Post # 1
So Fiance and I are almost 100% sure that we will be having a small wedding (40-50 people tops)
I do not know how I can have a really fantastic memorable wedding with so “few” people. I know I want the music to be great (Who doesn’t love a wedding with great music and great dancing?)
We want it laid back (not following a curriculum such as: at 5pm enter venue, 5:05 be announced, 5:10 Maid of honor speach, 6:00 Father daughter dance..etc)
I am not concerned about the food just as long as its good. Open bar all night is out of the question as we have a strict budget to adhere to and I know how pricey and open bar all night can be.
I mean, I suppose since we will be saving money on the dinner portion of the reception, we can afford to maybe splurge on something else…But i am at a loss of thought/creativity.
For all you bees that had small intimate weddings, what did you do differently (or indifferently) to keep the party going and preventing your guests from getting bored???
Post # 4
Well for one, we kept our reception sort of short and ended pretty “early”. BUT we went to a local bar afterwards and had a blast till the wee hours of the morning. Our wedding was at 56 people, including the bridal party and umm husband and I.
We received so many compliments on how laid back, but elegant the wedding was. The open bar was helpful and we even had a photobooth which was a HUGE hit! We ended up spending around 12k on our wedding, but that also included our honeymoon, rehearsal dinner, dress, makeup…EVERYTHING wedding related.
Here is my recap if you are interested.
May Recap (VERYpro pic heavy!)
Post # 5
@Hippos: Hi thanks so much for your reply. I loved your photobooth idea, i have always wondered how much those cost. I know my family/cousins will enjoy that!
Post # 6
Watch Groupon, LivingSocial, because I see a lot of deals on photobooths!
Post # 7
some of the funnest weddings I have ever been to were the smaller ones. I was at a friends wedding a few years ago that had a tea party before dinner. The decorations were to die for and seating was so intimate it felt like you were just hanging out with best friends.
Do you have enough money in the budget to have a small cover band? especially one that knows how to work the crowd?
We are having a small wedding with about 50 guests and we are treating the ‘reception’ as more of a family reunion. picnic style with lots of yard games and a scavenger hunt. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.
Post # 8
@Hippos: OMG your wedding was to die for!!!!! you looked so beautiful!! And I am also a crier so I can totally relate to you 🙂
@globalmargaret: The picnic/ family reunion idea sounds soo awesome and fun!! Our wedding is in february so an outside wedding (even in florida) is out of the question. Some people say that there are a few 70’s-80’s degrees days in the winter months in florida, but most of the time its in the 50’s and 60’s, so we didn’t want to risk the outdoorsy wedding.
Post # 9
We had 70 people and started around the same time you did. Our venue let us BYOB and our caterer provided the setup and the staff so we did wine/beer/signature cocktails all night as an open bar.
As far as I know, none of my guests were “bored”, but we did stay on schedule and it basically lasted from 5:30 to 10:15 ish (in that about 1/2 the guests left at this time). I did cut out a lot of traditional things, like the bouquet toss. I think if I kept all the traditional elements in, I could’ve reached 11:00 p.m. We splurged and spent a lot per person though, so we had a photo booth running all night and we had a dessert bar and cotton candy. Rather than traditional wedding music (e.g. YMCA, Electric Slide), we played contemporary and club music. I was concerned about guests leaving, in my mind, earlier than expected, but it was a kid-free zone so some had to relieve their sitters (it was about a 30-45 minute drive for our guests) and some were just older folks with early bedtimes.
I think as long as your guests know other guests, you are good to go. The only time I’ve ever been bored at a wedding is when we literally didn’t know anyone and everyone else knew each other (making us the odd man out).
Post # 10
Maybe you could do something creative with the food? Like have stations or tapas or a build-your-own _____ (sundae, mashed potatoes, cupcake, tacos, etc.).
If our wedding guest list was smaller, I would have had a different (small) cake on each table and encouraged people to go around and sample the different cake flavors. I thought that would help people mingle more!
You could also have some games, like bags or horseshoes, if your wedding is outside!
Post # 11
We’re having a 20 person wedding and for me it helps to think of it as a fancy dinner party more than a wedding reception. We’re having great catering and then I just spent a little more time on the details. Cloth napkins, DIY centerpieces, crocheted my bouquet etc.
Post # 12
We’re having a small wedding (65ppl, including the wedding party) and I can’t wait! Our finances dictated a small wedding at this time, so we are taking it in stride and making the most of our special day with the closest of family and friends. We’re having sliders, milkshakes and cupcakes. An informal, laid back day with nothing crazy fancy. I’m paying attention to little details for our guests to make things special and to make them feel important. Put your personality into your day and it will be fab, no matter what!
Post # 13
We only had 60 guests, but it was AWESOME. We had lawn games set up for people who didn’t feel like dancing (croquet was a HUGE hit), but really, it was just friends and family being together and having a good time, which was exactly what we were hoping for!
Post # 14
I hired a caricaturist and it was a huge hit! I think almost everyone there went to get a caricature done.
Post # 15
for small weddings to be memorable, just make it different.
step back and think… if this wasn’t your wedding, what would make it stand out above the others to you?
before deciding on disney world, i thought of having my reception around a giant campfire and having games for the kids off to the sides (beanbag toss and things like that). the food was going to be campfire food (hot dogs, chips, s’mores, hobo pies, etc). inexpensive, different, and definitely fit for a smaller crowd.
Post # 16
It sounds to me like instead of doing gimmicky type things (caricature, photo booth etc) you should put that money towards upgraded food/drinks! For me, having top notch food and beverages really sticks out to me (in a bad or good way) when I attend a wedding. I would rather have an extra hour of open bar than a photo booth!