(Closed) Tell me about your small wedding! (50ish guests or less)

posted 6 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
2868 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We had an awesome wedding.  We invited 50 people and ended up with 35 guests.  It was perfect and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  We had it in a rustic venue, with the ceremony outside under the redwoods and the reception inside in a lodge.  Still, we spent a fair amount of money to get great food, lots of drinks, nice table linens/plates/silverware, and a great DJ.  It was casual, but NICE casual, ya know?  We did BBQ (cooked on a big BBQ that was driven to the site) with a buffet-style meal, but it certainly felt nicer than just a backyard BBQ.  Everyone had a great time!! 

Post # 4
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Ours is going to be that size. It’s still going to be formal, though. The reception won’t be super traditional (we’re not having dancing, it will be more like a dinner party). 

Post # 5
1037 posts
Bumble bee

For our wedding, we’re only inviting ~55 people (and expecting only ~30 to actually attend). And we’re also on a tight budget. We’ve chosen specific areas to ‘splurge’ on.

We decided to splurge on: 1, the tent itself (because that’s where the guests are going to be hanging out all night,); and 2, the food.

The tent is going to have a fancy ceiling liner (so you can’t see the poles holding it up) and it will have the french door side-walls, and great lighting. Tables will have white linens, and real silverware/plates.

As for food, we’re still doing a buffet style dinner, from a local well-loved BBQ restaurant. Again, because we’re having so few guests, we went the extra mile and have the biggest food package within reason, so the guests could try/eat as much as they wanted. We’re also renting a cotton candy machine, and having a candy table. As for booze, we’re having bottles of wine (nice quality), and 2 mixed cocktails in self-serving pitchers (made from good quality vodka, and bourbon). 

So aside from that, my dress is going to be about $500, I’m doing my own makeup, hiring a friend to do my hair, my Fiance and I are making our centerpieces for the tables (I’m currently in DIY hell, lol,) and I got a great deal on my photographer (I emailed about 10 photogs, and only 3 responded. Of those 3, only 1 was willing to work within my budget. So don’t be afraid to email a bunch of photographers! One is bound to be awesome and willing to help you!), and we got a great deal on a DJ (again, emailed a bunch of them to see which one will be willing to do our wedding within our budget).

I think you need to decide which areas of your wedding day are most important for you, and then go from there. 🙂


Post # 6
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I loved our small destination wedding!  72 were invited, 51 said yes, and 48 actually showed up (all had to drive a minimum of 5 hours one-way, so everyone stayed the night).  It was so much fun yet intimate, and we got to talk to every individual. 

The day after the wedding, my sister’s husband commented that our wedding was perfectly balanced between casual and formal.  Looking back, a large part of this was due to OUR attitude that day.  Guests will take the cue on how to behave/react based on the bride & groom. 

But as far as concrete examples go…

On the FORMAL side –

  • Held a ceremony with cultural aspects (tea ceremony, water ceremony, etc)
  • We wore Vietnamese wedding finery
  • Cocktail hour with served hors d’oeuvres and a bartender
  • Music and announcements provided by a DJ
  • Toasts & dancing
  • Professional cake

On the CASUAL side – 

  • Events were all outdoor
  • No attendants
  • Ceremony and vows had lighthearted moments
  • Yard games and juggling equipment set up for guests to play with during cocktail hour and reception
  • Guests were told to wear whatever made them comfortable because their transportation to-&-from the ceremony was a caravan of open-air Jeeps (most ended up in nice sundresses and biz casual)
  • Table centerpieces were DIY with branches and origami but no flowers or candles
  • Buffet dinner
  • We treated it like a big party

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