(Closed) Guest list– So small we should just elope?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
90 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

You could just go to a restaurant afterwards and get a private room for the # of guests you need. That way you have the excuse that it was just a small intimate thing. They might understand that better.

Post # 4
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

In this case, I would ask your fiance how important it is to him to have people there to celebrate with him. It might be something he really wants, and in that case, I don’t think it’s fair to deny him.

That said, you have a few lovely options here:

1. Have the small ceremony and reception with just 12 or so guests. Really small, intimate weddings are awesome and really special. Just make sure that you guys make it special too, by hiring a photographer to document the day and invest in some cute outfits. Plan a reception at a local favorite restaurant to allow toasts and cake cutting. The fewer the people, the more intimate it will be. And that doesn’t make it any less of a wedding.

If you do the destination wedding, plan it how you want it, and give everyone enough notice so they have time to save. If you only invite people you’re close to, they’ll do what they can to be there … trust me. Just pick a place that everyone will want to go (I saw a wedding recently on TV where the bride and groom made their family travel to Alaska … it was awful).

2. If your fiance really wants to celebrate with everyone, consider either having the wedding with the people he wants to invite, and invite some of those family members you haven’t seen in a while. You never know, it could end up being a great decision. OR, have a small wedding, and hold a reception a few weeks or days later to celebrate with everyone.

I think it boils down to how important it is to your fiance to have his extended family there. Once you get that figured out, things will easily fall into place 🙂

Post # 5
773 posts
Busy bee

Maybe I’m wrong, but I get the feeling from your post that you want to elope and your fiance doesn’t.  You don’t want any guests, but your fiance does.  Now, just because you don’t want to invite your family, that doesn’t necessarily preclude inviting your fiance’s family and friends.  Weddings are supposed to be about celebrating with the people who matter most to you, and you should only elope if you’re both on the same page.

Post # 6
1048 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall

Hey California Girl, I feel like I should weigh in on this. Like you, Mr. Mary Jane and I had a lot of concerns about having a medium-to-large wedding. There are a lot of family members we don’t see much or don’t even know, and we weren’t sure about including them. But we also didnt’ want to hurt anyone’s feelings by choosing favorites (of which we’d probably have come up with about 20). And if we had gone by who we see/interact with most, we’d have a guest list that was at least 75% made up of Mr. MJ’s family.

When Mr. Mary Jane and I announced our engagement, the first question was "When is the wedding?"

We said we hadn’t thought about it and wanted some time to enjoy being engaged. Then after we’d talked about it for a few weeks, we spoke to each of our sets of parents about our decision to include only THEM in the wedding. We made it clear (esp. to Mr. mary jane’s parents) that this wasn’t going to be a large family event, and requested that they keep details (like the exact date) under wraps. They understood our situation and agreed to do that for us.  Now when people ask us or our moms, the answer they get is "they’re planning to go to the courthouse – no wedding celebration."

There are lots of things you have to consider in doing this type of thing. One is invites, for example. Mr. MJ suggested we make invites for just our parents for this wedding. I LOVED the idea. but what if Future Mother-In-Law puts it on her fridge and then the in-law extended family sees it? So I couldn’t do it. 

Obviously if you were going to do this without inviting ANYONE from your family, you’d not have to worry about any of this. 

Next week I’m one of two witnesses attending the elopement of two of my friends. No one from the family knows yet. I think it’s SO romantic that they’re just gonna go ahead and do it. Good luck to you in your decision.

Here are a couple of posts I wrote about how we came to ours. Maybe they can help.



Nobody can tell you what’s too small and what’s not. I’m very excited to have a wedding with just our parents, his brothers, and one friend in attendance. 

Post # 7
92 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

My fiance and I are having an intimate wedding next month with only about 24 guests. The list is made up of our immediate families and those friends who would have been the bridal party if we’d gone the more traditional route. As our parents have explained about the size of our wedding people have been extremely understanding with regard to why we aren’t having a huge event and why they aren’t invited. It just wasn’t for us. It’s a personal choice that you both need to agree on but there is nothing wrong with wanting to share your wedding day with just a small group of people. People are doing it all the time these days.

Post # 8
96 posts
Worker bee

For our wedding my dh has a large family and nearly all attended while I had only my parents and my sister for family. My brother was at boot camp so he couldn’t come. Because of that he didn’t really get to invite his friends but since I did have friends that I wanted there. We’ve been married three years and it still makes him sad that he couldn’t have his friends there. It does make me feel pretty awful that I couldn’t have found a way around it. In fact if we had of known that so many people that rsvp’ed yes weren’t actually going to show up he could have had his friends there.

So basically, if it’s important for him to have his friends and family there I would do it. Especially since they will be your family and hopefully your friends too. Just don’t have seperate bride and groom sides to sit on and it won’t be so awkward.

The topic ‘Guest list– So small we should just elope?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors