(Closed) So who’s actually been to an intimate wedding?

posted 11 years ago in Logistics
Post # 17
4460 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@sapphirebride: I agree. Just because you have 100 people doesn’t mean it’s not intimate. I am trying to involve my guest as much as I can. We are having a welcome picnic, guests will be a part of the ceremony, ect

Post # 18
400 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Our ceremony had 12 people in attendance and we had a family style outside picnic reception with about 35-40 people. No dancing because we’re shy and it was mostly family anyways (5 people in attendance that aren’t related to us) We still did the sit down buffet style meal, cake cutting (though it was a rice krispy treat cake) dessert bar, favors etc. The best thing about it was that the guests had time to enteract with each other and we had time to talk to everyone! The kids got to play without causing a scene and it was honestly just a relaxed good time. Kinda like a big family gathering. Wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Post # 19
242 posts
Helper bee

My sister and Brother-In-Law had 25 guests at their wedding, with a $2500 bar tab.  Needless to say, there was plenty of dancing and debauchery.  It was a great time.

I would love to have a wedding that size, but since this is likely the only wedding my Future Mother-In-Law will get to have (my Future Brother-In-Law is very unlikely to ever get married), we have to have a bigger wedding to include all of his extended family members or there will be some serious hurt feelings.

Post # 20
3330 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@veganglam:  This doesn’t quite count, but it’s close, so I’m going to share anyway :). I attended a wedding once that had over a hundred people, but by the time dinner was over and the dancing started, there were about twenty of us left. We were pretty much all on the dance floor and it was a great time. I think it depends a lot on who your guests are on whether or not they’re going to dance, regardless of size :). 

Post # 22
7086 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I was at a wedding last year that was very intimate.  They had about 50 people.  It was a nice Lutheran wedding, but very formal (men all in tuxes women in evening gowns).  They had a great cocktail hour with piano music.  During dinner they had a slide show with pictures of them with each of the guests, everyone loved it.  Instead of a guest book they came around with picture matte for each of the guests to sign and took pictures with each guest.  It was a really nice touch.  Under each plate instead of favors they wrote a nice personal handwritten thank you note for coming to celebrate with them.  A week after the wedding I got the thank you card for the gift that included a copy of the photo we took with the bride and groom.  It was one of my favorite weddings I have been to. 

Post # 23
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

One of my best friends had a wedding with about 25 people in attendance. It was simple, beautiful, and totally them. I loved it.

Post # 24
608 posts
Busy bee

I’ve been to two smaller weddings.  One was just the perfect example of a dear little wedding that worked perfectly, and the other was…an example of reasons that sometimes a small wedding isn’t the best choice… even if you think it is…

The first example was the second wedding for the bride.  She is a lifelong family friend and I was part of the “house party” group for her first wedding.  The groom is also from my hometown, and was her buddy before she figured out that she loved him.  (The first husband was from another country…and it just didn’t work out.)  They chose to get married in a historic courthouse with their closest family and friends.  (I’m all for weddings at a Church..but somehow this wedding just matched this couple…and I think it’s a beautiful part of God’s plans for them.)  They had a reception at a historic mansion across the street from the courthouse, and it was just a festive party.  It had all the elements of a larger wedding… dining, dancing, and dessert…but was sized to match the group.  We literally danced in a hallway, and our meal seemed more like a large family dinner party than a wedding reception.  She wore a beautiful sheath gown and it was festive and fun and very intimate and definitely for adults.  (I really like family weddings with kids, but in this case… the wedding couple didn’t have kids, and the age of the guests’ children meant that they were happier at home with a babysitter.)

The second example was a first wedding for both the bride and the groom.  They both came from very large families who reside fairly close to the wedding location.  I was a close friend of the bride, and because of that I knew some extra details that made the smallness of the wedding more uncomfortable rather than fun.  To begin with… the bride made calls to several friends immediately following her engagement who were not included in the wedding.  (If you think they are important enough to call (long distance) within 20 minutes of being engaged… then they must be good friends… so unless you are only having absolute immediate family… (your parents, children, and siblings…) then such friends probably should be included.  (She was engaged at Niagara Falls, but the wedding was basically 5 to 10 minutes from these mutual friends homes.)  The groom had lost his mom to cancer a few years earlier but was the last sibling in his family to marry.  He had many siblings who added spouses and multiple children to the event.  The bride wanted a small wedding with 50-50 guest lists… but she only had one sister, Brother-In-Law, and an infant nephew.  So… her guest list included aunts, uncles, and multiple sets of friends…  (The groom had NO aunts, uncles, or cousins at the event, primarily because the bride wanted fairness in number…I  (She included her friends infant children rather than any of his aunts and uncles.)  As a guest knowing the details of who was being excluded.. because of the bride’s rationalizations rather than being sensible and honoring family relationships was definitely uncomfortable.  She also excluded her cousins rationalizing that they wouldn’t care… but this is the same girl whose family exchanges gifts with the cousins every Christmas…  her theory was… we’ll have them for a picnic later…  (It was definitely uncomfortable, when you knew that they did in fact care, and would have liked to have been included.)  It wasn’t a case of the couple couldn’t afford more…but rather that the bride commanded it all, and missed out on sharing her joy with some special people in the groom’s life and within her own… primarily because she wanted it HER WAY.   (I don’t mean to sound snarky… but rather to demonstrate that at least in this case the small wedding wasn’t the best choice.)  I actually think that if she had just added a couple more people.. because of their relationship to the groom… it wouldn’t have been quite as uncomfortable. 

I think the difference between the two weddings was how people were included.  In the first situation, the couple included only their closest friends and family members.  As a guest, you felt that the group represented both families and and friends in a balanced way, and not to the point that you felt that someone was excluded because of numbers…  The second wedding was oddly mixed.  The groom may have had a large immediate family but his larger generational family was not represented.  The large number of kids in his number list of must haves… meant that he wasn’t “allowed” to have other guests, and so he really missed out on having some people who have supported him for a long time.  I think in a way, the fact that his mother died also affected the way in which the wedding was planned.  As bees, we know that the MOB and Future Mother-In-Law are phrases we read regularly.  In his case, there was no family advocate on his side… looking at the logistics from a balanced view. 

Post # 25
27 posts
  • Wedding: June 2011

We are having an intimate wedding next June. There will be 22 people including my fiancé and I. At first I wasn’t sure how it would work but now I’m super excited. It’s going to be super formal and will be held at a very nice five diamond place called the American Club. Our invitations will be hand written and we plan to add a lot of personal touches to emphasize how much we appreciate our guests. I’m not sure what exactly these personal touches will be but whatever we decide I know it will be lovely.


Post # 26
455 posts
Helper bee

i agree with sapphirebride that a small wedding isnt’ necessary intimate.

we had 60 guests for our wedding which isn’t exactly “small”, but everyone i talked to the day of and after the wedding said that it was “very cozy and intimate”.

we had everything that a big wedding would have: sit-down meal, dancing, cake-cutting. we also had a candy buffet and a DIY photobooth. we had people blow bubbles as we did our grand entrance and first dance and we performed 2 songs (i sang, DH played guitar) during the reception. we also went around tables to make sure we talk to EVERYONE and personally thank them for joining us that day.

but i think the main reason that made our wedding “cozy & intimate” was the locations we chose for our ceremony and reception. the chapel we got married can only accommodate 100ppl MAX, so even though around 50 guests attended our ceremony, the seats still looked pretty full. we chose to host our reception at the COURTYARD of a hotel because we felt that a banquet room would look too “cold” for us.

Post # 27
2297 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

We had a dozen guests at our wedding, and it was wonderful! On my side, the guests were almost all immediate family, although we included my ex-husband and his sister.  NotFroofy was not inviting family, so we agreed that she could pick out several close friends to invite.

We took the front row of seats, and arranged them in a semi-circle around the chuppah (Jewish wedding canopy).  Every guest got a front row seat.  And every guest was a participant, not just a spectator.  Two were our attendants.  One was a reader.  Seven gave the traditional seven blessings.  One made the video.  One ran the CD of ceremony music. One gave the blessing over bread after the ceremony.  It was warm and relaxed.  At one point, when we mislaid the pen that we were going to use to sign the ketubah (Jewish wedding contract), we just stopped the ceremony long enough to ask if someone had an acid-free pen.  Oh, and all our guests signed the ketubah as witnesses.

Our reception was a luncheon in the private dining room of a nearby restaurant.  We didn’t try to do music, dancing, bouquet or garter toss, cake-cutting, etc.  However, we were able to sit everyone around one large table, so we weren’t having to run around to talk to all our guests.  With so few people, we could afford to serve them really good food and wine.  (Entree choices included filet mignon or lobster.)

Finally, we were able to rent a huge Victorian house to accommodate all of the guests (and two dogs).  Thus, instead of seeing our guests only at formal events, we were able to hang out with them all day.  We had pizza delivered the night before the wedding.  People were able to get breakfast the morning of the wedding.  We served hamburgers for dinner after the wedding.  And then we had breakfast the morning after the wedding.

Post # 28
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Yep I have been to one. They had about 25 people total. It was awesome – it was what I had wanted for my own wedding buuuut my in laws weren’t up for it. Everything was beautiful. They didn’t skip out on any of the traditions. It was an outdoor country wedding. The size definitely didn’t make it any less fun. If anything I thought it was nice that I didn’t have to move past 100 people I didn’t know to get a drink.

Post # 29
3674 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

We had 30 people for the ceremony, and 90 for the reception. I loved everything about it! We were able to spend more time and money on things b/c it wasn’t so huge. We didn’t do most of the traditional aspects during the reception (no dancing, bouquet toss, cake cutting, etc) but that’s just b/c I’m not into that stuff.

Post # 30
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We had 45 guests at our ceremony/reception, and still had a “normal” wedding. Ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner/dancing reception with cake cutting, toasts, bouquet/garter toss, etc.


If anyone has questions, I’m totally happy to help!

Post # 31
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I had 35 guests at my wedding this past weekend. We did skip out on some traditional elements (no bouquet toss, cake, father/daughter dance) and downsized others (just a maid of honor and best man, but no more people in the bridal party)—but we skipped these things because we wanted to, not because of the size of the wedding. The reception had a cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. And we had a whole lot of dancing! We did DJ with an IPod, and I think that was easier to do with a small wedding than it would be with a large one.

We had a dinner with our families the night before and went out to a bar with our friends that night, and had a brunch the next morning. Between all of those events, we got to spend a lot of time with all of our guests. Having a smaller wedding meant less stress, more money available for good food/open bar, and that everyone who was there was someone we knew and liked. I would not have done it any other way.

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