanging out with our real friends; Abso-freaking-lutely no coworkers; No ‘political invites’ like people who invited us to their weddings in the the past, friends of our parents that we never talk to, etc.

Our guest list comes to 28 people.

We’re having somewhat of a “wedding weekend” up at a rustic mountain lodge.  We anticipate most everyone will show up Friday night for some BBQ.  Saturday morning we are going on a short 1 mile hike up the mountain to take in the fall air and beauty, and people are welcome to join. We’ll have lots of games and ammenities for people to enjoy throughout the day and weeekend. Wedding is Saturday at 4:00 — short ceremony outside.  Because it’s so small, we can afford some really good food and full open bar for everyone.  After cake and a little dancing, we’ll have a bonfire outside and people will just go to bed whenever they’re ready.  Sunday morning we’ll have farewell brunch.

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