One of the hardest parts of planning your wedding will be deciding how big or small of a party you’re going to have. You’ll get input from a few sources—your parents, your spouse, your friends—and it will be difficult to figure out what it is you want.
Size matters. Consider these five factors to decide how big or small your wedding should be.
1. Your Guest List
Want to know how to simplify your wedding guest list? Have a small wedding. It’s the perfect excuse to create an intimate guest list consisting of people you truly want there. On the other hand, a couple with a big family and friend group might be better off planning a big wedding. You’re less likely to offend people who wouldn’t be invited if that’s a concern—now you can invite them all.
If you’re really struggling to narrow down who should or shouldn’t come, a big party may be the way to go. If you’re already a small, tight-knit group, a small wedding may be the answer.
2. Your Budget
The more people you invite, the more mouths you’ll have to feed. You’ll have to order more food and rent a bigger venue to ensure everyone can fit. Having a smaller wedding means there are fewer guests to pay for. This gives you room to splurge on other important details.
Are you trying to cut costs because you’repaying for everything? Is your family contributing, making the various vendor fees easier to manage? The little details of the day add up. Even if you can get the cake cutting fee waived, there will be costs more to handle.
3. Your Venue Options
A 200-plus guest list will impact your choice of wedding venue. You’ll find yourself needing to find larger spaces, such as halls, which can ensure there’s enough room for dancing and dining. Larger venues always have minimums, which is easier to meet with a big guest list.
Smaller weddings present innovative venue options, such as restaurants and boutique hotels. They’ll feel refined and cozy with a small guest list. You don’t want the space to feel empty or too crowded—it’s a delicate balance.
If you have your eye on one venue in particular, you might have to increase or decrease your guest list to fit the space.
4. Your Desired Atmosphere
Have you always dreamed of a gala extravaganza or do you love the idea of an intimate ceremony? When all your friends and family are present, a large wedding may be exactly what you want. Some people jive well with the “more the merrier” mantra and are happy to throw a big hurrah. This is a celebratory event, and it may feel only natural to treat it like a big party.
A small wedding evokes a slightly different feel, but there’s no reason you can’t make it a full celebration despite the refined attendance list. You’ll be able to create a cozier environment for those attending, making each guest feel really special.
5. Your Time with Guests
There are a few things guests remember at weddings. Hospitality is one of them. Pleasing a large guest list is infinitely harder because there are simply so many people to chat with. A small wedding gives you the opportunity to sit down and have a drink with each guest, actually conversing with them instead of feeling like you spent the entire night making the rounds.
Large weddings require extra work to ensure everyone’s having a good time, whereas at a small wedding, you’ll have more opportunity to get personal with everyone who attends.