(Closed) Those of you who had or are going to have a small ceremony/reception

posted 8 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
2552 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

 I’m only having 30 and am so pumped about it!!! We are able to spend money where we want, not where we should! We are going to one of the nicest restaurants in Dallas and treating our 30 guests as well as possible. There wont be dancing since we aren’t a dancing couple… although we may still bust out a dance after the ceremony, who knows! Something that bothered me was having guests travel across the country to see me get married but not have the time to actually see them if we invited 100+ people for a traditional reception. So, the point is, if you invite 200 people, you wont really get to spend time with those extra people anyways. I just told people it will be very close friends and family only. People understood even after we sent out 70 STDs, they are grown adults and understand that life is more than “omg im not invited.”



Post # 4
4044 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@pokie45:  I would have a small wedding because I don’t have a big family and most of my friends are still single. If I invite everyone I know (and only FH’s relatived I have met personally) it maxes out at about 60 people.

Post # 5
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@pokie45: I’m having what I consider to be a small wedding, about 80-85 people. (Just immediate relatives and closest friends)

What was your reasoning?

It was primarily because we didn’t want it to be a big huge blow-out wedding with people we didn’t know. We didn’t want to deal with having to meet new people and make small talk (be it with distant relatives, friends-of-friends and their SOs, etc) with people we would most likely never speak with again.

Budget was the other reason (location was expensive — it was too perfect to give up lol. TBH we probably would have invited a few more people if the place weren’t so expensive, but we are very happy with our current guestlist just the same)


Do you regret it at all?

 I hope not! LOL

What did you tell friends/family members who weren’t invited? 

This was tough. In addition having our closest friends, we decided on inviting immediate family only (on both sides) and had to explain to everyone “due to the intimate nature of our wedding” we are unable to invite “plus ones” (unless they are married or engaged). 

But they were okay with it, I think. No hard feelings (THAT I KNOW OF HAHA)

**EDIT** oh, and to “friends” (more like “acquaintances you like better than others”) who were not invited, when the topic comes up I just say that we are having a ‘really small wedding with mostly family and a few close friends.'(An aside, I feel terrible for saying this but I feel that I am consciously making less of an effort to catch up with these ‘semi-friends’ because I am avoiding the awkward, ‘we’re getting married but can’t invite you’ conversation. Ah well)

How many people were in your wedding party?

3 BMs/GMs on each side 

What kind of food was served?

We are having a sit-down luncheon. 

Was there dancing? Etc etc.

We will have a dance floor, and FH and I will do a first dance… and we will invite others to join us on the dance floor… but it is not going to be a big part of the party because we are not big dancers AND it is also a day-time reception that will end before sun down. We are going to focus on entertainment during/after the meal (e.g. an interactive game or two, and live performances from my friends/family!)


Post # 6
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

We are having a small wedding (20 People!) and we really wanted to just have our closest family and friends with us. It was really hard figuring out a guest list for a wedding that we could afford- so we decided to cut it to the 20 people that needed to be there and do a destination wedding. When we get back we will have an informal party with all the friends that we love but couldn’t invite. It is nice to do things this way in that I felt like I wouldn’t hurt as many feelings but still give us the wedding we want. It’s nice because the destination wedding is going to be some much fun and about our families becoming one!

Post # 7
115 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We were going to have te same budget whether we had a large or small wedding, so we opted to do a no-expense-spaed Destination Wedding in Florida with our nearest and dearest & then have a reception at home for our family & friends. We didn’t want to have a super-large reception where we wouldn’t be able to actually spend time with our guests or have to meet distant relatives for the first time, etc. The idea to have a small but lavish Destination Wedding was easy for us.

We strategically designed our wedding party to make it easier to explain… five Bridesmaid or Best Man & Groomsmen, most of whom are half of a couple that we really wanted to invite. So it was family, Bridal Party and spouses, and us. Pretty simple and kept it under 75. So when all was said and done, explaining this to others was simple:

“We’re having a small private wedding at the beach with just our immediate family and bridal party, but we’d love to celebrate with you when we get back!”

And as to your last couple of questions, we did a few different parties in Florida (welcome party, rehearsal dinner, reception, and brunch) with open bar, DJ, dancing, etc. at the reception. It was basically a “fabulous wedding” that we could only afford to have if we kept our numbers down.

No regrets here!

Post # 8
4605 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

What was your reasoning?

Our guest list right now only has about 50 people, but I’m expecting more like 20 to show up. For the most part, I’ve never wanted a big wedding. I’d much rather have 20 of my closest friends and family come see my wedding than 100 people that I don’t really know. Plus, I’ll get to interact more with my guests. 

Do you regret it at all?

I don’t think I will. 

What did you tell friends/family members who weren’t invited? 

I haven’t actually announced much of anything since I’m still in the early stages of getting things together, but I’m just going to tell them that due to the intimate nature of the wedding, I won’t be able to invite plus ones (exceptions are for married couples or for couples who are aleady dating/engaged/living together at the time invitations go out). Originally we wanted a child free wedding, but we realized that we only have around four kids that are under the age of 10, so we just decided to forego that drama and let those kids come. 

How many people were in your wedding party?

I am having two MsOH. I think FH might ask his dad to be his best man, but I don’t think he’ll have anyone else. 

What kind of food was served? 

It’s going to be a buffet style with finger foods. I’m not sure what exactly will be served because I haven’t talked to the caterer on site, but I plan to next month.

Was there dancing

FH and I don’t dance, but there will be music and a space for people to dance if they want to. I doubt that anyone will though. 

Post # 9
11050 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@pokie45: We had 51, mainly because i’ve got a small family. I could’ve invited a few more people who I used to work with but I don’t hear from them enough to justify inviting them, if you know what I mean, not meaning to sound mean.

Looking back i don’t regret it there was a nice relaxed feel.

i wasn’t in the situation of having not invited anyone.

There was one best man, one groomsman, my step-dad, mum and three BMs

Because of less numbers than the average wedding we were able o choose excellent food.

We had a disco too as I love to dance, admittedly not every one danced, it was the same group of people, including me the whole night, but I’ve noticed this at larger weddings  too though. 

Post # 10
1966 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We are currently planning our wedding for 65 guest. 

What was your reasoning? Our original guest list had 120 guest on it. We could either afford to have a crappy wedding for 120 guest or the beautiful wedding of our dreams for 65. The guest we cut were all extended family and old coworkers. People who we’d like to have but would understand that we were keeping it to close family and very few close friends. 


 Do you regret it at all? I don’t think we will regret it. 



What did you tell friends/family members who weren’t invited? People are constantly asking about the wedding and we tell them we are having a small intimate wedding with our immediate family and very few friends. They have been incredibly understanding. They pretty much know we are paying for it ourselves and have offered good wishes. 

How many people were in your wedding party? 4bm 4gm and our dd as our fg

What kind of food was served? Lavish cocktail hour, sit down dinner and Viennese hour. 



Was there dancing? of course! My family and friends are partiers. We will have a huge dance floor and awesome dj to dance the night away. 

Post # 11
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We had just about 70 people, and zero regrets. We only invited people we know and love. No distant cousins or friendfree haven’t seen in 10 years, no random co-workers. 

Bridal party was 6: 2 Bridesmaid or Best Man, 2 Groomsmen, a MoH and a best man. Our absolute favorite people, and we had ZERO drama (except Bestie didn’t o a good job on his toast but whatevs)

food: 4 passed apps during cocktail hour, 3-course plated meal (total of 4 entree choices including tenderloin and mahi mahi), sweets/coffee station. Amazing cake. Open bar. Top notch food. We got lots of compliments.

we did have a small dance floor; could have devoted more space to it, but our crowd is more of the cocktails-and-socialization crowd, and not the nonstop dancers.

for people not invited, I simply did not discuss the wedding, and for those who hinted for an invite, I didn’t even acknowledge their hints. I had one aunt, and a friend of my sister’s, who were both particularly pushy but since I don’t like them and DH doesn’t even know them, they didn’t make the list.

fwiw we had a relatively high budget for a smaller guest list (~$25k includimg rings, dress, and the hotels we covered for the bridal party and dh’s parents) and paid ourselves, no parental contributions other tHan a little cash my mom gave about 6 months before, to use for “whatever we wanted.” We made these choices because we would rather have spent more per head and only had our most favorite people than cut back per head and pack the place. REALLY glad we did that. Was an amazing day.

Post # 12
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

We invited 80 for my first wedding and about 50 attended. It was so much fun! Both of us knew everyone and we were able to spend time with each of our guests. We had the reception at a restaurant and yes there was dancing. We didn’t have any attendants. We told uninvited people we were having a very small wedding and unfortunately we didn’t have the space to invite everyone we knew.

I have since divorced and am getting married a second time. We are also having a small wedding where we plan to invite 80 and expect 50 to attend. No regrets here for having a smaller wedding. Smile

Post # 13
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

What was your reasoning?

We were planning to do a big evening wedding with all of our family (of which Fiance and I have a lot) and friends. In the end, it just got too expensive. We cut down our guest list drastically, from 110 to 55. We decided to do invite only our closest family and friends, and are throwing an awesome laidback brunch reception. Everyone has been super supporitve of our decision so far!

Do you regret it at all?

I seriously doubt we will. 

What did you tell friends/family members who weren’t invited? 

We haven’t had to tell anyone they aren’t invited. I suppose this may come up as we get closer to the wedding, but for the most part, the people we are in constant contact with are invited. If we are directly asked, though, I’ll just be honest and say it was about money and space constraints. 

How many people were in your wedding party?


What kind of food was served?

We are doing a brunch, with fruit and cheese spread as an appetizer, as well as cookies and brownies for dessert.

Was there dancing? Etc etc.

There definitely will be! Even though it’s brunch, there will be tons of our friends there who will be down to boogie. We won’t be doing a lot of the traditional things, like bouquet toss, garter toss, cake cutting, but there will be booze, toasts, and lots of fun family and friends to keep the party going. 

Post # 14
2874 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

What was your reasoning? Do you regret it at all? What did you tell friends/family members who weren’t invited? 

I have social anxiety. The idea of a typical mexican wedding here with several hundred people makes me feel physically sick. Ill still be nervous in front of 50, but it will be far more manageable than a bigger wedding

How many people were in your wedding party? What kind of food was served? Was there dancing? Etc etc.

4 bridesmaids – 2 friends, my sister and fi’s sister. theyre flying out from england to mexico (where i live) for my wedding so i wanted them to be part of my bridal party and have a bunch of lovely photos with them. We will have a cocktail hour with loads of different hors d’oeuvres, 3 course meal then a midnight snack. There will also be a full open bar all night. Dancing – definitely (can’t imagine a mexican wedding where there wasnt dancing haha)

Im certain i wont regret it, its shaping up to be my perfect wedding!!


Post # 15
4654 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We’re having around 45-50.


1. We po’. We so po’ we can’t afford the second half of the word. We’d rather treat a small group to something awesome than have something forgettable and mediocre for everyone we’ve ever met.

2. I’m not close with my family, we have only a small group of friends, and I don’t especially like crowds.


5 groomsmen and 5 bridesmaids. Seems like a lot probably but it’s what we wanted. There’s an appetizer/cocktail hour plus a dinner in the form of stations. Tables are of 4. We expect drinking and dancing, as the space should fit well and the setup of the meal should lend itself to mingling. 😀

No one’s been rude enough to invite themselves thus far, but if anyone asks, “it’s gonna be really small” should suffice, I hope. I think everyone knows where we’re at with money anyway.

Post # 16
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We had 40 people at our wedding in October.  We invited immediate family and our closest friends (people we’ve seen/talked to within the last year).

What was your reasoning? Neither of us wanted a big wedding.

Do you regret it at all? Not one bit. It was perfect.  (I even had a couple of our friends say they wished they had done a small wedding instead of the big wedding that they had.)

What did you tell friends/family members who weren’t invited? Our parents told any aunts/uncles that asked that it would just be immediate family.  Since our closest friend were there, we didn’t have to tell anyone they weren’t invited.

How many people were in your wedding party? We didn’t have a wedding party.  

What kind of food was served? We had dinner stations. 

Was there dancing? Yes, but our DJ did say his job can be tougher with small weddings.

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