(Closed) Should I have a 12 person wedding or a 250 person wedding?

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 3
13015 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Honestly, this is a decision you have to make on your own; other bees can’t tell you what to do.

Is your Fiance okay with cutting down the guest list so dramatically?  If he was opposed to trimming it before, is he going to have a problem with basically axing 90% of the guests?  You are right about not being able to pick favorites – I think it’s a bad idea to invite some family and not others (this would basically start WW3 in my family..)

When you think of your wedding, do you think of a big wedding, or a small intimate ceremony?  Forget budgets, forget fighting with Fiance…just think, how do you imagine your wedding?  For me, a big wedding was the only option.  My family is so important in my life that I couldn’t imagine not being surrounded by all of them at my wedding (and I have a very, very large family) because they have played such a huge role in my life.  Fiance wants his whole family there to celebrate with us.  For us, a big wedding was the choice. 

So, I guess my point is, you have to imagine what you want for your wedding.  I’m sure whatever you decide will be a great option, and all your guests will be thrilled to celebrate with you, whether there are 12 or 250. 

Post # 4
4109 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I guess it all depends on if you’ve envisioned a certain wedding your whole life & if you think you’ll regret not having the big wedding when it’s all over. Financially, it seems to me the smaller wedding would make more sense & put your mind at ease. Not to mention the stress,money & work you’ll save yourself.

My situation was alot like yours. It came down to inviting everyone we know 200+ people (so nobody would feel offended/left out), or do something completely intimate but still include the things that were important to me (& not be broke after). We ended up choosing the tiny wedding & so glad we did- included only immediate family & less than 15 people total. I still had my dress, cake, fancy dinner, honeymoon. I never dreamed of a huge wedding for myself so again- those were the things that were important to me. You have to do what’s right for you. If you decide to have the bigger wedding, I would start looking to cut things or change venue/food/etc to save money.

Good luck!

Post # 5
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Looking at it from a purely logical standpoint and casting emotions aside, an intimate wedding with immediate family makes the most sense.  But we all know that wedding planning isn’t just logical — it is full of emotion and there are other factors to consider that are not so black and white.  

Deep down, are you truly excited about the prospect of an intimate wedding with a BBQ bash down the road?  Or are you trying to convince yourself it is a good idea because of the savings?  If it would truly make you, your fiance, and your family happy, then by all means go for it!  It sounds like you could get everything you want — a beautiful wedding, a honeymoon, a party for your whole family, and money in the bank!  Planning would be much less stressful too!   


Post # 6
263 posts
Helper bee

I don’t get it, why not just do the picnic/bbq idea as a reception? Then everyone could see the dress you’re willing to spend money on, you could get professional pics of your families, and it’s still a traditional wedding.

Post # 7
7779 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

The one question you have to ask yourself: Will I regret not having a big wedding in 10 years?

If you can think about that and answer, honestly, no… then have the 12 person wedding.

Post # 8
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@zippylef:  The one question you have to ask yourself: Will I regret not having a big wedding in 10 years?

This is a very good question.  Unfortunately, I’ve heard too many friends regret the big wedding afterward even though they thought they wanted it and went through with it.  You could always have a big vow renewal down the road if you regret it.  All I can say is that I feel for you because I am in a very similiar situation with trying to decide whether a small wedding with a big casual party afterward is better than the big event.  Budget is really a guide here but so is the perspective of family drama over not being invited to the ceremony.  However, I think you got a good deal with the planner than can make it happen within your budget though.

Post # 9
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree with abbie017 – you are the only one that make this decision. That said, we faced a similar dilemma and here’s what we’re doing:

Fri – private ceremony at a state park (no fee for ceremony) with immediate family one (8 – including us!). Attendees will join us at our favorite Mexican food restraint. Not particularly fancy, but delicious and our favorite date spot!

Sat – 150 will celebrate with us at a heavy hors d’ourves reception. We’ll have a band, cake, and toasts but will be skipping bouquet toss, first dance, and other rituals I can’t think of right now. We’re doing a wine&beer bar, no hard alcohol. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how excited and enthusiastic our guests are about our reception plan.

As many Bees can attest, heavy hors d’ourves can be expensive (some places it’s as expensive as a plated meal) but for us it cut down SIGNIFICANTLY on the cost while simultaneously allowing for an intimate ceremony and large celebration. Again, this only works as a cost cutting measure in some places, not all. You might consider running this idea by your coordinator to see if this option would cut down on costs for you guys.

Post # 10
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

We had a small wedding and did it very nicely. Kind of rediculous for the amount of people we had. We ended up with 23 people total, inlcluding us. I will never regret it. It was great to allow the families to really get to know each other and all of our friends understood.

Here’s the photo’s blog of it if you want to see how it turned out.



Post # 11
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Just throwing it in here that I’m doing a 150-person wedding for $7,000 (everything exccept wedding rings and honeymoon)—but I’m planning everything myself, no event planner! Have you tried mixing and matching an arrangement of vendors on your own? I feel like simply getting rid of the horse-drawn carriage, band, and limo…finding a more affordable caterer…offering fewer alcohol options…you could cut thousands of dollars and be surrounded by EVERYONE and still have the budget be friendlier.  If you handle all the details yourself, you might be surprised how much you could save!

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