Does your dream wedding include a grand ceremony in a prominent church or hall, hundreds of guests, and a reception with a sit-down meal and dancing until dawn? Or do you often find yourself daydreaming of something simpler and more intimate?
The trend towards smaller weddings allows couples to enjoy time with their closest friends and relatives, with higher-end meals and more luxurious special touches to create truly memorable moments. But is a small wedding right for you? Here we look at the pros and cons of smaller weddings to help you decide.
Pros of Small Weddings
Here are the arguments for planning a small wedding.
- Fewer Expenses
A small, intimate wedding means fewer expenses. Even things such as bonbonniere mementos for guests, programs, and invitations on a smaller scale lead to significant savings.
- Higher quality
Since you are saving on the guest list, you can splurge in areas you otherwise might have skimped. That includes a more decadent menu, a prettier dress, a more impressively fashioned wedding party, extravagant flowers, a higher-end photographer, a specialized band, a stunning cake — you get the picture!
As mentioned above, you can enjoy a higher quality of everything, including the wedding dress. Wedding attire is expensive and can eat up a large amount of your budget. Most brides have their hearts set on a particular style or even a specific designer, which gets costly. With a small wedding, brides get the dress they want, and the fashion-savvy groom has his pick of stylish tuxes.
- Low maintenance planning
Small weddings are easier to plan with fewer logistical challenges with seating plans, finding a large enough venue, doing any DIY projects like making little mementoes, doing your own centrepieces, etc. You may also find planning more peaceful because you have agreed in advance the guest list is short, which removes all the frustrating decisions and debate about your father in law’s best friend’s business partner or your mother’s long time hairdresser.
- Intimate affair
Large weddings are daunting, with an endless parade of strangers, all looking for a chance to kiss the bride and shake hands with the groom. You never get a moment’s peace to take in the romance and beauty of the day. With small weddings, you can actually enjoy your guests, have intimate conversations, and spend quality moments with the people you care the most about in the world.
- Interesting wedding venues
Large weddings call for large venues. That can limit your choices and rule out more interesting options better suited to your personality and sense of style. Small wedding venues are intimate, charming and relaxed.
- Better décor
You can embrace your design theme when your budget goes further. Whether it is opulent crystal chandeliers and ornate candelabras, charming heritage pieces, or a more eclectic seating arrangement with lounge furniture perfectly suited to the intimacy of small weddings, the sky is the limit for how far you take your theme and décor. The small wedding venues available provide less room to contend with, so everything is on a smaller scale but can be all the more exciting.
- Less thank you cards
Writing out thank you cards for wedding gifts takes time. It also takes some coordination when you open your gifts to ensure you track who gave what to make each thank you card more personal. The larger the wedding, the more notes you have to send.
- Dream honeymoon
Just imagine where you can go and how much more time you can spend on a honeymoon with the money you save. You can go anywhere in the world, or simply take more time off to spend time together as newlyweds.
Cons of Small Weddings
While the arguments for a small wedding can be pretty convincing, keep in mind there are some cons to consider:
- Guestlist restrictions
Although it’s nice to have a small, intimate wedding, facing your family and future in-laws with guest restrictions can prove difficult. Although smaller weddings should mean less stress, the fear of offending those you don’t invite and managing both families’ expectations can be more stressful than you’d expect.
- More confrontation and conflict
It starts with your parents and in-laws and escalates from there. It can be tough to answer questions and to explain why only certain people are invited. Many people won’t understand why you won’t accommodate their requests to include certain people. If you aren’t prepared to face challenge after challenge and defend yourself over and over again, a small wedding might prove too much.
- Missed opportunities
Smaller weddings mean fewer guests, so you could miss out on opportunities for moments and unexpectedly large gifts. You’ll have fewer gifts, and many newlyweds use cash gifts for important purchases from new appliances or to money towards a home.
There are many regrets you might have following a small wedding, as stories come out about disappointments or elderly loved ones not invited who pass away. You won’t see a favourite elderly aunt celebrating this long-anticipated moment or miss out on reconnecting with your old pals from college. If you’re not both totally on board with the idea, these missed moments can lead to regrets that haunt you long after the honeymoon.
- The “I’m Paying” card
If you are not paying for your wedding, it becomes complicated to convince your parents a small wedding is best if their hopes and dreams of a big marriage could be squashed. That could lead to challenges with people playing the “I’m paying so I should have a say” card, which can make for even more unpleasant and stressful confrontations.
While a small wedding might not be something you considered, it does offer many opportunities. This list will help you make the right choice for you.