Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Regret having a smaller wedding vs a bigger wedding?

Just curious to see if any married ladies have regretted opting for a smaller wedding after considering a bigger one? My guest list is at 180 right now, extended family, family friends, and college friends, but I'm thinking of cutting it down to 50 to just be our closest family friends... I'm undecided if I would regret not having a large celebration though. Any insight would be greatly appreciated! :)

«1

Re: Regret having a smaller wedding vs a bigger wedding?

  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I wanted a large wedding, but DH didn't. We compromised and invited 35 people. My wedding was absolutely amazing and I don't regret having a smaller wedding for even a second. It was great to be able to spend so much time with the people closest to us. The only issue was people complaining that they weren't invited. They have gotten over it though.
    image
  • My first wedding, maybe 20 people. Second wedding, about 280. 

    I would vote for a smaller wedding, any day. You can give a better quality experience to the people you truly care about. 

    Think of this- average reception lasts 4 hours. 240 minutes. Divide that time between 180 guests, and you can spend about 1 and a third minutes with each guest. Which means hardly any time to even say hello. What's the point of having guests you can barely manage to socialize with? 

    Take that down to 50 guests, and you have almost 5 minutes per guest. 

    Plus, you can probably afford a better food and bar menu for 50. 

    My daughter went with 50 guests. (Smart girl.) 
    thisismynickname2PeanutTapioca1Knottie1448825336
  • JasperandOpalJasperandOpal member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    edited February 2015
    My wedding ended up being 40 people (invited 50).  It was perfect.  It was enough people to be fun and fill our small dance floor all night long but still completely manageable so that my husband and I could stop and talk to everyone who came.  Our food was delicious because we could afford to feed people well.  We didn't have to stress too much about DIY things because we didn't have to make 300 thingamabobs, just 40 (and that meant we could do a ton of DIY and keep our spending low).  We came in way under budget.  

    The small size also means that things move quickly, or at least they did for me.  By that I mean that, despite doing tons of research on wedding schedules, we were ahead of schedule the entire time.  Our ceremony was short, family photos took no time at all, buffet services was super quick (only 7 tables included our sweetheart table).  That meant there was more time to mingle and enjoy our time with the people who came to celebrate with us, which is what I think the point of the reception is. 

    There were a few people I wish had been there who couldn't make it (the 10 people invited who couldn't come) but otherwise I have no complaints and would not even consider trade my small wedding for a big wedding.

    That said, only you can decide if you need to have a bigger wedding.  I know that when we were cutting down the guest list (we started with the "everyone we know" list and reduced down to a "people we can't imagine not having there list") we ran into the issue of invitation circles- by that I mean, sometimes there are friend circles and you feel like if you invite one person from that circle you have to invite everyone.  This was more of an issue for my husband but it was still a concern he had and we had to deal with that.  We were also lucky in that, while our wedding was local for us, it was kind of destination for a lot of our family so there were people we knew right off the bat would not be able to come (my extended family live in England, we live in California and my sister got married a few months earlier, during the summer, so a lot of relatives chose to come out for that wedding). 

    edit: my text was strange looking, couldn't leave it like that.
  • THANK YOU LADIES! I appreciate your insight! 
  • I'm going to echo what others have said… We invited 65 people and 60 attended. It was perfect. 

    The people in attendance were only our closest and dearest which created a very intimate and emotional atmosphere during the ceremony. And, during the reception, we had the opportunity to have a real conversation with everyone rather than a quick hug/thank you for coming.

    Finally, we were able to have the wedding at a beautiful venue, had delicious food, and didn't cost a fortune to have nice decorations because we didn't need many centrepieces and the rooms weren't huge. 

    All that being said, it may not be practical for you to have a smaller wedding if you have big families and all family members expect to be invited. It can be difficult to go against those expectations and it can create hurt or animosity that lingers. 
  • No. I am only sad that the 30 people we invited but couldn't make it weren't there. We invited 80 and had 50. My husband was clear on wanting a small wedding (he actually wanted to invite 40), and so was our budget.
  • Mine was 45 people and I don't regret having it small, in fact I wish it had been even slightly smaller so I could have spent more time talking with some of the people.
  •    We had 14 guests. I wouldn't have it any other way. It was only a few months ago, but I'm positive that I won't regret it later. 

    JennyColada
  • I'll be the odd one out here.  I had a very large wedding (300ish) and I'm so glad that I did.  Everywhere I turned someone was hugging me and telling me that they loved me, and it was probably the only time in my life that this will happen on such a large scale.  Getting all of our family members, mentors, friends, and people who have watched us grow up was just such a special thing that I'm having a hard time putting it into words.  

    There was so much love and excitement in the room and I think that everyone felt a part of it.  We had a live band and everyone boogied.  I have awesome, funny pictures of my husband's friends dancing with my older aunts and neighbors and I don't think we could have gotten that with a smaller wedding.  

    I can see the merits to both.  It's a personal thing: you just have to go with your gut and pick what is best for you.  As long as you are hosting your guests appropriately there really isn't one way that is necessarily better than the other.  
    photo a9462148-4aa2-44d9-90ce-7f8b4d94b393_zps20ae9070.jpg
    rcher912SP29AJC430Knottie6394f6b22a913594
  • I'll be the odd one out here.  I had a very large wedding (300ish) and I'm so glad that I did.  Everywhere I turned someone was hugging me and telling me that they loved me, and it was probably the only time in my life that this will happen on such a large scale.  Getting all of our family members, mentors, friends, and people who have watched us grow up was just such a special thing that I'm having a hard time putting it into words.  

    There was so much love and excitement in the room and I think that everyone felt a part of it.  We had a live band and everyone boogied.  I have awesome, funny pictures of my husband's friends dancing with my older aunts and neighbors and I don't think we could have gotten that with a smaller wedding.  

    I can see the merits to both.  It's a personal thing: you just have to go with your gut and pick what is best for you.  As long as you are hosting your guests appropriately there really isn't one way that is necessarily better than the other.  
    I agree with all of this. I really had my heart set on a small wedding, but DH and his family were just not having it. So I went with it. We still didn't have a huge wedding (invited 180, ended up having around 140), but it was much bigger than I ever imagined my wedding would be. AND I LOVED IT. I had so much anxiety about people I didn't know super well being there, but even people I had never met before were SO NICE and SO HAPPY and having everyone there was SO MUCH FUN. I'm so glad it happened just the way it happened. 
    rcher912
  • I had a small wedding (we had 50ish I think).  I think both FI and I were a little sad because there were people what we would've liked to invite and couldn't, but the alternative would have been to open up very large social circles that would've resulted in a very long guest list that we couldn't afford.  Also, I didn't really want a "traditional" wedding (DJ, dancing) so we just hosted a nice dinner at a restaurant after.  I think it would've been more difficult to do that if it was a larger wedding.  It did end a bit earlier than a typical wedding but that was ok; a few close friends went out to the bar after and it was nice.  Also, even with only 50 people and no DJ, it ended up being quite expensive, so I can't imagine our guest list being 2-3x longer.  I think ultimately you'll end up being happy with how your day turned out regardless if you have a large wedding or a small wedding so do what you're comfortable with.
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    22 guests. Loved every second and I would never want a huge affair. But it's not for everyone.

                                                                     

    image

    rcher912JennyColada
  • We had like 80 guests. If I could do it again I think I'd go even smaller!
    rcher912
  • We invited 240 and if we could go back and do it all over again we have both said we would have a destination wedding with maybe a dozen people.


    Knottie1457457101
  • annathy03annathy03 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited February 2015
    We had 102 (I think) come, and like others with larger weddings it was nice seeing so many loving faces in the same day.  We actually invited way more and I'm glad looking back we had a smaller turnout, because with 100 I still felt rushed at times to make sure I got around to everyone.

    ETA: I don't regret our guest list a bit, but if I were to do it all again it'd be smaller so I could spend more time with our absolute closest.
  • kaitlynmichellekaitlynmichelle British Columbia member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Name Dropper
    I had 12 guests and it was perfect. We spent so much time with each person and it was a lot of fun!
    imageDaisypath Anniversary tickers
    JennyColada
  • I am inviting 100 but since I know there will be declines I assume I will end up with 80-90 
    And that sounds lovely to me. 
    My sister had a small wedding of 15 people including herself and her husband. It was just gracious and so beautiful. 

  • We invited 112 and had 72. Loved it.

    Personally, I don't think I would have liked a bigger wedding, even with the number of guests we had I still found myself thinking later, "Did I spend enough time talking to everyone??". 

    I also liked the size of room we had to accommodate the number of guests. I'm not into super big ball rooms for weddings (other events, yes)- feels too cavernous to me. My personal feeling is that weddings should be more intimate events. But this is a very personal thing. 
  • vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    We had 58 people including kids and it was wonderful.  Once we decided to have a "small" wedding a lot of stress was lifted.  As other people have mentioned, you truly get to hang out with everyone.  Our friends who hadn't met before got along really well and loved having 3 party days together.  I think some people were offended that they weren't invited (friends who invited me to their weddings years ago, parents' friends) but they got over it.  

    From a financial perspective, I would rather pay for a quality meal and open bar for smaller number of people, than offering a mediocre meal to lots of guests.  But that's just my opinion.  Because we kept it small, we had money left over to spend on our house.

    After going through the whole wedding planning process my advice is to keep things simple.  There are so many details you don't need that nobody notices.  
    JasperandOpal
  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    We had 25 guests at ours and it was absolutely perfect.  It was awesome having it so intimate and actually being able to spend time and hang out with each of our most loved guests. 

    image 

    JennyColada
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    We had a small wedding (5 guests, 8 invited) and I couldn't imagine a more perfect wedding for me and DH. Neither of us ever wanted a large affair (we are both relatively private and introverted).

    Our small WP size gave us a lot of versatility in doing what we wanted to do.

    I mean, how many people can afford to have their wedding at a Michelin-starred restaurant? :smiley:
    mrscomposertojai
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer

    Plus, you can probably afford a better food and bar menu for 50. 
    Oh I just saw this.

    Yes, I agree, and my parents and in laws can vouch for this!
  • larrygagalarrygaga Czechoslovakia member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    edited April 2015
    We were forced into a big wedding due to us both having huge families and our parents wanting to invite a lot of people we don't know. They are helping to pay, so we are okay with that.

    However, our 200 person guest list includes about 40 people I have never met, all of whom are coming. Although I am a social butterfly and I don't mind talking to new people, FI is having some anxiety. It also seems more romantic to have a small wedding.

    We had to sacrifice a few things here and there to be able to afford that many people. There are downsides to both small weddings and big weddings!

    What's important to you?
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image

    charlotte989875
  • I WANTED a small intimate family and close friends wedding.. the guest list is up to 192 and that is with only family and a couple of close friends. I guess I was underestimating the size of my massive family! 

    I have been to both big and small and both can be beautiful and fun!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I wanted a larger wedding but I'm very happy with the amount that I had. I feel if I would have kept the big wedding it would be  have been as intimate and personable as it was. 115 guests was the perfect amount of guest compared to the 200 we wanted. 

  • We had invited about 130 but only had 85-90 actually come.  Most of the declines were from my mom's side of the family since my cousin got married 3 weeks before my wedding and most of the family could only manage to fly out and get time off work for one wedding.  While I would have loved if they could have been there, our wedding ended up being more personal with the 85-90 guests.  Even then I barely felt like I got to talk to everybody!
  • I wanted a small destination wedding with just immediate family. That's what I always dreamed of. But since my father unexpectedly passed away a couple of years ago, his absence would be much more felt if we chose to do a small, immediate-family-only wedding. It's hard enough know he won't be there now, and we are at over 200 on the guest list so far. I wish I could plan the wedding of my dreams, but this big party makes my FI happy, so I'm happy because of that.
    Knottie1457457101
  • So, we had a large wedding (260 invited, 180 attend) and it was great, and we had a ton of fun. But, we both have said if we had to do it all over again we would not have had such a big wedding. There was a lot of drama going into the planning; parents paid, they had ideas about how exactly they wanted things, and most of the guest list was people they wanted. There were people we didn't even know there.

    If we were to do it all again, we would have declined the money from my parents and thrown a small party that we could have afforded on our own.
  • cgss11cgss11 member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary
    We invited 51, and had 35 (we gave plus ones to everyone, and many didn't bring one). It was absolutely perfect! Plenty of time to talk and spend quality time with everyone, and also for DH and I to just enjoy ourselves together.
    Knottie1457457101
  • When we first made the list of people we could invite to our wedding it was up over 100 people, we discussed it and decided that the only people we wanted there were the ones that were actively involved in our lives, so from 100 to settled on 80, day of we had 45 show up. It was perfect, we were able to mingle with everyone, have actual conversations get great candid shots with groups of our families and friends. I loved my small wedding.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards