(Closed) I don’t WANT a small wedding but I don’t have enough guests! Long-winded, sorry

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Small doesn’t have to mean JOP.  If you or your fiance have a close family memember or friend, have that person get ordained.  You can do it online very easily, and it’s fully legal, (just make sure whatever program you go with is accepted in your area).  Or find an officiant online; there are all kinds available, religious or otherwise.

Then get married wherever you want.  Paying $1,000 to rent a church for only 27 people might be silly, yes, but what about a park, garden, or orchard?  An outdoor wedding with the fall colors would be awesome!  Or a lot of historic mansions rent out for weddings…might be perfect for a small wedding, and a lot more cozy than a church you’re only going to fill a few pews in, (heck, we had about 100 people at our wedding, and because of the size of the church, in a few shots, it looked like we hardly had anyone there!  Hehe!).  Resorts, Hotels and B&B’s are great, too, locally, if you don’t want to go the destination route.  Or a chartered river cruise…you really don’t have as few possibilities as you think.

Your reception can be wherever you want, too!  Restaraunt or bar, those are possibilities.  But so are most of the places I mentioned above, whether or not you have your wedding there.  Do a Google search for venues near you.

I’m sure you’ll get lots of great ideas from the awesome Bees here as well!

Post # 4
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I’m sorry you feel this way. You aren’t being selfish. Weddings are important events, and it is difficult to accept giving up our long held dreams about them. It is ok to feel angry and upset that you aren’t going to have the kind of wedding you wanted…. for a little while. Sometimes we need to grieve these thing, even if it seems silly. Once you allow yourself to wallow (again, you have to set a brief time period here) you will need to start imagining a wedding within your reality. It sounds like part of what you are really upset about is not the wedding, but the fact that your family has gone in different directions and you feel excluded. If you want them to attend your wedding, invite them. There isn’t a better time to extend an olive branch, though you should prepare for the possibility they won’t come.

There is a lot of area on the spectrum between JOP and huge formal wedding. My sister had a wedding for 40 that cost as much as my wedding for 100. She invested in every little detail, the best food, champagne, all of it. It was a beautiful intimate day. I would write down the elements of the wedding that matter most to you. The dress? The type of reception hall? Food and drink? And then I would imagine ways to create a wedding for 30. Don’t worry about it being uneven. It sounds like you are longing for a big family, and so you should be open to fully embracing your husband’s family as your own.

Hope that helps in some way. 


Post # 5
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I’m sorry that things have been so rough for you, but your achievements are a testament to your strength!

You have the perfect opportunity to throw an intimate, but very classy affair.  I say you embrace the amount of guests that you have and throw a very swanky party.  It’ll be less stressful than a large wedding and you can focus on getting every single detail perfect. 

I know it doesn’t help, but my partner and I really wished that we had the opportunity to have a small intimate affair!

Post # 6
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

hey! count me in…i’d come to your wedding!!can i bring my FI?Wink

a small guest list doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice having the wedding of your dreams. you can still have it, just make adjustments. do you have to be married in a church? if so, does it have to be that one? are you willing to look around and see if there are other churches with smaller fees? if you don’t have to be married in a church, then why not find a venue where you can have the ceremony and reception?

there’s lots of places that will cater to smaller weddings. how about an art gallery? i’m sure you can still do it at a restaurant, without having to go the big banquet hall route too. you’d probably get a better deal at a smaller, family-owned type of place. expand your mind, the possibilities are endless.

for music, if you don’t want to hire a dj or band, you can always do an ipod wedding. mrs. dg raved about her ipod wedding. check out her posts. that’s certainly easier on the wallet. do a search for “ron and jade’s wedding,” on here. i think jade posted as ms. blossom.  they had a really nice wedding with a smaller guest list. maybe you can pm her for some ideas.

remember, it’s quality, not quantity that counts. you can still have the wedding of your dreams with a small budget and small guestlist. gl!;=)


Post # 7
2365 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I think having a small intimate affair is so amazing. I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard road and you’re so brave to talk about it. Good luck =)

Post # 8
4480 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch

I think you can have a beautiful, formal, small wedding… if anything, it just saves money over a large one. I saw one 30-person wedding where the couple rented a large, beautiful house and hired a chef instead of a caterer to make the food (etc.), and it was lovely and didn’t look like any old backyard shindig. 😉 Or you could try a winery, or a really NICE restaurant with a small banquet room…

Or you can take this opportunity to mend relationships with your family and invite them anyway; see what happens, you know?

Good luck!!! Keep an open mind and you’ll find something that will make you happy!

Post # 9
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Your intimate wedding sounds wonderful and you can make it as formal as you want!

Check out hotels too they often have nice meeting rooms that they rent out for smaller weddings! I love the museum idea too!!!!

You can make your intimate wedding into the wedding of your dreams!!!!!!

Post # 10
1115 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

freckle, I hear you one not having many guests. I only have 13 for certain on my side, and my Fiance has over 40! I know its not the same as having no guests, but I’d rather have fewer people and have them all be people I’m very close with and love. His family lives in CO, so it’s been hard to develop comfortable relationships with him. I finally feel comfortable with his mom, but that’s only because she calls me all the time. 🙂

Anyhow, just thought I’d relate a little. Like others have said, they wish they had your opportunity to have a small wedding. Everything is marginally CHEAPER by the head, and you can have WHATEVER you want. Go treat yourself to the dress of your dreams, get a five-tier wedding cake and a professional photographer to take GORGEOUS pictures of you and your hubby in a beautiful destination. If you ever do make friends, which I’m sure you will, you’ll always have these pictures to show and the memories of the small version of your dream wedding. Best of luck!

Post # 11
161 posts
Blushing bee

Small can be really classy. Also, I bet you both know people who would love to attend. Rethink your guest list.  Imagine your perfect wedding and then make it happen. You can dance the night away in a long white dress with 20 or 30 guests.  Really, don’t let your dream die. We’ll help you plan.

Post # 12
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I understand where you’re coming from.  But let me share some insight for you.  My fiance and I were always figuring on a small, intimate wedding of about 36 guests.  We only invited people that are (supposedly) close friends and family on purpose because we were going for “intimate” and didn’t want to invite every person that’s ever touched our lives.  Well, with much surprise to us, only 9 guests are coming!  I was so upset earlier on (especially since most of them said that they would come for sure before we started planning this), but I’ve settled into the fact and we’ve “re-evaluated” a handful of friendships.  Without sounding selfish, these people that are not coming are all people that I’ve known for a long time, participated in their showers, weddings, new homes, baby stuff, kids birthday parties, etc. and even have had to travel for them.  I’ve endured a lot of expenses for “their” days even when it was a stretch…..do you think that they could JUST attend my wedding????  I think that it’s inexcusable!  But on another note, we’ve moved on, and we have put a lot of effort into all of the details and it’s still going to be a nice wedding.  Just because we’re only having 9 guests, we’ve done everything as if there were 100.  So, plan what you want.  It’s your day and it should be how you want it to be.  We’ve done the same.  I have the couture dress, a european classic car, beautiful flowers, etc.  The people who have made the effort to be at our wedding will be getting the royal treatment.  We’re having an afternoon reception with 5 star cuisine, a winery tour and tasting and then a second 5 star meal in the evening at a different venue.  We’re treating those guests to an “experience” unlike they’ve had at any other weddings, I’m sure.  So, don’t let the guest count get you down.  Have your day exactly how you’ve invisioned it!

Post # 13
2641 posts
Sugar bee

I’m on board with bridedenise.

I think it’s fine to be upset, and want things to be a little different.   ANd I’m sorry that you aren’t feleing as happy about the planning process as you’d like.  But all wedding sizes have their pluses and minuses.  If I had a really small guestl list, and had the money I wanted to blow on a big wedding, I would really treat the few guests I had, to something amazing.  And I would also jsut reconsider looking at a destination wedding.  Even if it was a few hours away.  Maybe there is a nice spot that’s in easy driving distance.  With the numbers you have, maybe you could rent some limos to drive someplace. 

And just logistically, you can do some pretty special things for an initmate group, rahter than a large group.  If you travel for the wedding, you could offer to treat them to some tour, helicopter ride, scenic train ride… who knows, skies the limit.. yeah a plane ride! Laughing

Post # 14
739 posts
Busy bee

Small doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your dream.  Have you looked into estates rental?  Here in New England we have a ton of old historical sites and libraries, you just need to get creative with your venues.  I shot a wedding last year that only had 18 guests and it turned out to be one of the most intimate weddings I have photographed.  You really get a chance to spend time with each person who came to enjoy this day with you. 

Post # 15
577 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Rock on bridedenise!  A smaller wedding means you can make it more extravagant, and spoil yourselves and the people who really care about you!  I would set your budget to whatever it would have been if you were having a bigger wedding, and then keep that same budget for whatever your head count ends up being!  Use it as an excuse to splurge and treat yourself – you deserve it!

Post # 16
1490 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

It’s so hard to feel that people dont’ care about your wedding and aren’t even willing to attend. I feel for you and understand how lonely it feels to have sacrificed to be a part of others’ lives when they don’t reciprocate the same for you. We are eloping with four guests – but doing it formally. Fiance is wearing a tuxedo and I’m wearing a wedding gown and we’ll be getting ready in separate hotel rooms on the day of the wedding. We have a wonderful photographer and our attendants will be wearing black tie attire. After the ceremony at San Francisco City Hall, which is a seriously beautiful space, we have a private room at a restaurant were we can make merry and have a wedding reception. We’ve also made plans for a wedding cake, so we can do the traditional cake cutting. It’s a wedding with the people who love us and it feels so much better than the 50 person wedding we tried to plan with people who didn’t want to come. Intimate is great and fine. Do it with the people you love and who want to support you and do it as formally as you want.

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